Husband's, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
During my marriage preparation classes one thing our priest told us was that there is a common mistake that many young couples make when they have children. That mistake, understandably so, is to place their children at the forefront of the marriage. They choose to love the children first because it only feels natural to do so since they require so much time, care, and attention.
However, he said this is one of the reasons why so many families fall apart. The core of your family is the parents and not only does that relationship have to be strong as the foundation for the family, it serves as the primary example of how to love, respect, and care for another person whom you love. He told us that it's important for your children to see that you will not compromise or forfeit your relationship with your spouse, that you will love and honor her no matter the situation because it is your choice and duty to do so as her husband. They, and those around you, need to see that you love her as Christ loved the church and are willing to give yourself up for her.
Does this sound like a tall order? Absolutely. Is it impossible? Absolutely not. This is what comes with our vocation as husbands and fathers and when we can't find it within ourselves, He will provide us with the courage and the strength to do what we believe is right as Catholic men.
Derek posted this picture to celebrate his anniversary. Twelve years and four kids later it is beautiful to see how much he loves and adores his wife and his children. He may be a Bad Catholic Dad but he and Bethany are an amazing inspiration and example for us all.
Lord, teach us to love our wives as you love the church. Help us remember to make the conscious and proactive decision to love our wives with every choice we make, how we speak to them, how we relate to them, and how we listen to them. Grant us the strength, courage, and wisdom to stand up for what we know is good and holy. May we love our wives in such a way that our children learn to love well and love fully as you do.