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Who is the Spiritual Leader? What a Married Christian Woman Mentor has to Say

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This reminded me of a similar article I read a while back on a blog. Part of it was about some Catholic girls expecting too much of a guy. I think it is sad that some girls would overlook great guys for reasons like this.

"Every guy I know gets slack-jawed when they watch this video ( which made the rounds last year and caused more than one married Catholic mom I know to laugh and cry and shake her head in disbelief). At first we thought it was a joke. Then, we started reading comboxes. Not a joke, at least not for some people. Who could possibly live up to this? A second-hand relic? Honey, if you think you are marrying a saint, you are in for a rude awakening. Marriage is our path to sanctification. We don't marry into sainthood; we journey towards it together.

Here's the thing: you're going to miss a lot of good people if you make up checklists like that. And you might just miss God's plan for you, both in terms of men and real, good girlfriends. Some of the best husbands and fathers I know couldn't have checked off more than one or two things on that video when they were fresh out of college. They grew into good, holy men, often because of girls who loved them, believed in them, and shared the grace of Jesus with them. And I know people who can check off everything on the video list and, sadly, they aren't very good husbands and fathers. While lots of people can follow the rules and lots of people can do numerous acts of piety and devotion, they aren't necessarily people after God's own heart. Following the rules does not automatically equal holiness.

And isn't it interesting how in that whole long list, not one act of mercy is mentioned? You want a good husband and father? Find a merciful one. Here's a far better checklist:

  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbour the harbourless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.

  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;

In the real world, those acts of mercy can take many, many forms. Perhaps you'll find him ladling soup in a homeless shelter. That would be an easy one to spot. Or maybe he's the young medical student who circles back after a long day of work to read stories to the pediatric patients. Maybe he's the guy who listens patiently as his grandfather goes on and on about a distant memory not quite still within his reach. Or maybe he's the one who's working fulltime and getting his degree because he dreams of a large family and wants the means with which to support them. Is he the guy next door? The one who "only" goes to Sunday Mass, but who also cheerfully picks up two young soccer players and drives them to practice three times a week because their mom is bedridden? And all the while, in the car, he is their friend. Their real friend. A strong shoulder to lean on in a time of crisis at home. Just a real good guy. Look for a real good guy. Someone who will journey with you.

Don't dismiss someone just because they aren't as outwardly pious as you are. Don't dismiss people at all. There's a big world of people out there. And some of those people are people from whom God intends you to learn. Even if, at first glance, it looks as if they aren't nearly as holy or smart or good as you are. Even if they aren't as holy or smart or pious as you are. They, too, were created in His image and each person--each and every one--is valuable. And worth your time. Don't discount someone because they aren't as up on theology as you are or because they don't "have religion." "

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