Pray separately, but stay connected. When Tracy and Tom, parents of four, decided they needed to focus more on their faith, they realized that scheduling time together would be their biggest challenge. “Tracy is at home and has a greater flexibility to set aside time for 10 minutes of prayer in the middle of the day,” Tom says. “I go to the online prayer site Sacred Space (sacredspace.ie) before work, but occasionally I’ll e-mail her a link if it’s something that seems especially pertinent to her.” For her part, Tracy appreciates the occasional prayer e-mail from her husband. “It’s great to know that early in the morning, while I was taking care of the kids, he was thinking about me.”
Pray out loud, in the dark. While many parents have a bedtime prayer routine with the kids, they neglect to have a similar routine with their spouse. A television in the bedroom compromises not only a couple’s time to talk before bed, but it can quash any chance of prayer before bed as well. If you and your spouse spend your time before bed watching TV, commit to turning it off earlier. Turn off the lights and give voice to your gratitude and worries.
Programs, retreats, prayer groups. Some parishes do better with these than others, but almost all parishes offer evenings of reflection or talks on a specific area of faith. Grab onto these. Going to programs with a spouse can give you a jumping-off point to build a prayer life in the home. “My husband and I signed up for an article discussion group, partly just to get some adult conversation time,” says Bridget, mother of three preschoolers and a baby. “Once we committed, as hard as it was to find the half hour to read the spiritual article, we knew we had to do it, and that was good for us.”
by Annemarie Scobey from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2012 Best in Class award from the Associated Church Press, as well as the 2010 and 2011 General Excellence awards from the Catholic Press Association. Here’s a sample issue.
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