What’s the Point of Marriage?

This is more or less the text of a talk I gave on marriage at the 2017 Arlington Diocesan Rally on October 22nd, 2017

Marriage in the context of our popular culture is really idealized. When you think of marriage in the way we see it portrayed on tv, you think of two people living a happily ever after; we think of a nice, white picket fence, maybe a puppy, and maybe even a couple of babies. It’s all very cute, sweet and perfect for chick flicks, but it’s not real. Perfection isn’t real. It’s not realistic to think that one person alone is actually capable of making another person happy every single day for the rest of their lives.

I had some odd jobs after I graduated from college and at one, I met this woman who was just going through her fourth divorce. She’d been married four times. And she said to me that, this time, she was definitely never getting married again. I kind of smiled and asked how this ex husband had definitively ruined her ideas about marriage. She said thoughtfully:

Because with this one, you know, I realized: you’re just trading one set of problems for another set of problems.

Here’s a little secret. There’s only been one perfect man and one perfect woman who have ever lived. One was Jesus Christ and the other one was his mother, Mary. So when you start thinking about how you’re just waiting to meet the perfect person, spoiler alert: your future spouse won’t be perfect, and you won’t be perfect.

The Catholic Church sees marriage in a much more realistic, pragmatic way, since it recognizes this very basic fact about humanity. If no two people are perfect, then we need a third element in marriage. Two flawed people aren’t enough, marriages need God.

The Church sees marriage in a much more romantic way because they’re totally happy to say that true love exists. They’re totally happy to say that a “perfect” marriage can exist between two flawed people and God. It’s romantic because, in God’s eyes, the job of marriage is actually to lay down your life for someone. It’s romantic because it’s real even with all of our flaws.

The thing is, God made you out of nothing, your life is a huge gift from Him. You repay that gift of your life by being a gift to someone else. We are a gift to our parents, family and friends. For most of us, we’ll most fully express the gift of ourselves through a life in service to one other person, eventually in the vocation of marriage. We’ll be a gift to our spouse.

I just used the word vocation and we’re all used to priests praying for “vocations”, but what does that word mean? A vocation is a calling from God. God designs you for marriage or God designed you for religious life. You can’t just assume that your vocation is marriage, you have to discern, learn how to pray, learn how to think about these things. Some people are absolutely supposed to be married and some people absolutely are not. Discerning is really hard, but if you pray enough, you’ll know.


The Church says there are three ends of marriage: union with God, the procreation and raising of children and mutual help of the spouses. So we’re going to go over these three in detail real quick:


So the first is union with God. I mentioned earlier that the primary goal of marriage is to get each of the spouses to heaven. 

Marriage is the one relationship in our lives (aside from, perhaps baptism) that we stand up in front of God and our families to promise love and service to each other. We actually promise that our number one priority in life is to get this other person into heaven! This, fundamentally, is what separates the sacrament of matrimony from what the world casually refers to as marriage.

To be married sacramentally is to promise to will the good of the other person. We want good for everyone in our families, but we especially want the good of our spouse. The greatest good that anyone could possibly hope for, is to spend eternity with God in heaven, right? So, the ultimate end of marriage must be to get our spouse to heaven. We do this through prayer, sacrifice, and love.

It’s easy to say that this is achieved through prayer and sacrifice, but what does that mean? Well, I’ve only been married for six years, but for us, it’s been things like, looking up Mass times at the random church we’re near when we’re traveling, to make sure both of us get to Mass every Sunday. When my husband deployed the first time in our marriage, he realized very quickly that he forgot his rosary at home, so we figured out logistics to get some rosaries shipped overseas. Every time we move to a new duty station, we try to find a house as close as possible to a Catholic Church, to make it as easy as possible for us to get to Mass. But lately, since we have three little kids, it’s been a lot of, I’ll wake up early and stay with the kids so you can get to Mass by yourself. 

I think a really good way of for you to practice this now is to recognize what you find attractive in people and what people find attractive in you Because, honestly, it’s Jesus our souls are ultimately seeking. St. Augustine said, “Our souls were made for you Lord. Our souls are restless until they rest in You” There is a God shaped hole in each of us.

Saint John Paul II puts this the most beautifully when he says,

It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society.

So, when you’re feeling restless, like nothing will satisfy you, and you’re tempted to think that if only you had someone to hook up with or a really cute girlfriend and then you’d be happy? That’s probably not the right answer. Is your body leading your soul or is your soul leading your body?

The second end of marriage is the procreation and raising of children. It’s interesting, a lot of people don’t see the connection between marriage and children, but the word matrimony literally means making of a mother. It’s the way God makes mothers and in Catholic marriage vows, you have to promise to welcome any life that God blesses you with.

Children are not just kind of a detail that is optional in marriage. That just doesn’t make any sense. God made men and women’s bodies to come together and have babies in the marital act.

When people have sex outside of marriage, it’s causes all kinds of problems that people really don’t want to acknowledge. Listen, I won’t lie to you. Not having sex until you’re married is really really difficult. It is possible, my husband and I were virgins when we got married. But there’s a reason most people don’t achieve that goal. Don’t ever think that you’re so self disciplined, your’e so strong that it’ll be easy for you. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. By saving sex for marriage, you’re making the smartest possible choice and actively pursuing the Ivy League of marriages.


A really cool example of how God created every inch of our bodies and proactively designed sex only for marriage, is the hormone oxytocin. It’s a hormone that scientists colloquially refer to as “human super glue” but it’s actual name is Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neuro peptide, a hormone, that is released by your brain during sex that promotes bonding,

Now, this is perfect in marriage!! It promotes emotional bonding, increased trust and even impaired memories of negative experiences.

But when it comes to sex outside of marriage, you can see how it could be potentially destructive. Let’s say there’s a couple who, neither of them wants to ever get married to each other because they’re not a good fit, or God forbid one of them is abusive to the other. There’s no real reason for them to be together, but they keep having sex because it feels good. They’ll keep doing that because it makes them feel close in the moment, when in reality it’s keeping them from what could be other promising relationships. They get stuck in a no win relationship where neither of them even like the other anymore, they’re just sort of obeying their base impulses. Ultimately everyone loses in that situation.

You’ll find that there are all kinds of temptations when it comes to sexual morality that can potentially hurt your future marriage: pornography, the hook up culture, people who deny the Church’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman. And you know what? You may or may not fall to all of these temptations. The amazing thing about being Catholic though, is that Jesus always forgives our sins. He always wants us to come back to His love. As Pope Francis has said, it’s not Jesus who tires of forgiving, it’s us who tire of asking for forgiveness. There is always reconciliation in the sacrament of confession.

I think you’ll find, as I have, that when I’m right with God’s teachings, I feel at peace and my life is headed in the right direction, but when I’m not, everything seems more stressful and complicated. God created us to become one flesh with our spouses, but when we disregard His laws, we disregard the design of our own bodies.


God does everything for a reason. He designed men and women’s bodies and minds for marriage and babies. God is love and God is order. Where there is obedience to God’s laws, there is peace and order. Where there’s disobedience to God’s laws, there’s disorder and confusion.

Finally, the third end of marriage is mutual help and spousal support. 

In Catholic wedding vows, the couple vows to love each other and remain with each other for as long as they’ll live. This permanent commitment transcends the graying, wrinkling, sagging and slowing down that come with time. Imagine an elderly couple taking a walk in the park. They’ve been together forever and are still helping each other after decades of helping each other. They’re probably walking slowly, but purposefully and they’re probably in no rush. They’re focused on the journey, not the destination.

The Church would call a couple like this an efficacious sign. God created marriage to be a sign to His people that he would be with them forever. That no matter what happens, Christ would always be there, helping the Church.  And so, it’s so important to choose a spouse who wants this. Don’t settle for someone who wants superficial things that are against the order God created.

For example, let’s say your boyfriend thinks you have to live together before marriage to really see if you’re compatible? First of all, this is ridiculous and I’m here to tell you that living together before you’re married is not necessary at all. But on a practical level, what happens if you’re living together and you break up? Moving out is expensive and awkward and horrible. But maybe even more complicated is, what if you decide to get married? It’s going to be the most anti climactic, boring, lame thing ever. So you’re living together and all of your stuff is in the same place. You decide to get married… how exciting is it going to be to come home from the honeymoon? Not, it’s just your own house.

They actually did a study about how couples who lived together before they were married had a much higher rate of divorce than couples who did not live together before they were married. Many respondents to that survey said that, at the time, it seemed easier to just get married instead of breaking up since they were already living together.

You want to marry someone who wants to be with you forever and wants to focus on the journey of life together.  This is where choosing the right spouse is so essential, because your spouse should always be someone that you not only sincerely enjoy spending time with, but who you deeply respect and who deeply respects you.

I knew I wanted to marry my husband when I realized that, even if we broke up, I wanted to stay friends with him, I respected him so much. He was so smart and so disciplined, even if we didn’t get married, I wanted to behave in a way and treat him in a way that we’d remain friends. I just wanted him in my life no matter what. I honestly think of that even today when we fight or have the hard times that people don’t like to talk about in marriage. God made marriage to be forever and if you deeply respect your spouse, it’s easier to acknowledge the reality that there’s no getting out of marriage.

The goals of marriage are beautiful, wonderful and romantic, but you have to make choices now to make that happen. Practicing chastity and and practicing discernment now will help you achieve these goals. What does that mean in real life? It means not giving your heart away to anyone and everyone. You have to think now about what you want it to look like. The more you preserve of yourself, the more romantic its going to be since you’ll have more of yourself to give.

Don’t ever believe the lie that saving sex for marriage is unattainable, impossible or naive. Like I said before, my husband and I achieved it and while it was difficult, it didn’t require super human abilities. Having simple rules for yourself like not being out together after midnight and never staying overnight in the same house if there aren’t other people there will help you realize that goal. You have to be smart about it, but once you have a strategy, it is really not that difficult.


I want to share with you an excerpt from the Catechism on chastity:

Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. “Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end. (CCC 2339)

That is how you prepare for Catholic marriage. By learning self discipline, self denial and how to truly be free. By doing this, I think you’ll increasingly be made aware of what it really means to be a man and what it really means to be a woman, as God created each of you.

Don’t accept the lowest common denominator that the world has for you when it comes to marriage. You want the best. You want the Ivy League of marriages

I pray that you only date people who are willing to take the number 2 spot in your life because God already has the number one spot. My prayer is for each of you to marry someone who sees you the way God sees you and values your relationship with God. My prayer is that you’ll marry someone who loves your entire person. My prayer is especially that you’ll spend the next few years practicing submission to God and in faith that He created and designed marriage to make men and women completely happy for their entire lives. Thank you.


For Moms, (Almost) Everyone’s a Critic

It takes moms about a week of having a baby in public places to realize that there are always going to be comments about the fact that you have reproduced. Whether it’s about your family size or asking about sleeping or even the welcomed compliments, people like talking about babies. and they just want to share that they too have witnessed this miracle of life. Mostly, I think that’s fine.

But lately, it’s been amazing to me how many people, from very close family members to almost total strangers, are happy to waltz in and patronizingly explain to me what I’m doing wrong. An adult, who has spent far less time with my child than I have, is happy to point out that you yell too much or you really shouldn’t let her do that or his punishment should really be more severe, to which I say,


When people make criticisms like the ones above, they’re assuming that one of two things are true. Either I lack the general knowledge or insight to be a good parent, or I do possess said knowledge and I’m just lazy.

I’ve spent years looking these people in the eye, smiling and thanking them for their thoughtful contributions, but I have got to say, I’m just about completely fed up with it.

To those without kids, let me impart a little wisdom on yousometimes kids misbehave in public and that’s not a reflection on the quality of parenting that child is receiving at home. Unless you want to make the argument that people with children under the age of twelve need to be sequestered to their own houses or playgrounds, you need to be ok with the fact that kids below the age of reason have a hard time with things like sitting still or plans changing. And that’s okay.

Can you imagine if I went to a person’s office and pointed out exactly what they were doing wrong and what they could do to fix it, especially when I had no expertise in their field? Moms and dads are generally the ones who see the most of their young children. We’re the ones who know what each child specifically needs and you can be sure we’re doing what we can to make sure their needs are fulfilled.

Maybe when people do this, it’s some sort of deep seated anthropological way of looking out for the future of our species, but I really want people to know that most moms are insecure as it is and we don’t need people constantly criticizing our job performance.

We’re doing the best we can and your comments are not generally helpful. We’ll ask if we need help or want advice about a particular topic. Not only is it disrespectful to assume a mom is stupid or lazy, it’s really detrimental to the cause of raising the humans who aren’t jerks.

For One In Search of an Excuse, There Will Always Be Excuses

A priest said this line in a homily at a daily Mass I attended a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped thinking of it since. As a stay at home mom of three little kids, I am constantly using my kids as an excuse.

I use them as an excuse to do things that aren’t good for me (not exercise, not eat healthy, drink massive amounts of sugar and milk (with a tiny bit of coffee thrown in there). I use them as an excuse as to why I’m not growing significantly in a spiritual or intellectual way. I use them as an excuse as to why I yell or become impatient or act otherwise immorally.

Now, fellow moms, before you go get your pitchfork, hear me out. Yes, children do inhibit a lot of our pre-kid behavior. It is really really difficult to eat healthy or read a book or get to Mass when you have kids. BUT, it is not impossible. And for those who strongly desire these things, these things ARE possible. And for those in search of an excuse, there will always be excuses.

I recently got a job as Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Falls Church, Virginia. It’s only 15 hours a week, but it has been so refreshing to be with adults more and to hear stories of their mothers. I’ve been inspired by stories of military spouses who raised (and homeschooled) six kids, moms who never lost their love of reading and growing intellectually, and moms who were faced with really tough circumstances and somehow kept a positive outlook on life.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a phrase I’ve heard recently and have also been thinking about: Find your Calcutta. It is, of course, in reference to Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She didn’t want to go and serve the destitute, unattractive, impossibly difficult. In fact, she had to beg her bishop for permission. She went there anyway and served with passion.

Let’s find our Calcutta!

A Case For Small Children At Daily Mass

I know what you’re thinking if you clicked this link:

This chick is either totally holier than thou or is the kind of person who writes click baity titles

I am, in fact, neither of those things. If anything, I’m writing this to encourage myself.

Anyone who’s ever brought little kids (mine are 3, 2, and 6 mo) to daily Mass knows that the hardest part is dealing with the other grown ups. Or dealing with what we think those grown ups think of us.

Is she crazy?

Can’t she get a babysitter?

This is my quiet time for prayer, why the hell is she bringing noisy children?

Don’t they have anything better to do?

She knows what birth control is, right?

It’s fine if kids come on Sundays because everyone has an obligation for coming on Sunday, but whyyyyyyy do we need to listen to her kids on weekdays too?

I have no idea whether people actually think this kind of thing. I do know those were the kinds of things I thought before I had kids.

But, as we all know, what other people think of us doesn’t matter; what matters is what God thinks of us. Jesus said, Let the little children come to me. And so, since we’re His children, we bring our children out of obedience on Sundays. But what about those weekdays where we can just pray at home?

If you’re the kind of person who can pray at home with little kids, then that is AMAZING. I am not one of those people. I lack the discipline. I’m trying, but I know that if I go to daily Mass, I’ll get in at least a few minutes of prayer. It’ll be interrupted continuously, but it’ll happen. For me, it’s a purposeful act. All of the getting everyone dressed and getting us in the car preparation makes me appreciate the few seconds of prayer even more.

We went this morning and, although my toddlers were actually playing really nicely with each other, it seemed loud since everything else was silent. The little sounds of toy cars running along the pews and little giggles were amplified by the eyes I felt watching us and the pressure I felt to have them be silent.

A few months ago when we came, we ran into one of my son’s preschool teachers. She gave us a warm smile and said to him, “Jesus is so glad you came to see Him today; He’s been here waiting for you!”

For me, that really sums it up. Sure, maybe it’d make more sense for me to wait a few years to bring them when they’re more capable of sitting still and being quiet. But God isn’t calling us to make plans and live in the future. God knows where we’ll be in a few years. At this point in time, I have three little kids with me every day and time is something we have plenty of. It’s only right that we should spend it with Jesus.

I’d be lying if I said that was the only reason we go. I want my kids to be intimately familiar with the rhythm of the Mass. In my life, that alone has gotten me through some pretty scary times. When you move somewhere and have no friends, you can go to Mass. When you’re enduring something that seems overwhelming, you can go to Mass.

So, everyone reading this, please bring your kids to Mass. Because then my kids won’t be the only ones making noise 😉

Motherhood Isn’t Victimhood, It’s Service

I never thought I’d marry a military man. Growing up, it was never something I was exposed to. But now that I’m a military spouse and I have friends who serve, it’s become an important thread in my family’s life. What’s been the most striking to me is having strangers approach my family and friends and humbly thank them for their service to our country. My family and friends always respond with something like, It’s really my pleasure, or, Serving is an honor and a privilege. Service is part of an honored tradition in the armed forces.

Conversely, when I hear my fellow millennial mothers talk about motherhood (myself included!), most of them will make a joke about being tired or needing wine. They’re self-effacing and usually make a comment about how they’re probably doing a crappy job.

Military service and motherhood seem very similar to me. Both involve selfless acts of service to people who may never appreciate it. Both are intense and difficult. Both require weird hours, few breaks and extreme self-discipline.

You might be thinking: but society reveres and respects the military while undervaluing motherhood. That very well may be true. I’d argue, however, that it’s largely because of this victimhood mentality that a lot of mothers espouse.

I have three kids who are 3.5, 2 and 6 mo. I know that motherhood is hard. I also know that motherhood is probably ten times easier now than it was a century ago. We have machines to do our laundry and our dishes. People say that motherhood is hard because of social media and the fact that we compare ourselves to other moms, but I would take judgmental women over hand washing my family’s clothes any day.

We tend to make motherhood so much harder than it has to be. I’m not talking about Pinterest, I’m talking about tolerating behavior that shouldn’t be tolerated. We should feel free to say no. If kids want to whine, they can be sent to their rooms. We’re not victims of tantrums or irrational toddlers; we are in charge. 

Mother Theresa said, If you want to change the world, go home and love your family. Wiping butts, fixing meals, cleaning milk off the floor for the zillionth time, these are all acts of love. They’re all ways of chipping away at our selfish exteriors and becoming more humble creatures. Service is something that should be a source of pride, not a source of complaint and victimhood.

Being a mom is an honor and a privilege and it’s one that’s denied to many. Wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to all those who serve. Thank you for your service!!

What Is Facebook’s Worth In My Daily Life?

A friend of mine used to always paraphrase St. Thomas Aquinas saying, do good, avoid evil when saying goodbye to someone, instead of a different salutation like, see you later.

Me: Bye, Andrew, see you later!

Andrew: Do good, avoid evil!!

That little tradition had a lasting impact on me and I often think of it when discerning whether or not to do something. Can it be boiled down to a good or to an evil?

The evils of Facebook are pretty obvious: mindless distraction without actually being relaxing, opportunities for judgement and eye-rolling abound. It seems that whenever a politician does something, everyone on social media automatically becomes an expert on immigration or feminism or whatever the issue is. I start seeing people as their place on the ideological spectrum instead of the image of Christ that they truly are. Once people are effectively de-humanized into ideas, then it’s understandable why people would be nasty. It’s totally fine to be mean to an idea, ideas don’t have feelings!  But, if you’re anything like me, the things people say can actually feel dehumanizing, and life is just way too short for interactions like that.

All of this brought me to the question: is there any absolute worth in posting about politics on Facebook? love politics and thought I’d sincerely miss hearing my friend’s thoughts on our current situation.

To experiment, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Now, the only time I check it is on the laptop when my kids are asleep. I didn’t check it for a few days and was surprised how much I really didn’t miss it and how engaged I was with my kids knowing that distraction wasn’t easily accessible.

Meanwhile, I’d been following Trump’s executive orders closely on Twitter (where I only follow journalists I trust and a very few number of friends) and the various political podcasts I listen to. I’d heard thoughtful analysis and read the actual order itself. It led me to some really deep, personal, private conversations about what exactly America owes the world’s refugees. I logged back into Facebook a few days later, took a brief glance at the emotional outrage and quickly shut the laptop and went about my day. Ain’t nobody got time, am I right?

Since then, I’ve been thinking about the value of political posts in general. I’m a lover of politics, but when my friends post about politics on social media, I rarely read the articles they post. Many are from biased sources on both sides and have nothing to do with my actual friendship with the person posting. Many articles don’t even have a solid basis in fact. I’d love to have coffee with that person and discuss, but I really have no interest or time to read an article they thought was interesting.

The central argument you could make for Facebook effecting social change, is, in the words of a friend, relative to how you’re using Facebook as a tool. If you’re only engaging in a positive way, have the time and energy to devote to a thoughtful, public conversation, then good for you. Some people do have the time and energy to engage, track down primary sources and have a thoughtful conversation, but that just isn’t me right now. Frankly, I don’t think that describes a lot of my friends, most of whom are off doing really cool things with their lives. And yet, more often than not, we get a, “HEY THIS IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT THIS ISSUE” shout into the ephemeral echo chamber that is a Facebook newsfeed.

Yes, it is good to be informed. But our diet of news needs to be carefully calibrated. Reading primary sources has never been more important. Recognizing that just because you typically agree with “Republicans”, so you will this time just doesn’t cut it anymore. Just as we should monitor what we eat, we should monitor what we read and the news we consume.

The good of Facebook can be boiled down to baby pictures and puppy videos. Obviously.

Your Mothering Will Change the World

I’m up at 3 am eating potato salad. Again. Because I’m pregnant. Again.

John left for his course an hour ago, so I’m gearing up for another week of single parenting, which means that on most days, being a mom is literally the only thing I will do from when I wake up to when I go to sleep.

The other day, someone described me as a writer, which made me realize that the only thing I write about these days is being a mom. Frankly, it’s all I really know anymore. I follow politics, but not closely enough to say anything remotely intelligent. I continue to love my faith, but I don’t read philosophy anymore and my love for God mostly comes though my love for my husband and my children, and my ardent desire that they be raised in God’s church.

In any case, like everyone else, I’m obviously heartbroken over the loss of so many good men this past week. It breaks my heart further to see the fallout on social media. So much anger at people we don’t know. So much bitterness towards hearts we judge for being “racists” or “liberals”. I’m too intimidated to post really anything political on Facebook for just that reason.

I feel paralyzed to talk  about these issues with my peers on social media due to the “gotcha” nature of it all. It’s all too fake and too real at the same time. I don’t know what to say. Honestly, I really don’t think there’s anything I should say since I feel I have very little to contribute to the conversation.

But the one thing in my life that is never fake and always real is being a mom. I have a lot to say about it because it’s what I do (often times all I do). Every day. 

The thing about being a mom is that you’re forced to love when you really don’t feel like it. Most days I would really rather be left alone. You’re forced to be humble when all you want to be is proud. I have so much education, I think as I wipe another butt or try to reason with a toddler who’s angry I’m giving the yogurt he just said he didn’t want to his baby sister. Why am I doing such menial, grinding labor… for free?!?! Surely, I could pay someone to do this for me.

Well, Jesus washed people’s feet. Saints throughout the centuries did humble, awe inspiring work they’ll never be remembered for. And yet, they’re seen by God and the people around them. I think, on some level, (and maybe not until they’re in their thirties), kids see the selfless love of their parents and are encouraged to emulate it. I think about any number of specific things my parents have done for me and my sister at least on a weekly basis, if not more often.

Being forced into being humble by my circumstances has made me incredibly ashamed for the rude, careless things I’ve said and done in my life. Perfect humility has this way of making you never want to be cruel to another person again, because you’re so in tune with the frailty of the human condition, our fallen-ness. We’re all fallen, and none of us is any better than the next. I obviously have not attained perfect humility, but I’ve seen glimpses of my deepest forms of humility and it really makes me wonder how anyone could kill a person for the color of their skin or their job as a hero.

It must be some sort of sick combination of anger and a complete devaluing of human life that would lead someone to think they have the right to take another person’s life. I’m beginning to think that social media actually contributes to that devaluation of human life since, what are you really worth if you’re not witty enough to post something clever or cute enough to get a decent amount of likes on your profile picture? But that’s obviously fodder for a future blog post. I digress.

We’re humans and will always have weakness, frailty and sickness. Of course we should work to overcome that. But if we focus, humbly, on what our own weakness, frailty, or sickness is, and we’re honest about it, I think we can teach our kids that no one is ever too good for anything. No one is certainly ever good enough to take another person’s life.

Being a mom is getting down to eye level with a kid and trying to talk out what’s wrong and why they’re upset. Being a mom is trying desperately to hold on to that last shred of patience as we struggle to understand what could possibly upset a child who has everything provided for him. Isn’t that what God does?

As mothers, we have this incredibly unique position from which to educate our children’s souls. We educate them in self-discipline in hopes that one day they’ll be able to reign in their own passions. We educate them in self-knowledge in hopes that one day maybe they’d be able to tell a mental health professional (or anyone in a position of authority), I’m really not ok right now. I need help. Most importantly, we educate them in faith, in hopes that one day God will look at them and say, well done, my good and faithful servant.