For the last week or so, I’ve been watching "The Three Little Pigs" on Netflix. It’s Disney’s original 1933 version and my grandchildren love it as much as their parents did.
You know the story. The first little pig builds his house of flimsy straw, the second pig builds his house of destructible sticks, and the third little pig builds a model house, a house of sturdy bricks. The first and second pigs hurry to get through quickly so they can go to play. The third little pig builds slow and methodically, mortaring between each brick. He doesn’t have time to kick up his heels.
And then comes the Big Bad Wolf. He blows down the haphazard houses of the first and second little pigs and threatens to eat them. So they run for safety to their brother’s house of brick.
My husband and I met at 17 and married when we were 21. At that time, we were probably a lot like the first and second little pigs. We weren’t worried about safety, we wanted to play. Except we, too, were building a house, not a physical house then, but a house nonetheless, where we would live with each other and bring up children.
Neither of us put it into words, but we wanted a house that would last. We had models for this. We had parents married for decades. It never occurred to us that we wouldn’t do the same. Oh, the Big Bad Wolf has come to our door many times, but our house has stood.
In the mountains of North Alabama where we lived for a while, I was in charge of the religion classes for high school students in our parish, and was invited to bring the teenagers to nearby St. Bernard College for day of instruction. The theme was Trust. Each student partnered with another and took turns wearing a blindfold as the other walked him through unfamiliar woods. I partnered, too, with a close friend of mine who’d come along with us.
To be blind and led by another requires Trust in the one who is leading. We stumbled. I fell. She turned her ankle when she stepped into a hole, but we persisted and were influenced by the lesson.
When a person steps into marriage, it’s the same. Trust in a spouse is required. Trust that together you’re building a brick house, not a flimsy one. Trust that no matter how many times you fall, or how many times the wolf comes to your door, you will stand strong as a brick house because you’ve committed yourself to the sacrament and to your children. Nothing else will do.
To those who are married: be steadfast, be faithful, be devoted to one of the highest, and admittedly, most difficult vocations. You are the teachers of your children. You are the model upon which they will build. Make yours a brick house.
Copyright 2014, Kaye Hinckley
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