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Shelly Henley Kelly ponders how married couples need the Holy Spirit's gift of Understanding.

The gift of Understanding is essential for a strong and healthy marriage. When a couple puts God at the center of their marriage, this gift helps us recognize that two people are no longer “I and Me,” but are now “Us and We.”

Understanding guides us in the ability to see each other as we really are and develop a sensitivity or anticipation to our spouse’s needs. This gift leads us to truly know each other, to the point that words become unnecessary. Instead, a look speaks volumes, and something left unsaid is louder than any whisper.

“I need you to bring me my suit.” When my husband spoke these words, there was nothing else he needed to say. With a heavy heart, I carefully collected the items I knew he’d want and packed a suitcase for myself and our 2-year-old daughter. We drove six hours to join him in the ICU waiting room where he had been at his mother’s side for the past two days.

This God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10)


In a quiet simple phrase, I understood that my mother-in-law would not recover from this sudden illness and that our lives would never be the same. The gift of understanding my husband directed my thoughts and actions to love and support him in the days and weeks that followed.


couple having a conversation at breakfast


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Over time, the Holy Spirit takes thousands of our actions and inactions and teaches us about one other. #catholicmom

Love is not passive; it is an action that must be chosen every day. Over time, the Holy Spirit takes thousands of our actions and inactions and teaches us about one other. Every day we deliberately choose to love one another; we pay attention to the little details that give us character.

Today, pay extra attention to your spouse. Seek ways where understanding guides your thoughts and actions with one another.

We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. (1 John 5:20)


couple sitting on the floor and talking


Copyright 2022 Shelly Henley Kelly
Images: Canva Pro