Time is our most precious commodity. We can change the circumstances and regain what we have lost for so many things in life. Yet, time, once spent, is gone forever. When transitioning into married life, you will now have new unique demands on your time.
When I was dating my wife, we lived several hundred miles apart. Each evening, we'd set aside about an hour to talk on the phone. Typically, I'd call her on my evening commute. When we got married, I realized that I would need to carve about that same amount of time daily, if not more, to spend physically together.
As men, we have many demands on our time. Our relationships, our families, and our work all need our attention. As a result, we often must decide what activities get cut. Of course, we could always change the rules by going to bed later or waking up earlier. Yet, it seems that the first two activities to get cut are prayer and exercise.
Many of us, myself included, view both prayer and exercise as optional, only doing them when we have extra time. It's a severe misalignment of priorities. Prayer and exercise aren't luxuries; they're essential.
Men are the head of their "Domestic Church." It's our primary responsibility to care for those entrusted to us. It's a job too big to carry by ourselves. We're foolish if we do not keep the lines of communication wide open with our Creator. An investment of time into prayer pays dividends. In prayer, we turn away from ourselves and our own needs and are more in tune with the Divine.
It takes a lot of energy to do all of the things we have to do today. So we need to leverage our bodies to be excellent partners in our great mission. If your body is tired, you won't have the strength to get it all done. Exercise can tap into a pool of energy that our bodies hold in reserve.
We recognize that we need to get back in the game and factor these two essential activities into our lives. How do we do that? Before we begin, this is going to take discipline. Use this quote from the Bible to help you stay motivated,
"At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it." (Heb 12:11)
First, set your prayer regimen. Will you pray a structured prayer like the Liturgy of the Hours? You could pray all five Hours or just a few, such as Morning and Evening Prayer. Will your prayer be time set aside for a variety of prayers? No matter what you decide, make a decision and stick to it.
Second, make your exercise plan. You don't have to go out and buy a gym membership, but make sure there is a mix of activities to keep boredom at bay. Boredom in prayer or exercise is the main threat to your success, second only to laziness.
It's time to be men again. It's time to give ourselves the tools and advantages we need to live as Catholic men should.