Ante & Roberta Skoko
You Come First
Some mornings I watch Ante sleep with my hand on his face, taking him in. Some mornings it’s him staring at me. Sometimes we wake up frantically because we’ve hit snooze a million times and realize we’ve pushed it too far—we’re late! Most mornings we wake up casually, ready to take on the day. It's impossible to predict exactly what each day will bring, but we know that we have one another... We’re a team.
With our little guy arriving in just a couple of weeks, my heart will stretch unimaginably, feeling a love I never thought possible. The love of my son has already been unlike anything I've ever experienced, but my marriage will always come first.
I want our son to see his parents happy, to know that the love that brought him into this world is only growing stronger each day. I want him to be emotionally healthy, believing in lasting love... Seeing with his own eyes that people are capable growth, mutual respect, integrity, and fidelity. It is not just my duty to raise and protect my child, it is my responsibility to love his father. Not only when it’s easy, and not only when I feel like it, but when it’s seemingly mundane, when it hurts, and when it requires sacrifice. In moments when I don’t like Ante very much, I’ll still love him... Upholding his dignity in public, in our household, and in the privacy of our bedroom when no one is watching.
Ante will do his best to show to our son what it means to be a man of God, and I’ll do my best to depict a woman of faith... So he knows how to be, and who to choose one day. We won’t be near perfect—nor will be try to seem as if we are—but we’ll raise him to know the God of justice and mercy, who always accepts our apologies and repentance. I pray that our son knows this about God because he sees that Ante and l live that out in one another.
Keeping tabs on the pulse of your marriage can’t be easy with a growing family, but it’s absolutely essential. The ability of one man and one woman to remain faithful to one another and obedient to God is the foundation of our society. This takes conscious effort, which explains the alarming state that we’re in: too many people have forgotten who they are in the image and likeness of God, navigating with broken compasses. Individuals live life on a whim, seeking feeling to fulfill them, forgetting that true love is God. True love is the long haul... Admitting our own weakness, working toward goodness and virtue, gently walking alongside one another toward Heaven. When we live for God, acting with vulnerability and the desire for goodness and truth, there isn’t much room to justify our nonsense, and relationships tend to thrive.
Just a few points that help us check the marital pulse:
1. Are we talking about important things somewhat regularly?
2. Have we laughed, flirted, or teased one another lately?
3. Are we praying together daily?
4. Do I feel like I can be honest about my feelings, concerns, or thoughts with my spouse?
I'm always conscious not to be unrealistic with my expectations of my husband; Ante cannot be the source of my happiness and peace, but he is called to be my partner, lover, teammate, friend, et cetera. Sometimes married people get too comfortable and take one another for granted, losing sight of what connected them in the first place. This impartiality is what we try to avoid.
One thing that has led us to a happier marriage: we’ve gotten very good at apologizing... Looking at our own actions rather than focusing on the flaws of the other, and actually making changes to correct the bad habits that brought us to conflict in the first place, taking them to Confession. Ante and I want to give our son and any future children a shot at knowing what true love between one man and one woman—and ultimately God—looks like. It’s difficult and it takes work, but for us it’s the only thing worth doing.
Please pray for us in these coming weeks; I'm getting nervous about the delivery, but know that I won't be given anything I can't handle... Especially with the prayers of the faithful like you!
God Bless You Always,