20-20 VISION

"20/20 Vision" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.

Helen Keller has always been one of my heroes. Despite being born blind, her “sight” was better than most people. Helen Keller and I share a common bond. I am legally blind, with 20/200 vision. I was the only four-year-old who was wearing corrective lenses. Even though my eye glasses were a beautiful blue color, I was well aware of the fact that I looked different from the other children. Unlike today, eyewear was not an in vogue fashion statement. Soon those Coke-bottle glasses were replaced with contact lenses. Proudly, I became undercover blind; only my optometrist and family knew my secret defect. Thankfully, I could see clearly, with a little correction.

Marriage is a lot like a good eye exam. A spouse sees you for what you are, defects and all. Marriage has a way of taking masks off and revealing the real you, sometimes with no makeup on, sporting bad breath, or on a bad hair day. Spouses see you when you have one nerve left and everyone is getting on it, including your spouse. They are on the scene when you are over committed and under-patient. They are invited to the pity party when you are out of sorts and decide to tell all. Of course, it is almost always way more information than their male brains can comprehend nor care to know.

Sometimes your mate is the bull’s eye that you are aiming your words towards. Unfortunately, those words occasionally hit the target of their heart dead center. Sadly, life has no delete button. There is no rewind or the ability to “white out” a bad day. What your husband sees is what he gets. Our spouse is aware of the parts of our personality that we are totally unaware of: the good, the bad, and the ugly. They are looking at us with 20/20 vision daily, even the days we do not want to remember. They see the hidden faults that others have yet to discover.

Many people put their best foot forward when out in public and then let their hair down at home. This has a way of masking their true self. I personally think it should be the other way around. The best you should be for his view.

"20/20 Vision" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.

How do we see ourselves? Most people are looking through rose colored glasses when viewing themselves. Our rose-colored glasses color our vision a tad, giving us a more positive slant, like seeing a rainbow in a storm. How do we view our spouse? Sadly to say, sometimes it is as if though a microscope which has a way of showing every single defect.  What if we all saw each other through the eyes of Jesus?

Like a trip to the optometrist followed by an eyeglass prescription, the final result is better vision. However, wearing a new set of corrective lenses does take a little getting used to, even though it is improving your eyesight to 20/20. In the same way, seeing your husband through the eyes of love and trying to accepting him, faults and all, might take a little time to adjust to. Fill the prescription anyway. You may discover the way you look at him is the same way he is looking at you.

If you want to grow in character and virtue, ask God to help you to be correctable. If your husband’s correction is given with a dose of understanding and the assurance of his love, it will strengthen your courage to try and improve. Even if my husband’s delivery is not perfect, I have learned to listen up, knowing that he sees things I do not see. Pride has a way of blinding one from seeing our own faults. A little correction, when received with humility, is one way God speaks to us. After all, our spouses know us best, possibly better than we know ourselves. Maybe we should thank them for their 20/20 insight?

Learn a lesson from Helen Keller’s life. In order to see, hear, and speak, she needed a little help from her teacher. Anne Sullivan became her eyes, ears, and mouth. Helen listened attentively and learned quickly, and her quality of life was improved, though she remained deaf and blind. What if she had not “listened?”

This Lenten season make a conscious effort to focus on the way you view your mate and make your marriage a focal point of your Lenten practice.

  • Pray for eyes to see your husband through Christ’s eyes.
  • Pray for ears to hear your husband when he corrects you, as well as when he encourages you.
  • Give yourself as gift to him first each day before giving to others.
  • Pick one day a week to fast for your marriage.
  • Ask God to heal past hurts, disappointments, and sins.
  • Live your marriage sacrament with Christ in the center.
  • Pray to have teachable hearts.
  • Be a good example for the next generation to see what the vocation of marriage should look like.
  • Bear with one another patiently, correcting each other in love and forgive each other from the heart.
  • Thank God for the blessing of being in love with one another.

Why not purchase a twin pair of rose-colored glasses for you and your spouse this Lent? Whatever you do, don’t buy a set of microscopes as your couple’s present. Finally, remember to put on Christ daily, especially when looking at your spouse. Looking through the eyes of Jesus gives a clearer view — maybe even 20/20 vision.

"20/20 Vision" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

“20/20 Vision” by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Ellen Mongan


About Author

Ellen Mongan, a Catholic writer and speaker, has been married more than 40 years to Deacon Pat Mongan. They have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. Ellen is a host of WOW Radio Podcasts, a religious columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, and has spoken on both radio and television. She is the founder of Sisters in Christ, Little Pink Dress Ministry, and Women-Fests.


  1. Paula Rainey on

    Hello Ellen,
    What an excellent piece. This lent I decided to be more attentive to the needs of my husband I’d nearly 42 years. He is an account and works incredibly long hours this time of year. We have about 15 minutes in the mornings and maybe 10 minutes to talk when he gets home between 10:30 and 11:00 at night before he falls into bed. I try to make a point each day to let him know how much I appreciate his hard work and that I love him and understand his absence here at home. I remind him that I am praying for him.

    I am unable to drive as I am legally blind. Both of our children live out of town. We are very blessed to have wonderful friends who I can depend upon for rides to the grocery store and other necessary errands.

    After participating in Called and Gifted last year, I have finally given into the urging of the Holy Spirit to write. I am currently exploring the best way to share what the Holy Spirit gives me.

    Any advice you may share in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

    • Dear Paula,
      I began writing in 1979. I have written over 40 books which I self publish. My best advice is to choose a day each week to dedicate to writing. Write what you know and explore different types of things. I have written poetry books, cookbooks, Catholic Bible Studies and even a series of children,s books called, ” Life Lessons.” I read some advice given by the about the founder of the Daughters of st. Paul. He said, “if St. Paul were alive today he would write books, speak on Tv and radio. ” I was inspired to do all. I co-host a radio show with two friends called WOW radio podcasts. You can catch us on u tube. I also speak on local television and of course blog. God will help you to put your words on paper. I write best in the adoration chapel. I hope this was helpful.

      • Mary Runger on

        Thank you for first of all, your article, very insightful, and encouraging! And I appreciate you taking the time to write a response about how you approach your ministry and pay attention to movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

        Your comment about being disciplined is very relevant for me, as I am sharing with family and friends this Lenten season what I call, “Mary’s Musings” as I look to connect how the Spriti is moving me ~ maybe through the daily scriptures, or artwork, or news articles, or favorite quotes or songs or ??

        Stay creative and being gift through the gift of your vision, voice, and word!

  2. Ellen Mongan on

    Thank you Sister Kerry for bringing in the aspect of religious vocation. Living our vocation is well is what God calls us to do!

  3. Hi Ellen,
    This is a reminder to me as to how we should or how we ought to be as Married couples. We’ve Been married for 12 years and the flaws are just like everywhere and like it’s what’s more visible to our very eyes nowadays. But with the grace of God, we still think that we are MFEO(made for each other). Thank you for this wonderful article. God bless you and your family.

  4. Ellen Mongan on

    Keep on doing what is what is right and in due time you reap a harvest. Sow seeds of love . Weed out judgement, impatience and strife. Water with encouragement. Work in unity to tend a garden of love.

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