I think the truest value of various debates I have become involved in within St. Blog's Parish (wearing scapulars, whether Jesus went to school, where does that comma go in what St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, and many more such issues) ... has been to make me appreciate my husband even more.
He is what I suppose many people would call the most basic sort of Catholic ... loves the Church because of the truth (though he says that most people would not call his trust in the Church "love"), follows the rules because they are there for his good, and simply lives his faith better than any other person I have ever known. (He says that he always thought he was a "Catholic Neanderthal." Wrong.)
It might bother many people because Tom doesn't say novenas, say the rosary, wear a scapular or do any other overt signs of devotion. He has a quiet, basic faith that expresses itself every so often but mostly stays hidden.
And he doesn't talk, talk, talk about it. Hardly ever. He just lives it.
I mention this to him. He looks at me and says, "Isn't that what we are supposed to do?"
What a testimony that is to me time and again. When we are asked to give for some worthy cause and I am ready to cheap out, Tom will look at me and remind me of how much we have been given and that we should pass it on. Then he will name an amount that makes me gasp. Sometimes, very rarely, he will say something like, "Isn't this what that story about burying the talents is all about?"
Tom applies thoroughly practical thinking and a dispassionate view of "the big picture" in answering questions like the ones that people in the blogosphere will argue over for days. In one or two sentences he can bring things into a perspective that has been totally lost by people who spill tons of ink (or bytes) on issues. And then ... wait for it ... he lets people make up their own minds.
This is hugely important, and in my view, is one of the key ways that he "lives his faith" to the greatest degree. He trusts the person to think for themselves and make their own decisions. This, largely, is how we also deal with each other in our marriage. One or the other of us will bring something up (oh, let's say what we already know ... I usually am bringing the things up) and we will discuss it and then we will let it drop for each to consider in their own way. He doesn't push me to do things his way and (believe it or not) I don't push him to do things my way. We trust each other to be honest in our considerations and our responses.
It is amazingly effective. And after a day in the blogosphere what a relief it is.