Since we knew we were expecting a child, my wife has avoided any food or drink that might harm our baby and actively taken steps each day to protect and strengthen him. She avoids situations that might stress him and speaks to him regularly throughout the day. She will take extra care to have food and supplements that help our baby even if they cause her discomfort.
My thoughts are that all of us in a state of grace have an amazing gift within us. Do I take as much care of that grace within me as my wife does for our son?
My wife's example challenged me to do everything possible to remain in a state of grace: weekly confession and Mass, daily examination of conscience, regular conversational prayer with Christ and to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me any areas of unforgiveness within that is preventing me from living a grace filled life.
Scripture itself speaks powerfully of the link between confession and efficacious prayer: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16) When we remain in a state of grace we can powerfully impact our families by our prayer - being the leaders our wives and children need.
As I pray for and give thanks for my wife and son, I should also do the same for the great gift of grace and ask God to protect the gift within.