Archive for June, 2011
Problems are part of every marriage. The U.S. Catholic Bishops have identified a variety of resources to help couples with marital difficulties–everything from skills-building programs and support groups to professional counseling.
As the wedding day approaches, Sara discusses handling unexpected obstacles in the planning process (both large and small) and what really matters in the end.
(Reader’s Tip) Get involved in a marriage ministry or lay spirituality group. “Marriage ministry has been a wonderful support to us. Our love grows stronger each day.”
Marriage Challenge (0-7 years): Blending personalities, customs, family traditions, and financial decision making. Which has been hardest for you? For your spouse?
All Christians hope to get to heaven. But our traditional images of heaven–clouds, harps and white-robed angels–can make it seem somewhat boring. What’s the problem with our language about heaven?
Josh and Stacey have set ground rules, including a waiting period, if either wants to get a tattoo. Stacey discusses the wisdom of allowing time and space before making a decision, especially when it involves permanency.
Marriage Challenge (0-7 years): Blending personalities, customs, family traditions, and financial decision making. Which has been easiest for you? For your spouse?
“There are different forms of service but the same Lord” (1 Cor. 12:5). Equality doesn’t mean sameness. As males and females we are differently made. As human beings we have unique talents and personalities. How does your spouse “serve” your family and the community?
As desired as children usually are in a marriage, they can also bring stress. Don’t let arguments over child discipline sap your energy and alienate you from each other. Take a break. Build a list of a few reliable sitters.
Do marriage education efforts really work? Yes, says Scott Stanley, a noted researcher at the University of Denver. The latest focus: Relationship education to help individuals “realize their own aspirations for success in marriage.”
(Reader’s Tip) “When my husband has to work an overnight shift due to bad weather, I make sure he has fresh sheets and a clean blanket to crawl into.”
The engagement period is drawing to a close. Justin and Sara reflect on what they’ve learned and how it will help them as husband wife.
We remember what we want to hear. For example, my husband asked me to take out the trash. I unintentionally but conveniently “forgot” because it was cold and I figured it could probably wait another day.
Triangles are the most stable geometric form. Invite God into your marriage to make it a threesome. Prayer to God can provide a perspective when both of you want your own way.
The grace of the sacrament of marriage can change the couple. How can this happen? Josh gives a concrete example.
Marriage is not so much a matter of finding the right partner as being the right partner. Although some people have a natural talent for relationships some skills can be learned. Help is available at ForYourMarriage.org.
“Do what’s natural” is a common approach to many important decisions. Have you considered using a natural method to plan your family? Check out Natural Family Planning (NFP). It’s only natural.
“Everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine” (John 17:9). Although Jesus was addressing his Father with these words, they also apply to married couples. Are there any possessions that you are reluctant to share with your beloved?
What’s the difference between constructive criticism and nagging? Repetition. Unless your spouse is hard of hearing, trust that saying your criticism once (or at most twice) is enough.
When Christianity’s positive vision of the human body is grasped, the greatness of the vocation to love comes into clearer view, the pope told participants in a meeting sponsored in Rome by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He challenged the group to link the theology of the body to the theology of love.
“On their wedding day the couple says a definitive “yes” to their vocation of marriage. Then the real work of marriage begins” (Love and Life in the Divine Plan).
Sarah receives an unusual wedding present, prompting her to think about what she and Justin have learned during the marriage preparation process.
(Ascension Thursday) Lift up your spouse today – a compliment, a favor, help with a chore. Not only will it lift your partner’s spirit, it’s amazing how these kind deeds return to bless us.
Clinical psychologist Ray Guarendi argues that most marriages, no matter how close to the point of no return, can still be healed. He says that small steps, such as saying “I’m sorry,” can yield big rewards.
On Sunday, June 5, most dioceses will celebrate the feast of the Ascension, when Jesus returned to the Father. Why couldn’t the risen Christ simply have stayed on earth, guiding the Church for all time?