Archive for July, 2011
Celebrating wedding days takes on a deeper meaning when one realizes that a couple’s success in married life affects not only themselves, but also their communities and all of society. Besides giving gifts and throwing showers, what can we all do to support married couples and encourage strong marriages?
“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine…?” (Romans 8:35) Try substituting your spouse’s name for “Christ.” Jesus never said it would be easy. Call on the power of God and your commitment to each other during hard times.
“A toy or experience that has been ‘longed for’ is much more appreciated. Ungrateful children usually have too much stuff.” (Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference) Don’t let guilt cause you to mistake a child’s desire for a command. The same applies to adults.
Pope Benedict has gone away for memorable vacations in the Italian Alps in past summers. But Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s official spokesman, explained in early July that the pope decided to spend his 2011 summer weeks at Castel Gandolfo, the usual papal summer residence.
(Reader’s Tip) “We went on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend and learned to communicate better using written dialogue. Somehow spending just 15 or 20 minutes a day sharing our feelings creates amazing intimacy.”
Sara and Justin finish up their account of their wedding day. Now newlyweds, it’s time to celebrate with friends and family!
Happiness #4. Happiness can be fleeting. Selfless love has the potential to carry a couple over the long haul and bring abiding joy. Is there some way you can be selfless today? Don’t aim for every day, just today.
Happiness #3. Living in poverty is no fun. Voluntary simplicity, however, can be satisfying, especially when a couple has goals of service that they explore together. It doesn’t mean you never splurge, but that “things” are not the ultimate source of joy in your relationship.
Happiness #2. Happiness is about more than laughter, but laughter heals and bonds. Laugh together today. Watch a funny TV program or movie, tell each other a silly joke, play a practical joke that won’t backfire, or reminisce about the crazy things you’ve done during your life together.
People often ask Stacey and Josh, the parents of three, if they are “done” having children. Certainty is not something Stacey has regarding the size of her family. She explains why that’s not a bad thing.
Happiness #1: As humans we all seek happiness, but what the world suggests will make us happy is often temporary bliss. A loving spouse can be a doorway to happiness, but being happy often results from giving it away. Bring some happiness to another today.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant…finding a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it” (Mt 13:45-46).Your spouse is like that pearl–priceless. Don’t let work, projects, hobbies, or even your children take first place.
The “Unity Candle” has become part of many wedding ceremonies. Does it have a place in a Catholic wedding?
Check out the ads in the paper today. List five things you don’t need. Bingo! You’ve reduced your consumer quotient. Free your family of unnecessary clutter and stuff.
(Reader’s Tip) “My husband and I have joined a coed gym and are learning the workouts side by side. Our plan is to support, encourage (and sometimes push) each other.”
A new study looks at how work affects marriages. It finds significant differences between parents and non-parents, and between fathers and mothers. The researchers point out that all couples can benefit from having a conversation at home if the husband’s or wife’s workday is stressful.
Sara and Justin continue to recount their wedding day. In this posting, they describe the ceremony and the many compliments they received on how beautiful it was.
Social Media Tip: Make your status “married” and refer to your spouse in respectful, loving ways on the internet, lest anyone wonder whether you are available. Let your spouse know your password. There should be nothing to hide.
Technology is wonderful when it works, but sometimes it works too well and robs couples of face time. Use tools like e-mailing, Facebook, and texting to connect with each other, not disconnect. A live spouse is better than a virtual one.
Marriage is a permanent commitment and ideally couples are able to live up to their vows. Sometimes, however, a widow(er) or divorced person finds love anew. Marriage is more complicated the second time around. Take advantage of programs for couples in a second marriage.
While in the grocery store with his three kids, Josh was the victim of a hit and run. It didn’t involve a car, but a bit of unsolicited advice left by an anonymous shopper. Josh recounts his reaction.
“While [spouses] can cling to the unconditional promise they made at their wedding…this will require persistent effort” (Love and Life in the Divine Plan)
“For we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26). Many couples are afraid to pray together. It may feel like letting another into one’s private world. Try praying the “Our Father” together for a start.
Don’t rush to supply activities when your child whines, “I don’t have anything to do!” A certain amount of boredom is a pre-requisite for creativity. Besides, you can run yourself ragged trying to entertain a child 24-7. Save energy for your honey.
The percentage of children in the U.S. living with two parents continues to decline, according to a June 29 report from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the rate of this decline appears to have slowed down significantly. Meanwhile, more and more children live with a grandparent.