Archive for October, 2011
Ten-year-old Oscar has started to play organized sports. Josh believes that sports are “a way to grow in excellence through cultivation of habits.” He discusses three hopes he has for his children when it comes to athletics.
(Halloween) Do you have a “mask” that you hide behind at work or for company? Sometimes putting on a “good face” is necessary, but don’t let your spouse just get the dregs of your energy and good manners. Be your best real self with your beloved.
“You recall, brothers, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you.” (1 Th 2:9) Presumably both of you work and toil for the good of the family – whether within or outside the home. What is your most disliked chore? Consider trading for a day.
“Children need time and space, attention, affection, guidance and conversation…They need jokes, play and touching. They need to have stories told to them by adults who know and love them.” (Mary Pipher) Which one are you best at giving? Weakest?
A new research study finds that a couple’s attitudes towards money, not always money itself, can stress a marriage. Read how materialism can hurt a marriage and who is most at risk.
(Reader’s Tip) “Remind myself to tell him how much I appreciate him everyday even when we’re struggling. It might just be “Thank you for taking out the trash for me.”
Sara reflects on being a fair-weather fan–of a team or of the Church. In recognition of Priesthood Sunday (October 30) she identifies three priests in her life whose joy and example inspire her to be more than a fair-weather Catholic.
Re-connecting after a trip? There are typically two conflicting needs. The traveling spouse might be looking forward to relaxing while the at-home spouse may be looking for reinforcements. Connect first by talking, then reinforce, and finally you’ve earned relaxation time.
Don’t feel especially loving today (or some days)? Try doing a loving action. It might be physical like a hug, or intellectual like writing a love note. Emotions often follow an action. Remember that love is an action verb.
“Marriage, then, is to be a school for nurturing gratitude…and for openness to the gifts of God that are proper for marriage” (Love and Life in the Divine Plan). How do you show gratitude for gifts in your marriage?
Three children, three sets of ideas about mealtimes. As Stacey says, “After we work hard to put a good healthy meal on the table, it is incredibly discouraging to have one of them take their seat and immediately complain or tell us exactly what they refuse to eat.”
Be a “Doubting Thomas.” If you’re about to accuse your spouse of losing an important paper, forgetting to write that thank you note, or a thousand other irksome offenses, try giving your beloved the benefit of the doubt first. Maybe you misunderstood.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22:39) This oft quoted phrase can be deceiving. It depends on an honest love of self and then transferring that attitude to your neighbor – and of course your closest neighbor is your spouse. Don’t put yourself down today.
Do you know the names of the people on your street? Who is home when? The more you know your neighbors, the better they can be extra eyes, ears, and a helpful hand to your children. Be those eyes for your neighbor’s children, too.
Threats to religious liberty in the United States are mounting, say the nation’s Catholic Bishops. Examples include mandated coverage of contraception and sterilization in insurance plans, conscience protection for charitable workers, and efforts to redefine marriage.
(Reader’s Tip) “Before marriage, get on the same page on all major topics, like religion, money, kids, etc. Then have a meeting with each other at least once a month…Dinner dates/meetings are great!”
What should Sara and Justin say to well-meaning friends who ask if they’re expecting yet? Sara welcomes your advice.
Secret of a memorable date night: Novelty is more important than just doing the familiar. Sometimes the tried and true is fine, but often the effort to think of something wild and crazy wins points for trying harder – even if you discover the drive-in theater closed 3 years ago.
Let’s fantasize. “If you suddenly had a million dollars given to you, how would you use it?” (Better Marriages monthly discussion question) Is your answer different from your beloved’s? Could any of the money be spent to strengthen other marriages?
Four-year-old Lucy’s bedtime demands leave Josh feeling frustrated. How does he cope?
What’s your decision-making style? Slow or fast? Do you weigh the pros and cons? Go with your gut feeling? Defer to the other? Now, how does your style mesh with your spouse’s? Being similar can make life easier, but being different can cover all the bases.
Greg and Julie Alexander seemed to have the perfect marriage. Then they hit rock bottom. The Alexanders tell their story of personal conversion that led to the founding of The Alexander House, dedicated to marriage and family education and enrichment.
“Each generation of a family is challenged to leave the world a more beautiful and beneficial place than it inherited.” (Follow the Way of Love, USCCB)
“Then the Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap [Jesus] in speech.” (Mt 22:15) Do you ever try to “entrap” your spouse to win an argument? Must one of you always have the last word?
Research says it takes five positive comments to counteract one negative. Try keeping track for one day. If you have children and they’re old enough, maybe they’d like to take part in the count.