Archive for October, 2013
(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.
Now that their son is over a year old, Sara and Justin are getting questions from relatives about when they’ll be sharing another “announcement.” Reflecting on this, Sara writes that while she would love to welcome another child into their family, she knows that that’s ultimately up to God and His timing. “We’re called to discern God’s will for our family,” she writes, and find ways to serve Him and others in the here and now.
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?
Re-connecting after a business 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, finally you’ve earned relaxation time.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 18:9-14) Jesus tells us that those who humble themselves will be exalted. How can I humble myself in marriage today? Make an effort to take the back seat today and let your spouse shine.
Don’t feel especially loving today? 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.
Two months until Christmas! Sit down with your spouse today and do a little pre-planning (shopping lists, travel arrangements) to make the holidays less frantic.
Can parents with small children really bring them to Sunday Mass with good results? Yes, say Josh and Stacey Noem, parents of three. They offer some practical advice for parents who want the experience to be positive for them, their children, and their fellow worshippers.
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.
“Parenting is a constant call to conversion,” says Stacey. Read the second half of her top ten list: things to remember as a parent.
Sara writes about Gus’s new skill…being a witness to life! On a recent trip to a college campus, “Gus spread his joy to people that I never would have been able to talk to by myself.” Sara says that the joy Gus brings to people can remind young men and women of the goodness of all human life.
“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.
Today is the feast of Pope John Paul II, who challenged families to “become what they are.” What hopes do you have for your family? Do you have a vision for your family?
What can Catholics do to prevent domestic violence and help victims of abuse? Read about the work of three Catholics dedicated to ending domestic violence and fostering a culture of family peace.
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.
Today’s Gospel reading (Luke 18:1-8) reminds us of the power of persistence. Do you and your spouse need to persist in something–praying as a family, saving for a home, looking for work? Encourage each other.
Let’s fantasize. “If you suddenly had a million dollars, 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?
In the first of two posts, Stacey explains five key pieces of advice that have guided her as a mother over the years, including setting boundaries and establishing routine.
During a recent visit to his namesake’s hometown of Assisi, Pope Francis spoke to young people about the vocation of marriage. “Don’t be afraid to take definitive steps, such as that of marriage,” said the Holy Father.
An unexpected medical expense gives Sara and Justin a chance to increase their trust in God. They also realize that they’ve grown a lot in their marriage and can handle sudden challenges better now.
Is fall “football season” in your home? Read about how one wife learned to appreciate her husband’s love of football and see it as a chance to love him and spend time together. Touchdown!
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 often make it safer by covering all the bases.
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.
Do you ever try to “entrap” your spouse to win an argument? Must one of you always have the last word? Stop it!