Archive for November, 2013
The Advent season this year begins Sunday, November 30th. How does your family celebrate Advent? Here is a list of time-honored traditions to prepare your hearts and home for the coming of the Christ Child.
What is a unique endearing quality of your beloved? Have you told your spouse? No harm in saying it again. Do it today.
(Thanksgiving) For most families Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect. It’s also a time when in-laws often mix. Happy marriages benefit from healthy extended families. Seek to know at least one extended family member better today. Don’t fight. Bite your tongue if you must.
What are you thankful for? Jot down your answers. Is your spouse on the list?
The holiday season is about to start. How will you and your spouse connect with each other during this busy time? Make a plan to share an activity at least once a week, even if it’s just coffee at the local cafe.
Is it possible to marry yourself? How about an inanimate object? Reflecting on recent trends, Emily Macke writes about the importance of *another person* to the communion of man and woman that is marriage.
You may be starting to think about what to get your beloved for Christmas. Consider a “Gift of Words.” Put 10 (25, 52, whatever) reasons that you love your spouse on separate pieces of colored paper and put them in a jar or envelope. Voila! A priceless gift from the heart.
The Thanksgiving feast is over, the house full of stuff or people. It’s a great opportunity to tell others something you appreciate about them today.
What is your spouse’s attitude towards sickness? Do they want to be left alone or fussed over? Find out, and let your spouse know what you prefer.
Take a trip down memory lane. Remember your first date or the first time you said, “I love you” to your beloved. Recall the early days of your courtship and how you came to recognize that you wanted to spend your lives together. Who knew it first?
President Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” These words can be applied to marriage. “Ask not what your beloved can do for you, but what you can do for your beloved.” Answer the question today.
After a disastrous “eating out” experience, Justin and Sara talk about how it’s too easy to settle for low standards instead of striving for excellence – a principle that applies to family life as well as restaurants.
Some individuals are poor, some have disabilities, some are facing a personal crisis. Pick a person who is struggling and imagine yourself in their shoes today. It might be a family member or someone you’ve heard about on the news. Developing empathy makes you easier to love.
How do you talk to your children about tragedy and suffering? Josh offers some practical advice here about how he and his wife help their children respond with hope and charity to other people’s suffering.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Mt 25:35-36) Which of these works of mercy do you already do? As a couple?
“A man never stands as tall as when he stoops to help a child.” (Knights of Pythagoras) Stooping and bending are perhaps done even more by women. Is caring for your child(ren) shared by both of you in a fair way?
November is national adoption month. Rob and Robin Laird share their experience of adopting six children from foster care. “God…gave us the gift of serving the lives of those children He placed before us, and we are ever grateful for this gift.”
Money and Jobs: Finding the right balance involves weighing whether having more time or more money is a higher priority at a given point in time. It takes time to cook at home, do your own repairs, or cleaning, but paying someone else to do it may mean working longer hours at your job.
Are you a skunk, a turtle, or an owl? In terms of conflict resolution, skunks just make a stink about it, often with a lot of noise. Turtles ignore or hide from the problem. Owls look the problem over, think about it, then suggest a solution. Be wise or be roadkill.
Social Media rule for couples: Make it clear on your profile that you are married and refer to your spouse in complimentary ways. Share your passwords with each other readily. No need to hide if it’s truly innocent.
The shorter days can make it more difficult to maintain your fitness activities. Do you need to adjust your routine? Does your spouse need encouragement or help to stay physically fit?
Getting married doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel attracted to someone other than your spouse. Stacey writes here about how she and Josh have navigated this situation with honesty and clear boundaries. The key: “Always and everywhere, I am Joshua’s wife.”
How do you make time for your spouse? Is time together a priority in your relationship? Sara and Justin reflect on the value of setting aside time just to be together.
“I love my husband…I just don’t like him.” That’s a commonly-heard phrase in couples mediation, says Laurie Puhn, author of the book Fight Less, Love More and the new marriage enrichment course based on the book. Read Laurie’s advice on how to foster love in the midst of daily life and misunderstandings.
Traditional advice to newlyweds: Never go to a place you wouldn’t take your wife. Don’t go to bed angry. Always part and greet with a kiss. What advice would you give a newly married couple?