Archive for April, 2014
“Marriage…is to be a school for nurturing gratitude.” (USCCB, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan) How do you foster gratitude in your marriage? Try coming up with three things every night to be grateful for. Add them to a “gratitude journal” and count your blessings!
If you want someone to change, encouragement is more effective than criticism. Look for one thing about your spouse or child’s behavior that you can compliment today. Although easier with pre-schoolers, perhaps sending an older child an e-mail or text would work. Kiss your spouse.
Hosanna to the King of Kings! The start of Holy Week – with its stark reading of Jesus’ Passion – is a great reminder to reexamine our hearts. Is Jesus the King of our marriage and our home? Pray to enter fully into Holy Week with your spouse and children.
Take a trip down memory lane. Retell the story of your engagement and wedding day to each other or your kids. What was the craziest, funniest, most endearing part of these milestones for you?
Stations of the Cross is a revered Lenten tradition. Parish DRE Daniel Allen reflects on the Stations in light of the vocation of marriage and the realities of family life.
Fighting Fair Tip: Use “I feel” statements. This is an old standby but it still works. Instead of saying, “You make me so angry when you…” say, “I feel upset when you… Would you be willing to …” It’s not a magic cure but it decreases defensiveness.
Is the internet robbing you of couple time? Sure it saves time and answers a lot of questions, but it can also be an addiction. If your spouse complains about it, it’s a problem. Decide on mutually agreeable limits.
Do one or both of you struggle with pornography use? Despite what the culture says, pornography use is never okay. It can cause severe harm to marriages and families. For help, visit www.foryourmarriage.org and search for “Overcoming obstacles: pornography.”
Don’t let the “terrible trifles” eat away at your marriage. If the kind of toilet paper is important to your wife, don’t fight it. If your husband likes to buy in bulk to save money, it may be an annoyance but not the hill you want to die on. Try to find the good in […]
Do you find yourself giving your spouse the “dregs” of your time? Whatever your life circumstances, making time for one another is an ongoing challenge. Try taking a good hard look at how you spend your time: what could be cut out? Could you “schedule in” your spouse more often?
A few months before his wedding day, Anthony writes about “the manly art of waiting” and how he realized that he wasn’t waiting for an abstract list of adjectives but for a person named Sara.
And Jesus wept.” (Jn 11:45) Such meaning for so short a verse! Spouses share in each other’s joys…and sorrows. Don’t be afraid to weep together when heartbreaking things happen. Jesus showed his love for Lazarus through his tears.
A meal is a holy thing to share. Who cooks, prepares the table, or cleans up in your family? Is one of you very nutrition conscious and the other not? It doesn’t have to be gourmet to be healthy and delicious. Who talks the most? Who leads a prayer? Share it all.
In his April 2 audience, Pope Francis spoke about the sacrament of marriage and practical ways married couples can live their vocation to be a sign of God’s love.
Did you know that there are many married saints? If you’re not familiar with any, do some research. You might start with reading about St. Thomas More, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. Gianna Molla.
Parents-in-law can be a great support both practically and emotionally to a young married couple, but the negative jokes and stereotypes about in-laws aren’t created out of thin air. If there’s in-law tension in your marriage, talk about boundaries and always treat your spouse’s parents with respect.
Pope Francis asked married couples: “How are things when it comes to joy at home? Is there joy in your family?” How would you answer the Pope? He said that true joy “comes from a profound harmony between persons.”
Is lifelong married love possible? Proponents of “conscious uncoupling” say no, but Pope Francis says a resounding “yes!”
Do you like April Fools’ Day pranks…or do they unsettle you? Learning your own temperament, and that of your spouse, can help avoid behaving in a way that’s natural to you but that bothers your spouse. It can also be an opportunity for both of you to grow.
In his memoir about his wife’s death to cancer at the age of 32, Chris Faddis provides an intimate glimpse of loss, faith, despair and hope.