Archive for ‘tips and advice’
Flowers are blooming and nature is looking green. A change of season can boost your mood and refresh your perspective. Slow down to revel in the beauty of this season with your spouse today.
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Do you need to ask forgiveness from your spouse? Maybe you need to offer it. If there’s nothing recent to forgive, forgive someone you’ve been holding a grudge against.
Marriage is easier if both of you are of the same faith and relatively equal devoutness. Still, interreligious couples sometimes are pulled into deeper understanding of their faith when explaining it to their beloved and learning about another religion. Praying at home is often unifying.
While your beloved is either handsome or beautiful to you, many men and women are dissatisfied with their bodies – it’s too heavy, too thin, too old, too weak. Although love doesn’t depend on appearances, taking care of oneself is a gift to your spouse.
“Not as man does God see…the Lord looks into the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7) Do you look into your spouse’s heart? Do you let them look into yours? Cherish the opportunity to go beyond appearances with the one you love.
In the midst of the penance and purple of Lent, a feast of such good news! “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,” the angel tells Mary. Couples who await their own “annunciation” bear a heavy burden. Pray for them today, and thank God for the gift of your children if […]
Are you, or someone you know, in a troubled marriage? You don’t have to live with the pain; there are people to help you work toward a better marriage. Many couples have worked their way back to satisfying and stronger marriages. Check out The Third Option or Retrouvaille for starters.
“In a family you don’t have to look very far to find your cross,” a father observes in Follow the Way of Love. Who in your family seems to have a mission to purify YOU today, to teach you patience, or to challenge you? What cross do you bring to the others in your family?
Share a childhood memory. Who was your best friend, or your favorite subject in school? What seemed like a crisis at the time but you were eventually able to overcome or forget? Talk it over.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (Jn 12:24) Has anyone close to you died who has enriched your life? Loss is always hard, but having a spouse to share it with makes it bearable.
March 20 marks the Spring Equinox. With the beginning of Spring our earth renews itself. Learn something new about your spouse today – no matter how long you’ve been married.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Ps 95:8) Do you harden your heart against God, or against your spouse? Pray today for a tenderness of heart toward your beloved, even when he or she repeats an annoying habit.
Fighting Fair Tip: Avoid the kitchen sink. This doesn’t mean you can’t argue in the kitchen but rather, keep to the topic. Don’t bring up “everything but the kitchen sink.”
Legend has it that St. Patrick expressed the mystery of the Trinity through the symbol of the shamrock. Marriage is like that too – the unity of husband, wife, and God. Parenthood is another example of how 1 +1 = 3. How counterintuitive but true our faith is!
Married couples are the ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage to each other. How do you minister to each other in your daily life? Don’t forget to pray for all the graces of your sacrament!
Resist the urge to buy something new this week. Have each person in the family pick one possession to give away during Lent. Consider gently-used toys, books, or hand-me-downs that need to find a new home.
What’s your favorite prayer or Scripture? Do you know what your spouse’s is? Why not say it together tonight?
Love is so much more than manners, but being chivalrous or kind can reignite a marriage that’s getting too dull. One husband makes a practice of leaping into the bathroom, Superman-style, with a towel to greet his wife after her shower. It may be silly but it’s still charming.
Just as Jesus was transfigured and appeared gloriously to Peter, James, and John (Mk 9: 2-10) so too love for your spouse can bring out the best in the other. Recall for a moment your wedding day and the wonder of seeing each other clothed in splendor.
Are one or both of you retired? It can be a blessing and a challenge. There’s extra time, but perhaps physical limitations are increasing. What do you like most about being retired? What do you like least?
“Then God delivered all these commandments.” (Ex 20:1) Which commandment is most difficult for you? Are you too lenient or harsh on yourself? Sometimes a spouse can be a window into your soul, knowing you even better than you know yourself. Do you dare ask for his/her opinion?
Where is your church? Perhaps it’s closer than you think. A family is “the most basic way in which the Lord gathers us, forms us, and acts in the world. The early Church [called] the Christian family a domestic church or church of the home.” (Follow the Way of Love)
Are there any places in your heart where you have allowed resentment to grow or grudges to fester? Open these parts to God. Ask for His help to soften your heart and see your family through His eyes of love.
Around the house, married couples work out a division of labor between them. Usually it’s based on skills, interest, and time. Is there a particular task you dislike? Talk about it. Then try switching for a month.
It’s natural for couples to have different strengths. Sometimes, however, it’s fun to teach each other a personal skill – like how to sew on a button or play a musical instrument. Teach each other something new today, and be patient!