Archive for ‘tips and advice’
Today is Inauguration Day. Let us pray that our new president will be guided by truth and justice as he leads our country for the next four years, especially in matters of human dignity, marriage, and family life.
Winning an argument is not about proving you’re right. It’s not YOUR problem or MY problem. It’s OUR problem. Sometimes the marriage can win if you lose.
You may not think about your decision to marry as a call from God, but rather as an intense attraction to your beloved. Hmm, isn’t that what compelled the apostles to follow Jesus?
“Where you put your time, you put your life.” (Clayton Barbeau) What are your deepest values? Does the way you spend your time reflect these? If not, why not? Take charge.
Do you have a dream for your life together? You may not express it like Martin Luther King did, but having a dream gives direction to your life. Tell each other your dreams.
“Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.” (Ps 40:8a, 9a) When’s the last time you and your spouse have prayed together to know God’s will for your family? Spend time today asking the Lord what more he has to teach you. Pray to be always ready to do His will.
Parenting can be a joy but can also put stress on a marriage. Parenting young children can be physically demanding, and parenting teens might be emotionally draining. Take time today to reconnect with your spouse.
“Then they abandoned their nets and followed [Jesus].” (Mk 1:18) The apostles were ready to leave their work to follow Jesus. Work is necessary to pay bills and raise kids, but sometimes our job can steal time needed for our vocation – marriage. Ask your spouse if your work is in balance.
Does your job rob you of couple time? Are you “married” to your job? For those whose work is in the home (both paid and unpaid), consider the same questions. Does taking care of your children or your volunteer work consume so much time that no energy or time is left for your beloved? Readjust.
Even if it’s not your cup of tea, sometimes it’s worth doing something with your honey, just because it pleases the other person. For example, watch her favorite movie or his favorite sport, try dancing together, take a lesson…
Did you know that your marriage gladdens the hearts of the bishops? “We rejoice that so many couples are living in fidelity to their marital commitment,” the bishops wrote in Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan. Your marriage matters!
“Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” (Mt 3:13) Remember your baptism today, and that of your children. Look at pictures and share memories. Are you a godmother or godfather? Pray for your godchild today.
“They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.” (Mt 10: 11) Spend some time today as a family basking in the joy of Christmas. Visit a nativity scene and pray together.
What makes a happy marriage? Many things of course, but one glue that helps a lot of couples is being able to laugh when things go wrong. Is there a blunder that happened in your past that you’re now able to laugh about?
January 6 (the 12th day after Christmas) is the traditional date of the Epiphany when the three wise men honored Jesus with gifts. Debrief what you liked (or disliked) about your gift giving this Christmas and consider new ways you can be more generous next year.
“Welcoming a child, through birth or adoption, is an act of faith as well as an act of love.” (Follow the Way of Love) Pray for couples who want a child but are infertile as well as for those who have an untimely pregnancy and are afraid. Bless your child today.
“On the 11th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 11 Pipers Piping.” Now who needs 11 pipers? Maybe the appropriate interpretation would be to share music today. What’s your beloved’s favorite song? Play it or sing it. You don’t have to be good, just willing to try.
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Phil 2:10) Catholics have always held the name of Jesus in high esteem. Do you give His name the precious devotion and reverence He deserves?
“On the 9th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 9 ladies dancing.” Dancing is not only for ladies or newlyweds. Try it. If you have children, include them. It needn’t be ballroom to be fun. Think the Hokey Pokey, or dance to your first dance song again.
“When eight days were completed…he was named Jesus.” (Lk 2:21) You’ve been “wearing” your own name for many years now. Do you like it? Do you know what it means? Does your spouse have a special nickname for you? If you have children, do they know the meaning of their names?
New Year’s Eve can be a rousing time – if you’re single. Less so, if you’re married, and even more complicated if you have young children. Why not use this day to take stock of what you liked best about last year? Share it in a quiet moment with your honey and kids.
Today’s first reading reminds us to honor our parents all the days of our lives. Do you treat your spouse’s parents with the same respect you treat your own? Do you help your spouse take care of their needs?
“On the 5th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – 5 Golden Rings.” Take a look at your wedding band today with your spouse. It represents a covenant you made, one more precious than gold. Together, thank God for the beautiful blessings of the Sacrament of Marriage!
“On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 4 Calling Birds.” Songbirds are recognizable by their distinct melodies. Is there something only you call your spouse? If you’re shy about terms of endearment, give it a try anyway.
“On the 3rd Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 3 French Hens.” French hens are known for their gentleness. Be gentle with each other today; a tender caress or a soothing word would be perfect.