Archive for ‘tips and advice’
“Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Ps 51:3) On this first Sunday of Lent, make plans to go to confession as a family sometime during Lent. Frequenting the Sacrament of Penance is a great “practice run” for asking forgiveness from your spouse.
What’s your favorite religious or spiritual book other than the Bible? Why has it touched you so? Has your spouse also read it? If your favorite is not the same, time to try a new book!
The lay movement Teams of Our Lady asks its members (married couples) to have a “sit down” once a month, where husband and wife set aside time to give each other undivided attention and share what’s on their hearts. Could this practice benefit your marriage?
Personality is like eye color – there’s not a right or wrong kind. It’s also not crucial that couples be the same. Often, however, arguments start when we expect our spouse to think and act just like us. Be open to your spouse’s differences.
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” What a sobering thought after the playfulness of Mardi Gras. Take time today to thank God for your spouse, realizing that your earthly time together won’t last forever.
Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” is about more than decadence and parades. It’s a chance to let your lighter side play. If you’re the serious type, lighten up for a day. If you’re already lighter than air, take responsibility for humoring your spouse.
Lent is just a few days away. Have you spoken yet with your spouse about ideas to grow spiritually this Lent? Set aside time to do so today, and talk about how you can encourage each other.
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” Jesus asks his disciples (Mt 6:27). (The answer is “no.”) What do you get anxious about? Share it with your spouse. Pray together for the gift of peace.
(Reader’s Tip) Talk behind your spouse’s back…to God. If there is something your spouse is struggling with or trying to discern, your prayers on their behalf are very important.
“Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk 1:15) Any two people who live as closely as husband and wife are bound to emotionally hurt each other at times. It may be a careless word or wanting your way. Don’t be too proud to repent. “I’m sorry” is the first step; making amends is the next.
Lent is approaching. Is there a bad habit that you would like to eliminate? Anything you wouldn’t want to teach your children to do? Lent and your children can give you the motivation to let go of it. Ask your spouse for help.
Communication tip: Agree in advance that when a conversation gets heated, either spouse can call a “time out.” Take at least 20 minutes to cool down and process what was said before regrouping and continuing the discussion.
Married couples and priests need each other. Is there a priest in your life – your pastor, or a former teacher? – whom you could invite to dinner, or to a family event? Or make a point of remembering his ordination anniversary or birthday.
President’s Day can help us reflect: what does it mean to lead? What does it mean to protect and to seek the common good? These are questions for both presidents and spouses.
“Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness” (Ps 103:8). In these words, God gives married couples a blueprint for life together! Ask the Lord for help to love your spouse as God loves him/her.
Do you remember what Scriptures were read at your wedding? Look them up today and read them to each other. Do they say something different to you than they did on your wedding day?
“Your sins I remember no more” (Is 43:25). “Child, your sins are forgiven” (Mk 2:5). We humans hold grudges – but that is not the way of God, the way of love. Let go of an annoyance or fault of your beloved today. Don’t bring it up again.
“Marriage is not merely a private institution.” (USCCB, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan) Marriage matters for many people beyond the married couple: children, neighbors, friends. Reflect today on all the lives your marriage has touched.
One of the most reliable predictors of a lifelong marriage is the commitment to a lifelong marriage. Put the “D word” (divorce) off the negotiating table. Commitment pushes you toward solutions, and perhaps a counselor.
What’s the most romantic trip you can take? Perhaps it’s a trip down memory lane. On this day of love, remember how you met, your first date, your first kiss, your proposal/acceptance, your first night as a married couple, etc.
What’s your spouse’s favorite treat? See if you guessed right. Now you’ve got an idea for a little way to show love; it’s just a matter of when you surprise your beloved with it.
“Go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift,” Jesus says to his disciples (Mt 5:24). Is there anyone you need to reconcile with? Perhaps your spouse? A child? A parent or parent-in-law? Pray for opportunities to heal a broken or tense relationship.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, give your spouse a gift of memory. If you haven’t already, memorize your wedding vows. Few people like to memorize but it’s a way to keep your vows always in mind.
An easy way to deepen your marriage today: Find one interesting tidbit (article, blog entry, exercise…) on www.ForYourMarriage.org and share it with your spouse.
Renew your vows today or on Valentine’s Day. “I _____ take you _____ to be my wife/husband. I promise to be faithful to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life.”