Archive for ‘tips and advice’
“A Canaanite woman … called out, “Have pity on me, Lord! … My daughter is tormented by a demon.” (Mt 15:22) Jesus healed the daughter. Sometimes it is our intense love for our children that drives us to seek God. Let a child be a vehicle of grace for you today.
Procrastination. The Christian Family Movement suggests: If not now, when? If not me, who? If not here, where? Are you putting something off until the kids are older, the house paid for, your teeth flossed? Relationships don’t always wait for some day, one day.
Do you talk too much? As necessary as communication within the family is, sometimes spouses and children can tune you out if you tend to be long winded. This is not something you can self-diagnose. Ask your honey or kids for help, and avoid TMI (Too Much Information).
“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes!” (Jack Handey) To curb the urge to criticize your beloved, you may need a little distance and perspective, but make sure to come back.
“Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” (John 6:12) Our society often promotes wasteful habits. Be grateful for all that God has blessed you with and share what your family has with others.
Even if you’re newly married, try imagining what it will be like to grow old together. As Robbie Hart sings in the “The Wedding Singer,” I’ll “carry you around when your arthritis is bad…get your medicine when your tummy aches…even let ya hold the remote control.”
Although it’s risky to assume your spouse can read your mind, a perceptive spouse can pick up negative feelings and attitudes through vibes and non-verbals. If you hold a negative thought toward your spouse (nag, selfish, jerk…), try changing your mind; the feelings may follow.
God’s wondrous plan for husbands and wives: “They shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Natural Family Planning helps couples to unite fully not only in body but also in spirit. Experience sex the way God created it!
“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine…?” (Rom 8:35) Try substituting your spouse’s name for “Christ.” Jesus never said it would be easy. Call on the power of God and your commitment to each other during hard times.
Saying “I love you” out loud is important, but sometimes indirect gestures of love make an even stronger impact. Be creative. Put your love in writing as a love letter or a short “sweet note” hidden in some unexpected place where your beloved will find it.
Even though married couples share an intimate life together, sometimes talking directly about sex can feel awkward. Learning Natural Family Planning gives you language and a daily routine to prompt those sensitive discussions.
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mk 6:31) Don’t forget to take some times for yourselves to rest. Take a vacation, or just an hour, to be quiet and still. Try to turn off your phone so that you can focus on relaxing.
A toy or experience that has been ‘longed for’ is much more appreciated. Ungrateful children usually have too much stuff. Don’t let guilt cause you to mistake a child’s desire for a command. The same applies to adults.
Happiness tip #4: Happiness can be fleeting. Selfless love has the potential to carry a couple over the long haul and bring abiding joy. Is there some way you can be selfless today? Don’t aim for every day, just today—one day at a time.
Happiness tip #3: Simplicity can be very satisfying, especially when a couple has goals of service that they explore together. It doesn’t mean you never splurge, but rather these “things” are not the ultimate source of joy in your relationship.
Happiness tip #2: Happiness is about more than laughter, but laughter heals and bonds. Laugh together today. Watch a funny TV program or movie, tell each other a silly joke, play a practical joke that won’t backfire, or reminisce about the crazy things you’ve done during your life together.
Happiness tip #1: As humans we all seek happiness, but what the world suggests will make us happy is often temporary bliss. A loving spouse can be a doorway to happiness, but being happy often results from giving it away. Bring some happiness to another today.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant…finding a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” (Mt 13:45-46) In your vocation of marriage, your spouse is like that pearl. God has called you together. Don’t let work, or projects, or hobbies, or even your children, bump him […]
“He instructed them to take nothing for the journey.” (Mark 6:8) It is easy to get caught up in our material possessions and worldly desires. Do not allow yourself or your family to become consumed by them. There is nothing that we can buy that would compare to the blessings of eternal life.
St. Benedict taught his monks to have a “rule of life” to order their days. What would your family’s “rule of life” be? Work, leisure, meals, prayer, etc.?
Social Media Tip: Make your status “married” and refer to your spouse in respectful, loving ways on the Internet, lest anyone wonder whether you are available. Let your spouse know your password. There should be nothing to hide.
Technology is wonderful when it works, but sometimes it robs couples of face time. Use tools like e-mailing, Facebook, and texting to connect with each other, not disconnect. A live spouse is better than a virtual one.
Check out the ads in the paper today. List five things you don’t need. Bingo! You’ve reduced your consumer quotient. Free your family of unnecessary clutter and stuff. Hopefully, it will open some time for a walk, a game, or just being with your beloved and kids.
“For we do not know how to pray as we ought.” (Rom 8:26) Prayer is good for anyone, at any time, but many couples aren’t sure how to pray together. It may feel like letting another into one’s private world. Check out 10 Pointers for Prayer or Who me, Pray?…With Her? for a start.
Don’t rush to supply activities when your child complains, “I don’t have anything to do!” A certain amount of boredom is a pre-requisite for creativity. Besides, you can run yourself ragged trying to entertain a child 24-7. Save energy for your honey.