Archive for ‘tips and advice’
When is self-care (pampering oneself) legitimate and when is it just selfish? Does your self-care interfere with the urgent need of your spouse or child? Does one of you claim to need it a lot more than the other? Try to be fair.
Your domestic church—church of the home—is intimately connected to the larger church. Just as you pray for family members, pray for church leaders, especially during this time of transition.
Sometimes having a romantic evening together means doing less – like eliminating something from your calendar that’s stealing time. Do you really have to watch that TV show, wash the curtains, attend that meeting? Let it go.
How does one respond in love when you’re angry with your spouse? Usually it requires calling a “time out” on yourself. After you calm down a bit, you might say, “I still feel pretty upset. Can we talk about this in an hour or later today?” How do you usually handle anger?
The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42) is about secrets and conundrums: how to get water, how many husbands, secret food. Spouses should keep no secrets from each other. Is there something you don’t understand about your beloved?
A pediatrician asked a new mom when she and her husband were going to have a date that week. The doctor said, “I’m serious. Unless you agree to have a weekly date, you can find another pediatrician. Your child is more likely to thrive if your marriage is strong.”
Have you prayed together during Lent (not just grace before meals)? Try saying a prayer together before bedtime, or share your reflections on a short passage of Scripture.
In conversation, what’s the difference between listening and being quiet? Listening takes effort to really understand your beloved and find a few words to summarize his/her position. Being quiet may just mean you’re waiting for a pause to get your words in edgewise.
Happily married couples often say they married their best friend. What are the qualities of friendship that you value? Loyalty? Sense of humor? Similar interests? A pleasing personality? Thank your spouse for being a friend.
Have you ever tried a “tech fast”? For one day resolve not to use any technology – no TV, computer, cell phone, iPod, etc. Temporarily going without can put you in solidarity with those who don’t have a choice.
How are you doing with your Lenten resolutions? Keeping them can be easier if you and your spouse hold each other accountable.
Today’s Gospel is the account of the Transfiguration. Just as Jesus’s body was “glorified,” marriage can be an experience of miraculous ecstasy – not all the time, but at special moments. It is a grace that carries us through the mundane times. Share a time of ecstasy.
If one must choose the hardest stage of parenthood, it would perhaps be the teen years. They’re too big to carry to their room but too young to always make good decisions. Assure your teen that you will always love them – no matter what.
Tis the season to be sick. Perhaps you’ve avoided it. Sooner or later, however, one of you will feel under the weather. How does your beloved like to be cared for? Lots of attention or “Just leave me alone, honey.” Give what he/she needs, not what you would have liked.
“We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.” (Henry David Thoreau). Do you consider yourself richer or poorer than average? During this Lent is there a want that you can let go of?
Did you resolve to pray more during Lent? End each evening by praying together, thanking God for your spouse and the blessings of the day.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child…when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” (1 Cor 13:11) Reminisce about your respective childhoods. Name one childhood trait that serves you well and one childish trait that stresses your marriage.
(President’s Day) The holiday is good for more than a day off work. Who is your favorite President and why? Discuss with each other what heroic quality caused you to make your choice. How is your beloved heroic?
The devil tempted Jesus with food, power, glory, and safety. (Lk 4:1-13) What is the greatest temptation to your marriage? Overwork? Inattentiveness? Sports? Technology? Wanting to be right? Worry about finances, the kids, security? Face it together.
During Lent Christians take on sacrificial practices to deepen their connection with Jesus, who spent 40 days in the desert. Deserts are lonely places where we have to face ourselves, warts and all. Give each other some quiet personal time to ponder this mystery today.
Spiritually Lent is a time to take stock of our lives, see what we can live without and notice who needs our help. Clean out a closet. Clean out your soul – maybe it’s time to go to to confession. Do you know how to make an examination of conscience?
(Valentine Day). Merchants make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. Flowers, chocolate, and cards are nice, but often a moneyless gift from the heart can be more precious. Be creative. Surprise each other. You can still do chocolate!
(Ash Wednesday) Today we begin the penitential season of Lent. As you reflect on what personal penitential practice you might take on during Lent, also consider if there is something that you’d like to do as a team. Pray together, fast from sweets, no complaining…
(Mardi Gras) Today is Mardi Gras – the feast before the fast. There are times of feasting and fasting in marriage also. What’s your favorite way to celebrate good times in your marriage? Can you surprise your honey with a treat today?
Laughter is one of the best stress reducers. Spouses can do this for each other by bringing a little comic relief when your beloved feels overworked or stressed out. You don’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny, just your usual corny self.