- About the Author
Unit 1 – Sessions 1-4
Evaluating and Understanding – (Love, Sin and Sacrifice)
1) Intro to the Deepest Desire – The Purpose of Covenant and Marriage for this earthly journey
In the beginning we start by understanding the “Deepest Desire” concept and how all creation points to the Creator – especially marriage. We explore why our marriage is vital to our life’s journey and our sanctification; and especially why it is worth fighting for! By understanding God’s Will for us and our marriage, we hope that all who go through this curriculum will be inspired to do whatever it takes to make their marriage the best it can be. What’s the goal of it all – to help our spouse and children on their journey toward HEAVEN!
2) Delving into the Differences – Why God made us “Man” and “Woman”.
In the second session, we start to look at how Our Deepest Desire journey can be complicated by the differences each person brings into marriage. Whether we are aware of how we are different or just know that there are things about my spouse that “I just don’t understand”, we have different personalities, gifts, needs, etc. that may excite us in the dating phase, yet has the potential to frustrate the heck out of us when married life kicks in. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, since our diversity is actually a gift from God for our marriage that can help to push us to become more than we could be on our own. In a sense we are also discovering more about God through exploring the complexity and beauty that can be found in each person. So in this session, we will be delving into the differences!
3) The Deadly Divide – When Sinful Natures cause the Heart to Hide or Deceive
In the third session, we go deeper into how our sinful nature can create a “detour” or even a “roadblock” to discovering Our Deepest Desire. Sin is ultimately a separation of self from God, which in turn also separates us from others who are a source of discovering Him in this world. Sin is meant to divide, but love calls for us to unite. We can look outside of ourselves for someone to blame for this, but we will only be frustrated. Why? Because we either get stuck in fighting all the shadows of the world that we can’t change or we recognize the “wooden beam” in our own eye that is causing our part of the division, and realize that this is what we truly have the power to change. And when we humble ourselves to this end, we see that the world truly can change, but it has to begin with us first. We need unity in order to discover this Deepest Desire, and Satan wants to stop this through encouraging a deadly divide!
4) Getting to the Heart of the Matter – Rediscovering your Spouse and getting back to the “Know”.
In the fourth session, we start to look in a different direction to move closer to discovering Our Deepest Desire. We have taken a look at the sins that have caused our own hearts to “block” this from happening and hopefully have started to work towards reducing and eliminating those divisive patterns. Now, however we are called to look into the heart and mind of our spouse to discover who they are down deep and what gifts God offers to us through them. But in order to do this, we need to discover their needs and dreams so that we can connect and direct our efforts toward helping our spouse in getting them met. This takes courage, patience, and humility because in doing so, we may discover how we have failed at this in the past. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t leave God out of this equation either, because He is the one you are truly working toward discovering. It’s time to love unconditionally and really seek to get to the Heart of the Matter!
Unit 2 – Sessions 5 – 8
Healing and Rebuilding – (Grace and Mercy)
5) The Sacrifice for Love – Apologizing, Forgiveness and Letting go
In the fifth session, we look at how to dig out and conquer the biggest divider and destroyer of discovering Our Deepest Desire: Pride! Pride is what causes us to not apologize for our mistakes or to not forgive our spouse for the mistakes they have made. It is when we admit out loud that we have messed up, that we are faced with the reality of a mess that needs to be cleaned up. Some messes are worse than others! Yet, we are all human. We all make mistakes. We all long to be forgiven and thus must also practice both asking for it and giving it. It takes humility to battle the pride in which Satan longs to cage us. But we have the choice to not allow him to not only get us in the cage but also to not give him the keys in which to bind us there. We have the freedom to change this through our willingness to die to ourselves (as Christ did) and our pride, and to give this gift to our spouse as a Sacrifice for Love!
6) Finding Common Ground – Bridging the Differences
In the sixth session, as we hold in our minds and heart what it is that our spouse needs, we start to look at how Our Deepest Desire can only be discovered if we are willing to do the hard work of finding a unity in the hard choices, decisions, and difficulties of our life together. In order to become something better in marriage than we could be on our own, we need to be willing to unify our lives versus trying to make each other what “we want them to be.” We need to get out of the mode of trying to “win the argument” or “prove that my way is best” but rather to seek what God desires to create in us and through us in our marriage. We will either choose to battle each other (where we both lose) or we will battle together against our common foe (where God holds the victory for us)! You must choose: either your own hill to live and die alone on OR to find the Common Ground!
7) Healing and Rebuilding Trust – How to Rebuild from the Damage done
In the seventh session, this is where the “rubber meets the road.” We can ask for forgiveness and be forgiven, but if we don’t start to change the patterns that created and sustained our original problems, then we will eventually find ourselves moving away from discovering and helping our spouse to discover the Deepest Desire. Actions speak louder than words. Why? Because words can be said without ever having any meaning or understanding behind them nor any desire for change. When we live out these changes in our lives and work to make them a new pattern in our marriage and family life, it speaks to our spouse that you are serious about changing and also it shows a deeper level of care and commitment to your spouse. Amending our destructive patterns is vitally important in Healing and Rebuilding Trust!
8) Recommitting to our Covenant – Strengthening our Promise We Made
In the eighth session, we start moving towards the long term healing and strengthening of our marriage. We move toward not only understanding the Covenant we first agreed to when we said “I do”, but we also move toward the everyday “I do’s” that we are called to in order to safeguard our ability to securely continue the discovery of Our Deepest Desire. Much time has passed since we first took our wedding vows and, for some couples, we may not have really taken to heart what it was we were vowing to that day of our wedding. It is important for us to rediscover and understand the commitment we agreed to, that God wants us to have, and that will keep us on the path toward our heavenly destination. God is all about Covenants and has had to “call His people” back to Him time and time again throughout history. In this same fashion, we are also called to be like Christ and continually Recommit to Our Covenant!
Unit 3 – Sessions 9 – 12
Strengthening and Modeling – (Holiness and Consecration)
9) Good Stewards of our Resources – Managing Our Time, Talent, & Treasure
In the ninth session, we start our final third of this journey in discovering Our Deepest Desire. These final four sessions move us beyond understanding what the Deepest Desire is and how to heal the broken ties. These next four sessions are meant to move us towards a continuation of strengthening our relationship and making it a model for others to look toward in the healing of their own relationships. In order to do this, it is important that we take a look at what kind of stewards we are with the gifts that God gave us. We started our curriculum by working on being better stewards of our marital relationship and, in this session, we want to explore the importance of being responsible in the use of God’s other gifts to us: our time, talents and treasure. These play a huge role in not only keeping balance in our marriage, but if done well, can be a source of marital strengthening. God needs us to love each other and to be Good Stewards of Our Resources!
10) The “One-Flesh Union” Gift – God’s Design for our Sexual Union
In the tenth session, we enter into a deeper level of recommitting ourselves to our covenantal promise and a deeper level of physically discovering Our Deepest Desire. We long to not only discover our Creator, but we also long to unite our minds, body and soul to Him. We do this through all of the Sacraments of the Church and most especially in the Eucharist and in Marriage. You may understand how this is true in the Eucharist, but it may not be as obvious to you how this is in accomplished in marriage. Through our sexual or “one-flesh” union with our spouse, we recommit to our wedding vows and open ourselves to becoming one with each other in a way that has the potential for that love to be embodied in the life of another creation: a child! This beautiful gift reflects the heavenly mystery of the Trinity and again provides an avenue for going to a deeper level of this Deepest Desire. Sex should be a gift that unites us, but sadly in many marriages, it can be a source for hurt and division. This is why it is important for us to rediscover and understand the gift of “One-Flesh Union!”
11) Faith and Family – Staying United and Building a Strong Family Culture
In the eleventh session, we build upon our united discovery of Our Deepest Desire by understanding the need for protecting our most valuable world-changing asset: our family. The world passes by way of the family and so it is vital that our marriage protects and nurtures this gift. Whether we have no children, one child or numerous children; whether adopted, fostered, or step-children, or we are now faced with being a part of our grandchildren’s lives, how we build upon these relationships through the strength and gifts of our marriage, are vitally important. The stress of caring for children or other family members can tear at our marriage, if we are not careful, so it is important to have a plan for your family and how to deal with problems that arise. We encourage you to look into all the resources that are out there for the different types of family life you are facing. However, we thought it would be remiss to not talk briefly about three important aspects around Faith and Family!
12) Our Plan for Daily Success – Dealing with the Future, Utilizing What We’ve Learned and Work at it Daily.
In the final session, we now challenge each couple to have a plan for maintaining your path toward the continual discovery of this Deepest Desire. We also encourage you to consider how you can share this knowledge and inspire others to want this in their own marriage. It doesn’t take much to fall back into old patterns and we need to work at our marriage every day. It is important to note that when you spend time talking with others about all of the issues you have learned, over the past 12 weeks or months, the more you are faced with having to live it out in your own life and continue on a path toward a deep ingraining of this information in your life and marriage. If you want to keep what you’ve learn fresh and growing, you need a Plan for Daily Success!
Discovering Our Deepest Desire format:
- 2 ½ hour sessions (recommended)
- 80 minutes of Presented Material
- 55 to 60 minutes of Discussion and Practical Application
- 10 to 15 minutes of Q & A
- Refers to other useful curriculum
- Encourages date nights and doing homework assignments for further practice and insight
- 12 Sessions (weekly or monthly) that can be done in three 4 Session increments
- Builds upon itself through identifying and recruiting other mentor couples
Each Section also has:
Scripture, Catechism, Tools, Activities, and Homework