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- Distracted: How often in life do we get distracted from that which is most important? There are many moments in life where we can find ourselves so caught up in the worries of day-to-day life, that it can sink us into a mire of confusion, frustration, or even helplessness. These times of great distraction can wear on our relationships with each other and with God. When life starts to get out of hand, it is important for us as a couple to take a “time out” together, gather our wits and really get our eyes and our lives focus back on Jesus and what He wants of us and for us.
- In Need of You: We loved the diversity of differences between us while we were still dating and getting to know each other. But now that we are married and making decisions together, we are not always as interested or enamored by the differences between us. I’ve seen many couples who often agree to disagree because one or the other (or both) are unwilling to bend from their way of doing things and often don’t and won’t take the time to truly understand their spouse’s feelings and frustrations. In marriage we are called to share each other’s joys and hurts; to see value in what each one of us brings to this relationship and to use it for the betterment of both of us!
- The Evil I Do Not Want: Sometimes we find ourselves hearing those humbling words from our spouse, “why do you keep doing…….” or “when are you going to quit doing….?” Often out of pride, we can find ourselves fighting back with words of anger or denial and redirecting the blame somewhere else. Well enough is enough! We all fall. We all sin, every day! Christ wants us to fight against our sinful and selfish inclinations especially when it comes to serving and sacrificing for our spouse and family? If we are willing to let Christ transform our lives and our marriages, He can bring about great blessings in our life.
- You Say We See: Do we have the ability to lay down our pride to just listen to those we love and to what it is they need? Do we have it within ourselves to admit we don’t have a clue, so that our hearts and ears can truly listen to what our spouse longs for from us….even if it is really hard to hear? On this journey to heaven, we are responsible to help others along the way. A good leader isn’t someone who always has the best or right answer. A good leader is one who knows the needs of those they lead and seeks to guide and support them in getting those needs met.
- Reconciling: Often we get mad at each other for the things that we do wrong or don’t do right. Yet, forgiveness and reconciliation is critical to the health of every marital relationship. This is what God wants for our relationship with Him and with our relationship with each other. The biggest sticking point toward being reconciled with each other is often our lack of admitting when we are wrong and our lackluster desire to make things better. It can also make it harder for our spouse to be willing to quickly forgive. So, reconciling has to go both ways if there is to be true healing in any relationship.
- Mutual Affection: We are called as spouses, to build upon our faith in such a way that it is lived out in our everyday love for each other. We are called to discipline our emotions and work toward being each other’s best supporter, not their worst critic. When we are in a deep intimate relationship with another person, we not only see their positive qualities, but we see the not so good behaviors also. Yet God is calling us to help each other to become better and to lift each other toward greatness. Mutual affection is what every couple wants to have.
- One Thing Left: Every day we are called to decide what kind of life we want together with our beloved: One in which we serve and care for each other, or one in which we are individually bound to our own selfish wants and desires. It’s hard at times to be sacrificial. But when, as a couple, we consistently seek to give to each other and show appreciation towards each other, we most likely will find that we are being fulfilled in such a way that those selfish desires slowly don’t mean as much to us as they did in the past. Only deep, sacrificial, and grateful love is truly fulfilling!
- Yes Means Yes: Trust is one of the most vital aspects of any relationship, because without it, our heart is bound to be broken. Satan, being the grand divider, tempts us to use our passions, our lack of self-control and our resistance to being self-sacrificing against our marriage; even if it means lying and pointing blame elsewhere. But God wants to keep us and our spouse united and He wants to bring us deeper joy through the gift of our love and fidelity. So trust is built on our yes meaning yes, and our no meaning no.
- Much is Required: God entrusts each one of us with talents so that we can utilize them, for His Kingdom here on earth, in order that we may win many more souls to Him. When He entrusts us with much, He also demands much in return. But no matter how much we have been given, we always have the opportunity, every day, of choosing to use our gifts for His greater glory. The gifts that we have been given, cost us nothing. Yet when they are developed and utilized for the glory of God, they become one of our most valuable assets.
- In Joy and Gratitude: Many things in our culture today have worked against the joy and gift of our sexual union in marriage. Our world has greatly skewed the meaning and beauty of the sexual union through very scandalous and perverse views and practices. This union of spouses is meant to be honorable and noble, and it should be a freely given gift of our entire self for mutual joy and gratitude. In order for this to happen, we need to work at emotionally connecting and building healthy and productive communication with each other about our sexual needs, comfortabilities, and difficulties.
- When Family Divides: As parents, we set the tone for our homes. We are the gatekeepers and the boundary setters. However, there are many homes today that are void of good boundary setters or homes that are filled with angry and frustrated interactions. Our families are in dire need of consistency, structure, peace and love. It is our duty as parents to not only seek to build peace and love between each other, but it is also our responsibility to foster peace between our children. Learning how to be good followers of Christ starts in the Domestic Church – the home. This is where our children build the foundation for their own lives.
- Use It to Serve: We need to be careful that we don’t lose sight of the many ways in which we have been graced by God nor underestimate the impact we can have on the world around us. It starts with us making a difference in our own homes. We show the world and our children what a marriage should be when, through God’s grace, we learn how to be more patient with our spouse, when we take time to listen to their needs, fears and struggles, and when we treat them like a queen or king. We example to the world what a family should be when we seek to build peace and joy into our family life and interactions. Through our marriage, we have the opportunity to be the light of Christ to each other and our children.