Sep 12, 2011
Sep 7, 2011
For your Marriage today?
I think Fulton Sheen nailed it when he said marriage goes through three stages: the blissful honeymoon moment, followed by a “crisis” moment that leads to a deeper and more satisfying intimacy.
Lately I've read two Catholic magazines that have asked this question, "What have you done for your marriage today?" Isn't that a refreshing change other than the same old grocery isle headings "New positions to make him crazy for you." or "Fives signs he's cheating." Well let's chuck it up for Lucky, Vogue, Ladies Home Journal, Glamour, and all the bubble gum prints out there who are providing America with marriage failure techniques
Last week, I found out a friend's marriage is in crisis because of marital infidelity. It struck my heart, I couldn't sleep that night because it troubled me deeply. Something like that effects so many people, not just the couple, but the whole church and society suffer with them.
Marriage truly takes so much work. I feel like I can't really give any advice - because I haven't been married that long. I look to my parents who celebrated 30 years in July and my grandparents who celebrated 72 YEARS two weeks ago. (Holy cow that's a long time.) Both of those marriages and many others I've seen seem to have much in common: They work on their marriages with as much passion as our work outs and as much careful planning and investing as our bank accounts.
Truly, it is our life's greatest work, apart from working on our souls, and because we are held accountable for getting our spouses to Heaven.
I've been gathering and collecting some marriage resources as I've come across them:
1. "40 Day Challenge"
During Lent, the Extrodinary Moms Network got facebook fans to join the "40 Day Challenge" It is a compelling project for spouses based on scripture and writings of the late Fulton Sheen. AWESOME!!
2. "Love Dare" Something similar from the somewhat cheesy but good message movie, Fire Proof.
3. So I was in the dark that the U.S. Conference of Bishops made strengthening marriage a top priority for 2008-2011. I'm a little late in getting in on the memo, but there have been some great helps out there, one being this website: http://www.foryourmarriage.org/
4. Lastly, some small print publications have had some great articles on marriage as well. This is from LeCristo , with poignant and practical advice for marriage:
"...the work of dedicating time to Christ is no small task. On all sides intrudes the din of electronic gadgetry, leaving folks voice-mailed, text messaged and tweeted to numbness. No wonder so many people find it hard to have an interior life of prayer and reflection. Without the ability to be alone with one's thoughts, it is harder to lift one's mind to God during the course of a day. This presents a danger. For 'where people no longer perceive God.' Benedict XVI said in his Letter to Seminarians last year, 'life grows empty; nothing is ever enough.'
Imagine how much harder it is for spouses to find time for silence and for each other. The daily demands of supporting their families and maintaining a household could tax the stamina of a Navy SEAL. All the more reason why spouses need to disconnect from the world and spend quiet time together. And couples shouldn't feel guilty about making time for themselves. Ideally , not even children should claim all of their parents' time, to the point were mom and dad no longer have time for each other.
One of the most important witnesses that married people give to their children and to the world is precisely their dedication to each other. (Wise is the adage, by the way, that says the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
The union between spouses also has a profound theological value. Marriage witnesses to the relationship of Christ and his bride the Church. With good reason St. Paul exhorts husbands to "love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her" (Ephesians 5:25). The Apostle presses the point a few verses later when he writes that 'the two shall become one flesh. This is the great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Chruch' (vv 31-32).
We are used to thinking of religious and consecrated people and priests as a special witnesses to Christ. But married people too share this role, through the day-to-day unity they live. Their witness helps to lift everyone around them. They can make their love incarnate, as it were, not only through their children but through the devotion and time they lavish on each other.
Strong marriages help to keep the awareness of God present in societies. Spouses can do their part by simply spending time with each other. It takes effort, but it is doable. It means turning off the TV and the cell phone and the computer and going a walk together. It means making time for a "date night" away from the kids. It means drawing the line on meddling in-laws. It means, in short, no feeling guilty about wasting time together.
Time has a way of standing still when two people in love spend time together. It is that suspension of time, so to speak, that gives the rest of us a glimpse into what eternity is like. and what it will be like to spend eternity with the God of love." - Fr. Edward McIImail, LC
Simple, practical, and always good to hear! What are some things that you do with your spouse to "work" on your marriage?