Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nurture your marriage -- Tips 1-5

On Sunday, I spoke at a local parish about "nurturing your marriage." At the conclusion of my talk, I shared ten practical ways to nurture a marriage. Here are the first five:

1) Pray together.
Take five minutes at the end of the day to pray together, pray for each other, pray for your family, pray for your intentions. Write your own prayer together, if spontaneous prayer is somewhat of a struggle. If God is the source of marriage, then what better way is there for you to draw closer to each other than by drawing closer to Him.

2) Write down questions to ask one another.
Remember, every person – including your spouse – is an unending mystery. There is always something more to learn, something more to be revealed. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were five years old? If you could travel to any five places in the world, where would they be? What is your greatest fear?

3) Surprise each other.
Place notes in the sock drawer. Put flowers in the car. Go for a walk together after dinner. Pop in the video of your wedding day. Continue to find ways to surprise each other, to express your love for each other – always focusing on what you are giving and how you can serve your spouse.

4) Take stock of how you might be limiting your vows without realizing it.
• Pornography -- Am I being fully faithful?
• Giving all of yourself sexually, except the gift of your fertility by using birth control.
• Chatting with men or women online, kindling emotional attachments that detract from your relationship with your spouse.
• Making work a bigger priority than your marriage.
• Making your children a bigger priority than your marriage.

5) Be present to each other.
Put the phone away. Get off of facebook. Have a conversation. Take away the other distractions and learn to show your spouse that he/she is the most important person sitting in front of you right now. A great privilege of marriage is to reflect to another person that they are unique, unrepeatable, someone God believed was worth creating and worth redeeming.

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