Buckle Up! Riding the Marriage Roller Coaster

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Marriage is a lot like a roller coaster, fun and exhilarating, but also full of twists and turns, loops and corkscrews. So how does a marriage survive while routinely being thrown off track? What’s one thing you can do to strengthen your marriage this summer, to lower the lap bar and fasten the seat belt so to speak? We share a few ideas; what are yours? . . . → Read More: Buckle Up! Riding the Marriage Roller Coaster

What Every Catholic Marriage Prep Program Ought to Include

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How would you answer this question …

Outline a marriage preparation program for your parish. Explain what components you would like to include and why.

Joel had to answer this very question for his sacramental theology course, and we thought it made good blog post material, too. It’s the topic of our latest column at Catholic Stand.

And {cough, cough}, for the record, Joel received a perfect score on his answer. Was the professor too gracious or just right in his assessment? Head on over and grade it! And then let us know what components you think are essential for a parish marriage preparatory program.

. . . → Read More: What Every Catholic Marriage Prep Program Ought to Include

Marriage is like Chicken Soup

Engagement Picture, 2004 (image courtesy of Stalzer Photography)

I learned to cook out of necessity. I was 34 when Lisa and I got married, so I would have starved otherwise. I had also found that women were usually impressed by men who could cook. Let’s be honest here. Before we met, I was single in my early 30s with no prospects. Needless to say, I was getting desperate. . . . → Read More: Marriage is like Chicken Soup

Strengthening the Mr. and Mrs. Once You’re Dad and Mom

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We were scheduled to lead a young couples event at a parish in eastern Iowa today. We’ve been defeated by the weather once again this winter and were not able to travel due to the snow. But all is not lost. We share with you, dear readers, a portion of our presentation titled “Strengthening the Mr. and Mrs. Once You’re Dad and Mom: The Beatitudes of Healthy Marriages.” Please keep in mind the target audience was young married couples with one or more little ones at home. . . . → Read More: Strengthening the Mr. and Mrs. Once You’re Dad and Mom

Why I Love My Wife, Volume 3

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Several years ago, I had the opportunity to read from 1 Corinthians for a friend’s wedding. I’ve never really heard it or read it the same way since. It’s the standard to which we should hold ourselves, particularly as a married couple and parents. It’s a high standard, but so much depends upon how well we love. We directly impact the salvation of our spouses and children by how well we measure up to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. So, how’s my lovely wife doing? . . . → Read More: Why I Love My Wife, Volume 3

Why Didn’t Someone Share the Truth With Us?

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We are practicing Catholics, not perfect ones. That label “practicing” is a constant reminder of our great need of repentance and conversion. In our latest post at Catholic Stand, we openly share about an area in our marriage where our repentance and ongoing conversion was and still is needed. . . . → Read More: Why Didn’t Someone Share the Truth With Us?

Is it Ever Too Late for Natural Family Planning?

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So as long as we seem to be on something of a roll, there’s one more topic we’re feeling called to specifically address. It’s one that comes up all the time in social situations. It goes something like this … Why didn’t anyone tell us about natural family planning when we were younger? Now that we’re done having kids, what are we supposed to do? Well, what does it mean to be “done having kids”? From our experience in conversing with couples, this essentially is one of three different scenarios. We flesh them out (yes, flesh seems the proper word here). . . . → Read More: Is it Ever Too Late for Natural Family Planning?

When Spouses Aren’t on the Same Page About Natural Family Planning

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Did you know devout Catholics have better sex? That was a recent headline in U.S. News and World Report so it must be true. Right? Now if you’re a devout Catholic, your response might be something on the order of, “Duh, I’ve been saying it for years!” If you’re not on board with all the Church’s teachings on human sexuality, your response might be something like, “Come on, this can’t be serious!” So why do we bring this up today? We highlight a scenario making it difficult to practice natural family planning. And it’s going to take a whole lot more than simply slipping a copy of that news story or the Family Research Council report into a place where one spouse will find it. . . . → Read More: When Spouses Aren’t on the Same Page About Natural Family Planning

Why Don’t We Want More Children?

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According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of the American household has decreased by about one person. American culture is definitely voting for the smaller family and material wellbeing over the riches of multiple children. If any culture can materially afford big families, it is ours. Even from an economic point of view, the United States is powerful not because of its standard of living or its natural resources, but because of its greatest resource: people. The medieval theologians and philosophers, in talking about God, say: Goodness diffuses itself, it wants to be shared by many. If our culture is so good, then why don’t we want to have more children and share it with them? . . . → Read More: Why Don’t We Want More Children?

Trusting God or Grasping for Control?

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Today’s Mass readings are excellent reflection material for contemplating how much we really trust God rather than ourselves. Do we grumble about our circumstances, like the Israelites in the First Reading, or are we the “rich soil” of Jesus’s parable in the Gospel Reading? With these texts as a backdrop, we take up a couple scenarios which challenge us to trust in God’s will for us rather than in our ability to control our circumstances. . . . → Read More: Trusting God or Grasping for Control?