Marriage and family is under attack
and many marriages are in crisis and too many have sunk as the Titanic with the
crew members, the children suffering the bitter consequences.
Let us offer some simple suggestions
to help the engaged, the newly married,
as well as those married for years to fight to save the basic cell of
society—marriage and family.
Our words can either edify others or
they can tear down others. Therefore, we should make a concerted effort to
condiment our words with the seasoning of grace and the Holy Spirit so that
they build up the spirit of our spouse.
Love and fidelity were promised on
the wedding day and must be cultivated until death do they part.
The following are some short but
exceedingly important phrases that should be said often to condiment and season
the marriage commitment! Why not try to
incorporate them in your daily walk with your partner right now!
“I LOVE YOU.” The temptation is even in the best of
couples to say interiorly: “Well she already knows that, why be boring and
redundant!” True, she may know it but every time it is expressed the love in
her heart grows. It is like a plant unwatered, it wilts and dies; watered, the
plant grows and flourishes.
“THANK YOU!” St. Ignatius of Loyola asserts that the
essence of sin is ingratitude. The ten
lepers were cured and only one of the ten returned to give Jesus thanks. “Thank you” should be constant, heartfelt,
and concrete. In other words, “Honey, thank you for a wonderful meal!” Or,
“Honey thank you for your long hours at work and providing for the
family!” Shakespeare condemns
ingratitude with these biting words: “More painful than a serpent’s tooth is
that of an ungrateful child.” Season your daily vocabulary with “Thank
you!” The word “Eucharist” means
“I AM SORRY!” When we fail we should have the humility to
say “I am sorry!” This demands sincerity
and humility, two key virtues indispensable in the spiritual life.
“FORGIVE ME!” The sequel of “I am sorry” of course is
“Forgive me!” Reconciliation after a fall-out, failure, quarrel,
misunderstanding can serve to strengthen the marriage bond all the more. The best marriages are not those who never
have disagreements or conflicts, but rather they are the ones that are
resilient. After a fight, they are able to reconcile quickly. We can either be
like Play-dough or a Super—ball. The “Play-dough”syndrome means pride. Failure results in anger,
resentment, bitterness and lack of forgiveness. The “Super-ball” complex
reflects resiliency in the spiritual life. The fall results in rebounding and
bouncing even higher. The word of God
reminds us: “Never allow the sun to go down on your anger.”
WHAT CAN I DO TO PLEASE MY SPOUSE
TODAY? Every day husband or wife should
plan to carry out some concrete action that will result in making his/her
spouse happy. Not what is in it for me, but how can I please my spouse today!
COMPLIMENT: ONCE, TWICE, THREE
TIMES. In baseball three strikes you
are out. In marriage and family spouses
should get into the habit of complimenting each other not once, nor twice, but
rather three times a day. This is not a spiritual strike out, but a grand slam!
LISTEN, PRAY, THINK, THEN SPEAK! Easier said than done! Communication fails all too often because a
lack of proper order in communication. Saint James says that we should be slow
to speak and quick to listen. What would
happen if starting now, I strive to improve my communication skills by following
these four words in this proper order: first listen attentively, pray to the
Holy Spirit, think and ponder like Mary, then speak for the purpose of edifying
and sanctifying my spouse. Of course this is a tall order and not easy to
accomplish over-night. However, let us aim high!
“GOD WILL PROVIDE”. In the midst of
tensions, uncertainties, struggles, trials and tribulations, one of the key
phrases that should ascend from our hearts and be expressed by our speech
should be “God will provide.” These
three words express a great trust and confidence in Divine Providence. In the very heart of the Sermon on the Mount,
Jesus repeats time and time again the command: “Do not worry!” He tells us to
look at the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. He tells us not to
worry about food or clothing but to trust.
These words of the Savior sums it all up: “Seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness and everything else will be given to you besides.” Many
couples suffer due to the simple but key issue of TRUST of God in their lives.
Below the Divine Mercy image Jesus wanted these words to be painted: “Jesus I
trust in you!”
“I WILL PRAY FOR YOU”. This might sound like a pious platitude or a
mere cliché, but it is not! The greatest
gift somebody can give to another is to pray for them. A short and fervent prayer goes beyond the
value of all the money in the world. Could it be that many marriages and
families crumble and disintegrate for the simple reason that husbands and wives
forget the most simple and obvious: they forget to pray for each other!
10.MARY. “LET US PRAY THE
ROSARY!” When married couples have a
union in the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the daily recitation of the
Rosary peace will reign in this family. The Rosary priest, Father Patrick
Peyton, never wearied of saying: “The family that prays together stays
together.” Mary never distances us from God, but she always draws us close to
Jesus her Divine Son. The last recorded
words of Mary in the Bible are: “Do whatever He tells you.”(Jn. 2: 5).St. Louis
de Montfort, the great lover and promoter of Marian consecration, said that
Mary is the quickest and easiest path to Jesus.
In conclusion, if married couples can
embrace these words, sentiments and attitude of heart, they are establishing a solid
foundation on which to build their family and a secure foundation for the
future of their children.