Now we all know God has a lot to say about marriage; Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding and He made it very clear how He felt about marriage as a whole:
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”, Mark 10:5-9
I’m committed to keeping my marriage together and like to think I help others as well. In that regard, did you know I’m on the radio? I’m a part of Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak’s More2Life segment on EWTN radio, through Ave Maria Radio – More2Life
In prepping for a show, I often take a stroll through social media, on-line sources to find good material for my segment on Catholic family life.
I recently come across an article that wants to tell you the “Four Things Happy Couples Do to Stay Together” written by A. Pawlowski, 4 Things Happy Couples Do
At this same time, I saw that CBS is planning on doing a new Fall series called, “By the Book”, which highlights the life of a modern day man at a crossroads in his life who attempts to live his life according to the Bible. Honestly, I don’t have high hopes for the series for several reasons (the least of which is that it is on CBS and not EWTN). So, I’m not offering a link to that but I did decide to see if I could “live by the book”, as it were, in regard the article I saw.
Those “Four Happy Things” include: Think About Your Free Time, Reconnect with Nature, Quiet Time Can be An Invitation to Talk and Remember Eye Contact.
Think about Your Free Time is easily translated into one of my favorite verses:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”, Phil. 4:8
Not that free time needs to spent on your knees saying the Rosary but it probably shouldn’t be spent bingeing on shows you know are contrary to Jesus’ teaching or wasted by hours on the internet in separate places in the home. Are you together in your free time or actively seeking to avoid each other? The solution could be as easy as watching videos of cats playing the piano together but I really recommend just being together away from technology. Maybe you can spend some time watching each other; slow down and remember why you fell in love in the first place!
Which is the last recommendation of “Remember Eye Contact”, it reminds us to make sure we actually take time to look at each other!
Check out the Song of Songs in the Old Testament if you need a reminder:
“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”, Song 1:15
In fact, we could rely on the Songs for each of the recommendations but God’s reminders about how to stay in love with our sacramental spouse are sprinkled throughout the Bible.
The idea of Reconnecting with Nature is a reoccurring theme in the Psalms where God is not only compared with things of nature but we are reminded, again and again, that He is the Creator of all things.
Just a few include Psalm 96: 11-12, Psalm 95:4-5, or Psalm 19:1:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Again, we don’t have to spend our hiking time discussing Scripture (unless you want to) but just allow God’s miracles of creation to seep into our souls as we spend time with our sweethearts brings forth feelings of companionship and commitment.
We might even take a line from Job as you enjoy a starry night away from the city’s light pollution, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand.”, Job 38:4.
Spending time in nature and really rejoicing in its gifts and the gift God gave us in our spouses is sure to re-ignite feelings of love.
Finally, let’s talk that Quiet Time that is recommended. Again, walking away from the television, the phone, the internet and any number of distractions will give us time to walk towards each other’s arms. Quiet time might be time after the kids have gone to bed, or just after dinner or even on a car ride. These times should be treated as the rare treasure they are and not always wasted on other people or other things.
You might decide to have your quiet time just be quiet time together or you might decide to use that time to share what you are reading, or seeing on-line as a chance to share a laugh, discuss an issue of concern or find a new place for a date!
However, if you decide to talk don’t forget to be careful what you say and how you say it. The Book of Proverbs is full of reminders about how to talk:
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
While Ephesians 4:26 reminds us of when to talk, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…”
This special quiet time is not the time to give your spouse a litany of complaints or whine about life with them. In James 3:1-12 we find the powerful reminder to ‘tame your tongue’; a struggle we all face. In the dark of the night, we need to remember it will soon be morning. Soon enough, the kids are going to wake up and work (both inside and outside of the home) will demand our attention. Nighttime quiet time is best spent actually letting our honey know of our love and confidence in them. There will be time enough to discuss struggles and problems at another (scheduled) time.
So, just as you thought, we don’t worry too much about living by the Bible when it comes to advice. Though I’m still worried about the TV series, I’ve been reminded that spending time in Scripture reassures us that paying attention to what God says about how to treat our spouses and our sacrament of marriage is just as helpful, if not more, than any study or article. But it is always nice to know they are in agreement about a few things!
I’m not sure if being a happy couple will be our topic tomorrow, but feel free to follow the link to listen on-line any morning you have time, and know I’ll be there every Friday around 10:15 a.m., EST, EWTN Radio