(practical advice to maintain an awesome marriage)
These words of wisdom were shared by the amazing people who attended a married couple’s retreat that was held at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center the weekend of July 8-10, 2022; participants had been married anywhere from 9 months to 41 years!
Remember Revelation 2:4 from the Bible: “I have this one thing against you, you have forgotten your first love” – don’t ever forget your first loves, both God and your spouse!
Have courage to make your feelings known, even when difficult, so that you are not alone.
Marriage takes 3: husband, wife, and the Lord.
Remember that your marriage is a sacrament and to keep God at the center.
Marriage is a life-long investment in another person’s happiness.
Exercise practical prudence: before reacting/speaking, take a moment to pray, especially when it comes to your spouse, children, job.
It’s important to pray together, retreat together, then share your love with the world.
This is THE covenant relationship – stay focused on it and don’t take it for granted.
When tough times come, cling to your spouse.
We process things in different ways – so take a step back, really listen and understand what your spouse is trying to say.
Don’t give up; persevere through the darkness towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t fill up on chips and salsa but save your appetite for the main course – which is the highest goods in life.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – keep the end in mind and put first things first.
Be still enough to listen to the Holy Spirit; find quiet time in all the busyness of life.
Be there in the moment.
It’s ok to be angry at God, He’s big enough to handle it.
Stay positive in the difficult moments, hold on to the good things.
“Don’t leave your wingman” (great advice from Top Gun).
Recognize the gifts and be grateful.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help; there is no shame in pursuing counseling if your marriage needs it. Receiving help will only make your marriage stronger.
Seize the moment; don’t put off praying together through a difficult time.
Relax and make time for each other.
You don’t always have to be right.
For those with wayward children, consider Jeremiah 31:16-17 – “The Lord says stop your crying and wipe away your tears. All that you have done for your children will not go unrewarded; they will return from the enemy’s land. There is hope for your future; your children will come back home.”
Speak from the point of weakness with your spouse.
One times One equals One; become a whole person for a whole marriage, a whole family, a whole community, a whole world.
Pray together, trust more, control less, and surrender to God’s will.
Grow together by sharing in the love, sharing the suffering – we are all broken.
Laugh often (don’t take things too seriously)!
Our hope is that this retreat will become an annual event which will be held the weekend immediately following Independence Day. Our next Married Couple’s retreat date has already been set for July 7-9, 2023. To be added to our retreat center’s email address and thus receive updates about these Married Couple’s Retreats (and many other awesome events), please contact email@example.com