My niece is getting married…. my mother and I joined her at a local Bridal Shop to show us the wedding dress she had picked. There was such an exhilaration in that shop as my niece tried on a couple of dresses. The dress she picked was just right for her, and as the salesperson assisted her; my mother shared some of her wedding memories. She began by describing her dress, the ceremony, and her anticipation of starting a new life. Then another salesperson joined us in the conversation, as they listened to my mother; asking “how many years were you married? My mother answered – “I have been married 62 years.”
The two young saleswomen responded with such an astonishing “How?! How did you do it?” Immediately, my mother responded: “You must never go to bed angry, respect one another and be faithful.” She continued to say, “What is really important for a relationship is respect and courtesy!”
Perhaps you may remember when being married 20+, 30+, 40+ years seemed so common. Today, the world needs to see faithful and happy marriages! The temptation today is to give up too quickly, to give up hope in sustaining a marriage.
My husband, Tom and I, have been married 38 years; I often tell other young couples “It gets better each year!”. Thirty-eight years ago, we received the Sacrament of Matrimony, a covenant of love given to us by God that would last until death and centered in Christ Jesus.
It is never too late to begin anew. Here is a plan that has helped many couples. It is a plan based on Christianity. It is summarized by using the word KNOT.
K – Knowledge of God & Self
We have knowledge of the one True God – the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This knowledge of God leads us to know who we are – creatures created in His image – to love Him and serve Him.
- If we do not love God above everything else, we will never reach our potential in loving our spouse or our children. That is by God’s design.
- If we are faithful to God, we will be faithful to our spouses and all other responsibilities.
- Read the Bible, the Word of God.
- Faith is a gift from God, believing is a choice.
N – NOW! You don’t have to be perfect to begin anew with Christ.
- Live in the present moment.
- Take time out for yourself, as a couple, as a family when situations, problems arise.
- Communicate what is going on and pray.
O – Obedience/One: Am I Obedient to God & Church? Am I one with God & my spouse?
- The fruit of Obedience is Hope.
- HOPE helps us focus on Christ and on each other’s love, instead of just focusing on the, trials, tribulations and things that make life difficult.
- If we don’t focus on Christ and implore His grace and mercy…then our imagination can take over and our crisis can become larger than reality.
- This can affect our communication with each other and even the way we trust each other.
- If we focus on Christ we will never lose hope!
T – Tools: These four things are important in every relationship!
St. John Bosco said: “Fathers and mothers owe four things to their children: maintenance, instruction, correction and good example.”
Maintenance – means: to protect, to care for and to provide the necessary things of life.
- Daily prayer
- Frequently receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
Instruction – form ourselves – in Truth and in the Faith.
- An ongoing process!
- Go to the proper source for answers – the Church.
Correction – also means to improve.
- Learn from our mistakes…have hope and move forward.
- Discipline – an important dimension of love for ourselves and our children.
Good Example – we are to witness our love for God, for each other.
- Respect and Dignity!
Yes, your marriage can be joy-filled! Focusing on Jesus Christ as the center of your lives and discovering the gifts He has given you can lead you to joy and hope! Celebrate life together!
Have you found joy and want to lead others to God also? Are you still searching for joy? The Pilgrim Center of Hope Ministry of Conferences and Pilgrimages have many opportunities to discover and share the treasures of the Church. Presentations on Marriage, the faith and topics to help you share your faith are available. Learn more at PilgrimCenterofHope.org.