Love and marriage in this day and age

| Kate Soucheray | February 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

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Marriage is the union that defines our family relationships. The quality of marriage is built on the commitment each person makes to this union that has been created by the fondness, the camaraderie and the common vision the couple shares. As St. John Paul II states, “Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family — a domestic church.”

Do we understand the meaning and the purpose of the home as “domestic church?” Do we even attend Mass at the building we call our brick and mortar church on a regular basis? And why should we give any importance to the destination of our soul when we are just trying to put one foot in front of the other every day? We often feel that we have so much to think about and worry about, and attempting to make our home a “domestic church” often doesn’t make the list. However, when we live like this, we must ask ourselves what values we are passing on to our children.

There is a wonderful saying I learned in college: “Values are caught, not taught.” We may not realize it, but our kids are learning our values through our actions. When we skip church on Sunday in favor of a basketball practice or a tournament game, we are sharing our values with them. When we are given the incorrect change at the gas station, in our favor, and we don’t correct the clerk, we are sharing our values. When we blatantly gossip about a friend, a neighbor or a family member, we are sharing our values.

ACTION CHALLENGEPurchase a card for your spouse that tells them how much you love them. Spend time learning their love language and intentionally love them in that way each day through February and perhaps through Lent.

Our children are catching our values, even if we were to state, “Do as I say, don’t do as I do.” It doesn’t work that way. Our actions speak far louder than our words, especially to our children who are watching everything we do and gauging whether it aligns with the values we say we espouse. As the adults raising our children and providing the example of good role modeling, our words and actions must align, or we have no integrity.

In this month of February, often thought of as the month of love, do loving things as often as you can to convey your care and concern to your spouse, your children, your neighbors and coworkers, or even people who share the roadways with you. Become a person who lives your faith every day, through the simple, small decisions you make. For it is in these decisions that we demonstrate our holiness.

Holiness is not “out there,” separate from us. It is found in the simplest of actions we take each day to express our care and commitment to create a more loving world. If you are unsure what to do, stop and think about the most loving thing you could do in the situation. Would it be to give someone a hug, or say something encouraging, simply or to be present?

During February, spend time with your family and tell them you love them, and then show it through being present and attentive. Turn off the television, or whatever device you watch, and tune in during dinnertime. Say a prayer and talk to each other. Check in on the day each person has had and listen attentively. Make the dinner table a distraction-free, phone-free zone. Carefully make or buy a Valentine’s Day card for your spouse and tell them how much they mean to you and the depth of your love for them. Spend time this month attentively learning their love language and then love them in the way they want to be loved, not the way you want to be loved. Pull out your copy of Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages” and attentively love your spouse each day in small, meaningful ways.

In doing so, you will create a “domestic church,” a dwelling dedicated to living simply each day the simple holiness we have been called by our faith to embrace.

Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a member of Guardian Angels in Oakdale. She holds a master’s degree in theology from The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul and a doctorate in educational leadership from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

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Category: Simple Holiness