Start building your dream home with a little marital maintenance

Family matters
Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

Think back to your early dating and courtship, to your “honeymoon period.”

Remember how your beloved was the center of your attention, no matter where you were or what you were doing? When you were apart, you could not wait to be together. When you were together talking, you were usually looking into each other’s eyes. How did it feel to know that you were so important and special? Did you share hopes and dreams for your future?

Fast-forward to today. Has it changed? Have jobs, children, bills and household duties changed the picture? Do you gaze into one another’s eyes for any prolonged period? Do you still talk about dreams for your future? Or, do you often find yourself in the “desert of duty” as you plod through all the demands of life?

Pope Francis sums it up best: “I recall an old saying: still water becomes stagnant and good for nothing. If . . . a couple’s experience of love grows stagnant, it loses the very excitement that should be its propelling force. . . . Love needs to keep dancing toward the future with immense hope . . . [that] makes it possible to look beyond arguments, conflicts and problems and to see things in a broader perspective (“The Joy of Love,” 219).

So, if you read these words and wonder, “How can we recapture and keep the excitement that propelled us out of the church into our dream life on our wedding day?” take heart! The answer is: Commit to regular participation in some form of marriage enrichment. To do this means rejecting the cultural notion: “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” We know that whether it is with our automobiles or our bodies, preventive maintenance is a lot cheaper than an overhaul or major surgery.

Also, please don’t allow busyness to be an excuse. How sad to utter the words: “I should have” . . . “I wish I had”   . . . “Does he or she know how much I love them?”

Over the next few months, you will be hearing about “The Joyful Marriage Project: Build Your Ultimate Dream Home.” Our hope is that you will begin to dream a little, begin to identify those things that are barriers to the marriage you dreamed of and still desire, and discover how to, as Pope Francis says, “keep dancing toward the future with immense hope.”

We will help you become aware of the varied forms of marriage enrichments available here in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. We hope with the different topics, locations, differing time commitments — and child care, where possible — everyone will find something to fit their needs. If you are eager to begin now, click here to see what is available.

Start dreaming again! Begin now to build your marriage into your “ultimate dream home”!

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