Family matters

Archdiocese launches The Joyful Marriage Project for 2017

Family matters

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

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

John M. Gottman, Ph.D., in his book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” wrote: “Someone once said that to men the five most frightening words in the English language are: ‘Let’s talk about our relationship.’ Truth is, those words can be just as frightening to plenty of women.”

The “fear” for men (and many women) is that we might be failing in our marriage. For most men, we hate to even think that we are failing to bring happiness and joy to our wives.

Consider this: During our dating and courtship days, we usually talked about everything. We couldn’t wait to talk and dream about the life we hoped to share. These were joyful times. Isn’t that what we want for our entire married life?

I am not suggesting that married life is a constant high. That would be a false and unrealistic expectation. Married life and all vocations have ups and downs. As married couples, we share celebrations, but we must also weather life’s storms on the path to the joy God desires for all marriages.

I invite and urge all married couples to enter into The Joyful Marriage Project. Make 2017 the year to build your marriage into the dream home you desire and deserve. What is The Joyful Marriage Project?

It is a concept meant to help married couples be intentional in seeking and choosing which of the various offerings for marriage enrichment available in the archdiocese best suits the needs of their marriage.

Visualize your marriage as your ultimate dream home. How would you begin to build it? Every stable home requires a good foundation of prayer: We invite God into our marriage, asking him to help us be a better husband, better wife. Every house has walls to separate our family from the intrusions of the outside world, to make it a place of peace and shelter. The roof is necessary to protect us from storms and weather. Every home has a door. The door allows us to invite others to enter and share in our lives.

The Joyful Marriage Project provides access to various forms of marriage enrichment — some three hours in length, some daylong or over a weekend. Enrichments can even be found on-line. All are meant to help couples make their dream home a place of prayer, peace, direction and protection.

Go online to: and “like” The Joyful Marriage Project on Facebook to explore how in 2017 you can turn your marriage into the ultimate dream home you’ve always desired and deserve. For the sake of our church and world: Don’t settle, don’t be satisfied. Do not be afraid to seek the joy God wants for you in your marriage.

About the author

Deacon Tony Zimmerman

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