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>> your marriage matters

Money tip:
He spends, she saves
How to deal with your joint debt
    A key factor for a couple to control debt rests in whether spending habits are similar. Some of us have a higher tolerance to carrying debt loads than others. However, woe to thee who comes home with surprise purchases and debt, or consistently blows the monthly budget with frivolous spending. Take a time out, regroup and revisit your goals as a couple – or else married life can get grim! To dig out of “our” debt that “you” put us into makes the sacramental “we” cringe.
    As in everything else in a strong marital partnership, acquisition of debt must be deliberate and agreed upon in advance. It should follow your family’s plans and goals, which must work within your sacramental covenant for the good of your family.
    A spender and a saver can live peacefully in a marriage with some planning, constraint, and some occasional well-placed grace.

Time matters:
Take time for a family meeting to plan some fun!
 To make time to discuss what’s important to you, conduct a 30-minute family meeting.
• Set aside one meal during the next 30 days when all family members living in your household come together .
• Break bread together. The meeting should have a single agenda item given out and posted on the refrigerator door five to seven days in advance. Title: Family Fun Day. Attendance and participation are not optional – they are required!  
• Prior to the meeting, all electronic household equipment must be turned off and visitors must leave. The meeting, conducted during the meal, must answer the what, when, where, and how of a Family Fun Day.
• Follow through! Whatever you’ve planned, make sure you do it – and do it as a family.

3 tips for inter-church marriages
    Inter-church couples face some unique challenges in their faith lives, but they are also models of Christian unity – members of divided Christian churches joined together in the sacrament of marriage.
   As with any marriage, communication is key, particularly in the arena of religious practices.
Consider these tips:
1  Talk early. The time to talk about your differences is before you are in the midst of a major decision. For example, what are you going to do about Sunday mornings – attend church together? Separately?
2  Focus on the essentials. Talk with your spouse honestly. How important is your faith to you? How important is it that your children are members of your church? Make sure you’re on the same page regarding family planning – it can tear a marriage apart if one spouse wants to use contraception and the other is morally opposed, or if one advocates abortion in the case of an unplanned pregnancy.
3  Pray together as a family. Concentrate on those things that you hold in common – Scripture, the Lord’s Prayer. Make it a daily ritual to read the Bible or pray together. It will strengthen your marriage and your faith!
by Elizabeth Solsburg

Prayer moment:
Bereaved Spouse’s Prayer

The memory of my beloved is fading.
Pictures of us together from years ago seem unreal.

I still expect my love to walk through the door,
home from some errand.

Be my fullness, O God,
in this time of emptiness.
My loneliness is a sacrifice
for my beloved’s soul.

When you offered your Son
as a sacrifice for us,
you opened the way
to come to you in eternity.

Bring my life-friend and companion into your presence.
I look forward to the day
when I will come to you,
my God, when the work you have given me here is done.

Then I’ll join my beloved before you
and praise your name forever. Amen.

by Pat Nischan

Make a D-A-T-E for romance
How to keep the spark on fire
    In our previous issues, we talked about the first D-A-T-E principles, concepts for a long-lasting romantic relationship in your marriage. This month, we present more  principles, and some questions for you to consider about your own marriage:
    “T” means time together is a priority. This won’t happen by accident. With today’s busy lifestyles, you must have some determination. Allow the challenge of planning and making arrangements for a date to become part of the fun and anticipation. But don’t miss those opportunities to be spontaneous that also may come along. Finally, set aside some time to pray as a couple and attend retreats like Marriage Encounter.

Questions for discussion:
• How do we make time for each other now? How could we find more time together?
• How comfortable am I praying with my spouse? Could I pray some prayers like the rosary or Our Father with him or her?

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