Who’s your worst critic? Let me put it this way: Who interferes with your relationship by trying to make you think less kindly, less patiently toward your beloved? Or who, with good intentions, tries to impose on your relationship an idea that doesn’t work well for you?
Many years ago, Ralph and I belonged to a Marriage Encounter circle in which there was a well-meaning couple who told us that we didn’t do our daily dialogs correctly. What is supposed to be 10 minutes of sharing our feelings usually turned into 90 minutes of digging deeper and finding ways to improve our relationship or solve problems. We enjoyed it, but our schedules wouldn’t permit us to do it daily. So, the good advice imposed on us was, “You’re doing it wrong. You must limit yourselves to 10 minutes.”
Ralph and I later dialoged about that and decided to protect what worked best for us.
(Marriage Encounter — and Engaged Encounter, for those who are not yet married — are wonderful retreats that Ralph and I highly recommend to you if it’s available in your area. Call your parish office to find out who to call to get more information.)
Maybe you have an in-law who repeatedly criticizes your beloved. Maybe your employer demands that your work be a higher priority than your family. Maybe your children pit mother and father against each other in order to get what they want. No matter what the source or reason, bad or good, it’s divisive. Stand up for your beloved. Fight for your relationship.
Church weddings include the mandate, “What God has joined let no one put asunder.” It’s a commandment from God to the husband and wife. It’s part of our calling in the Vocation of Marriage. We sin against each other and against God if we let anything or anyone come between us and drive a wedge and affect our union.
Love is stronger than any wedge. Protect your love!
- What have I heard that is unkind toward my beloved?
- What have I done about it?
Strengthen your relationship:
Choose together one thing, one circumstance, or one person from outside of your relationship that has negatively impacted your union. This is your common enemy, and you are allies for each other. Design a plan that brings victory to you and solidifies your union. Then pray together for Christ’s protection on your relationship.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries