Category Archives: Maturity

Waking Up Your Marriage with Relational Vitamin C’s

I first heard the concept of Vitamin C’s for couples by therapist Luke De Sadeleer.  His list included the following Vitamin C’s-67106680

-Caring, Change, Communication, Connection, Conflict, Creativity and Commitment.

Then I read another list of C’s from Pastor Rick Warren, that included a spiritual emphasis as well as psychological.

In June my wife and I celebrate 39 years of marriage. A wedding anniversary wakes us up to the past and also helps us to reflect on what we’re becoming as a couple.

In my marriage and marriage coaching I have discovered the importance of encouraging couples to daily take their daily dose of the 6 “Vitamin C’s” for a healthy and thriving marriage. I take these every day.

Wake up your marriage through communication.

Every day make time to talk with each other not to each other.

“It’s impossible to overemphasize the immense needs that humans have to be really listened to, taken seriously, and understood.” Paul Tournier

Wake up your marriage through consideration.

St Paul advises us to “Show your love by being helpful to each other.”

Consideration energizes a marriage. Consideration means paying attention to what your partner says, being thoughtful and showing common courtesies.

Wake up your marriage through compromise.

St Paul wrote, ‘Love does not demand its own way.”

Consider these facts of life:

1) You will have conflict in your marriage.

2) There are some issues you will never agree on.

3) Compromise is the evidence of real love.

Wake up your marriage through courtship.

Be each other’s best friends. It’s easy to leave your spouse, but it’s really hard to leave your best friend, so work hard at being best friends for the rest of your life. Date frequently.

Wake up your marriage through commitment.

Commitment says you are all in. Commitment says you will work through the problems and not seek solace from anyone else. God spoke concerning the vows of marriage through the prophet Malachi 2:16 “Make sure that you do not break your promise to be faithful to your mate.”

Wake up your marriage through an ongoing encounter with Jesus Christ.

I believe the most powerful C is a relationship with Christ as a couple.

As you make Christ the centre of your life together you will have the ability to accomplish the other five. It’s your individual relationship with Jesus that will give you the power and wisdom to practice the other Cs.

I have discovered after 39 years of marriage to the same woman that the grass is not greener on the other side, the grass is greenest where you water it.

So to wake up your marriage, start watering it.

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Fr Ronald Rolheiser’s 10 Commandments for Daily Life

i am an avid reader of everything Father Ronald Rolheiser writes. These commandments are excerpted from his book Sacred Fire, a phenomenal read on the various stages we pass through on our way to maturity in spirit, soul, mind, body and relationships.

COMMANDMENTS FOR DAILY LIFE–Fr Ronald Rolheiser

Almost thirty years ago, Daniel Berrigan wrote a little book that he entitled, Ten Commandments for the Long Haul. It was, in effect, a handbook of sorts on how to be a prophet in today’s world. It was Berrigan at his best, explaining how a prophet must make a vow of love and not of alienation. Anyone who is trying to be prophetic, from the right or from the left, might profitably read this book.

He ends with a number of Commandments, not ten but forty-seven of them. Here’s a sample of them (paraphrased), just to give you a taste of his insight, language, and wit:

1) Call on Jesus when all else fails. Call on Him when all else succeeds (except that never happens).
2) Don’t be afraid to be afraid or appalled to be appalled. How do you think the trees feel these days, or the whales, or, for that matter, most humans?
3) Keep your soul to yourself. Soul is a possession worth paying for, they’re growing rarer. Learn from monks, they have secrets worth knowing.
4) About practically everything in the world, there’s nothing you can do. This is Socratic wisdom. However, about of few things you can do something. Do it, with a good heart.
5) On a long drive, there’s bound to be a dull stretch or two. Don’t go anywhere with someone who expects you to be interesting all the time. And don’t be hard on your fellow travelers. Try to smile after a coffee stop.
6) Practically no one has the stomach to love you, if you don’t love yourself. They just endure. So do you.
7) About healing: The gospels tell us that this was Jesus’ specialty and he was heard to say: “Take up your couch and walk!”
8) When traveling on an airplane, watch the movie, but don’t use the earphones. Then you’ll be able to see what’s going on, but not understand what’s happening, and so you’ll feel right at home, little different then you do on the ground.
9) Know that sometimes the only writing material you have is your own blood.
10) Start with the impossible. Proceed calmly towards the improbable. No worry, there are at least five exits.

Alongside these commandments, I’d like to share a Decalogue for Daily Living that Pope John XXIII wrote for himself, his own Commandments for daily life. They reflect his depth, his simplicity, and his humility:

1) “Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
2) Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behaviour; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
3) Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world buy also in this one.
4) Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
5) Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
6) Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
7) Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
8) Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
9) Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world
10) Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours, I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.”