The Foundation of the Family and All of Society
If you want to be a great parent, you need to be an amazing spouse. This is where the grace for family life comes from – the sacrament of matrimony! But so often we forget this and couples spend most of their time and energy on their children because their needs are so urgent. But you can never forget that before you were mommy or daddy, you were a bride and a groom.
Every couple will have times in which love is a decision. In those moments we know it is not your love that sustains your marriage, but it is your marriage that sustains your love. We want to share with you relationship tools, stories from other couples, and give you opportunities to focus on your marriage to make it stronger. Having a vibrant marriage is not always easy, but it is worth it because your marriage matters!
Your Marriage is Always Important
What do we think is important for your marriage?
- Unity between couples is the essential element that makes all the difference. Without it, nothing works. With it, couples can conquer all the difficulties in the world.
- To grow together, you need to be intimate. Learn how to be unveiled with each other – emotionally, physically, and even spiritually.
- Communication is key. Making time to sit and talk with your spouse about important issues and learning how to listen are essential skills in marriage.
- Relationships are built with the material of time. Couples must create space in their lives for daily connections, weekly or monthly date night, and a yearly getaway without the children.
- When you entered into a covenant relationship with your spouse on your wedding day, God entered into your relationship in a permanent, intimate way. Turn to Him!
At the Messy Family Project, we give you the opportunity, tools, and inspiration to grow in love with each other. Take advantage of our downloads, date nights, courses, and our getaways to make your marriage all it can be not just for you, but for your children and even for all of society.
Podcasts on Marriage
MFP 247.5: Why You Need a Getaway with Chris and Natalie Stefanick.
We love hanging out with Chris and Natalie but in this interview, we found out something else we have in common. Both of us had honeymoons that were epic fails! Is the last time you got away, your honeymoon? Hear from all four of us as we talk about the first time that we got away as a married couple without our children and why we think it’s so important. Parents have a lot resting on their shoulders. Work, the busyness of family life and the strains of our world need to be relieved by taking time to get away from ordinary life to be reminded of who we are and our first priorities. Getting away has a price but the return is unbelievable! Listen in as we chat with Chris and Natalie Stefanick about the first time that they got away, some crazy failures on our honeymoon and how you can make the most of the time when you go away.
More information at catholiccouplesgetaway.com
MFP 247: Lessons from the School of Love: an Interview with Peter & Debbie Herbeck
“Christian marriage is the school of love, where despite the limits of our own love, we can discover Christ’s presence and power to teach us to love one another with the Love that never fails”
– Peter and Debbie Herbeck
When we offer date nights, we try to pick topics that are fun for couples but also useful and thought-provoking. That’s why we are so excited to share with you this interview we did on our June Date Night with Peter and Debbie Herbeck. They have been in ministry together most of their adult lives and are the authors of a book that expresses much of what we believe and teach on marriage: Lessons from the School of Love: Cultivating a Christ-centered Marriage.
Listen in to this conversation and hear from this wise and authentic couple. When Peter and Debbie married, they had the challenge of coming from two different faith backgrounds, two different family dynamics, plus the challenge of two very different personalities! You will hear how they tackled forgiveness, learned to be vulnerable, how they handled the differing roles of father and mother, and most of all, how they helped their children encounter Christ. You will love listening in to this conversation!
Lessons from the School of Love: Cultivating a Christ-centered Marriage: https://stpaulcenter.com/product/lessons-from-the-school-of-love-cultivating-a-christ-centered-marriage/
Join us for future Date Nights by getting on our mailing list here: messyfamilyproject.org
MFP 242: The Importance of Date Nights
“Do a date night! It’s cheaper than marriage counseling.”
This is an oldie but goodie podcast for you. We released this one way back in 2015 when we were just starting out but the content in it is something that even we need to be reminded of! When we have gotten into “slumps” in our marriage when we don’t feel like we are connecting, working together, or in sync with each other, that is when we need to take a look at our date nights. Are we spending intentional time together? Are we having fun together? Are we making room in our lives for our spouse? Listen in to this podcast where you will get some inspiration to not just get out of the house, but to also make your time together effective and impactful for your relationship.
- The Play and Pray Challenge – www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge
- Date Night Herbecks – 6/15 – www.messyfamilyproject.org/programs/date-nights/
- Getaway – Early bird 6/30 – catholiccouplesgetaway.com
- Watch episode here: https://youtu.be/r6NACXjUaVs
MFP 233: Getting on the Same Page
“Its better to be wrong together than right alone”
– Mike and Alicia
There are many things that spouses need to navigate in life – finances, educational choices, work issues, in-laws – and for all of these issues there is an “X factor” that makes all the difference – UNITY. Without unity, even the most perfect of scenarios will not bring peace, but with unity there is nothing that life throws at a couple that they will not be able to handle. The question is, how do you forge that unity with each other when you have two different visions of what your family should look like? In this episode, we tackle this difficult question by encouraging couples to “push up”; to look at your life from the 50,000 foot level. Instead of starting with the details, start with the big picture. Those are the conversations that are most helpful. Listen in as we give couples some concrete questions to discuss with each other to build that unity that is absolutely essential to a flourishing marriage and family life.
MFP 232: Dreaming vs. Fantasizing
“Dream big, plan simple, act now.” – Mike and Alicia Hernon
Dreaming is an integral part of living a life to the fullest. But dreams that take us away from our vocation are fantasies and actually detract from living an abundant life. What is the difference and why is it important? Dreaming in the best sense is an essential skill to have. Not everyone is a natural dreamer, but we can all learn to be! In this podcast, we discuss having a Growth mindset versus a Fixed mindset and how that affects our family life. We also give some tips for how to rise above the everyday work that we do and create a vision for your family that will motivate and inspire you to grow.
MFP 223: Dating Your Spouse
“Creating informal rituals when you can connect emotionally is critical in a marriage”
-John M. Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
Dating your spouse consistently is the easiest thing you can do to keep your love alive – and its fun too! We have been challenged recently to spend more time with each other and just have fun. Because our work puts us in each other’s orbit all the time, it can be easy for us to think that we don’t need MORE time together, but we do. Date night reminds us that our relationship must come first because it is the foundation of our family. Listen in as we give some encouragement, ideas, motivation, and inspiration to always, no matter what, date your spouse.
Interested in Cana90 for your parish or yourself?
Date Night with Mike and Alicia
When was your last date night? It’s vital to marriage to keep on dating your spouse, and our date nights make that easy, fun and inspiring. Put the kids to bed, set up the computer in your living room, light the candles, pour some wine, and log on for a virtual date night!