June is the beginning of summer in the United States. It is also when most couples and families take time to rest and re-energize. We take trips to visit the beach, the lake, parks, etc. In general, it is a season for rest and relaxation; a time to take a break from our busy lives.
We might be tempted to say it is also a time to take a break from feeding our relationship with our spouse or to take a little break from this thing we call, “enriching our marriage.” Quite the opposite! Summer is the perfect time to engage again in this wonderful adventure we call marriage!
Taking Lessons from Nature
In nature, life grows rapidly in the summer. Trees and plants reach their full potential during summer. Fruits and vegetables grow and mature during summer. In the same way, our relationship as a couple grows during this time of rest and recreation, if we know how to feed it properly.
This is the time to go back to the beginning and re-encounter the reasons why we entered into this adventure we call marriage.
Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia / The Joy of Love,” #9 says, “They [the married couple] embody the primordial divine plan clearly spoken of by Christ himself: ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female?’ (Mt 19:4).” We hear an echo of the command found in the Book of Genesis: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen 2:24).”
We should take advantage of this summer season that offers us more time and flexibility to do things that will become food for our relationship. We can use the extra free time we are given during summer to work on our marriage in an intentional way and in a more fun way!
Summer Marriage Enrichment
There are so many ways in which you can do something fun and creative to enrich your relationship this summer. From picnics in the park to outdoor movies, get creative and start planning those date nights.
Another great way to engage in Marriage Enrichment is to visit your local parish and ask about opportunities and events they may have available. Many parishes offer summer programs that are fun, creative and interesting! You will not only be working on your marriage, but you will develop stronger connections to your local parish and you will have an opportunity to build community with other married couples.
Whichever way you chose to enrich your marriage this summer, remember the “three Cs” of marriage enrichment:
- Consistency: Schedule your enrichment opportunities and stick to your plan.
- Creativity: Think outside the box! Be original, be brave and try new things.
- Christ-Centered: Chose activities that will bring you closer to Christ, will feed your faith and your relationship with God.
It is our hope that you will have a great summer filled with opportunities to rest and to grow together in your marriage.