Do you ever feel lonely in your marriage? Do you sometimes feel like you are just going through the motions — wake up, deal with kids, handle your work responsibilities (at home or outside), and rush through the dinner-and-bedtime routine, then fall asleep in front of the television set without a real conversation ever passing between you? Are there certain quirks and habits that you used to find cute and endearing, now make you want to scream? While “divorce” is never an option, do you ever contemplate taking a L-O-N-G vacation — all by yourself?
In his book Love, Marriage and Children, Archbishop Fulton Sheen acknowledges that most couples go through three stages of marriage: the blissful honeymoon moment, followed by a “crisis” moment that leads to a deeper and more satisfying intimacy. Unfortunately, when real life slaps us in the face and we transition into that “crisis” mode, many of us just give up. Some give up altogether, opting for separation or divorce — or a creeping “separateness” that leaves a couple feeling like roommates rather than lovers. Do you ever feel this way? Or would you like to do something to make sure you never do?
The “40-Day Challenge” is a prayerful exercise of loving intention, allowing God to work in us so that we might become the partner our spouse needs us to be. As we continue to surrender to God, the Divine Bridegroom, we allow Him to work in our lives and marriages, leading us to love those closest to us with a purer and more Christlike love.
Here are the forty themes of the challenge – each link will go “live” as it is posted to the website.
Day 1: Let’s Get Started! (Wednesday)
Day 2: The Silence of Scholastica (Thursday)
Day 3: Acceptance (Friday)
Day 4: Beauty (Saturday)
First Sunday of Lent: Family Day! (Sunday)
Day 5: Complementarity (Monday)
Day 6: Dreaming (Tuesday)
Day 7: Diversions (Wednesday)
Day 8: Finances (Thursday)
Day 9: Forgiveness (Friday)
Day 10: Fun!
Second Sunday of Lent: Family Fun Day!
Day 11: Generosity (Monday)
Day 12: Gratitude (Tuesday)
Day 13: Health (Wednesday)
Day 14: Hope (Thursday)
Day 15: Integrity (Friday)
Day 16: Keepsakes (Saturday)
Third Sunday of Lent: Family Day! (Sunday)
Day 17: Leave and Cleave (Monday)
Day 18: Longing (Tuesday)
Day 19: Memories (Wednesday)
Day 20: Mercy (Thursday)
Day 21: Mystery (Friday)
Day 22: Night (Saturday)
Fourth Sunday of Lent: Family Day! (Sunday)
Day 23: Objectivity (Monday)
Day 24: Pride (Tuesday)
Day 25: Prayer (Wednesday)
Day 26: Quiet (Thursday)
Day 27: Respect (Friday)
Day 28: Sacrifice (Saturday)
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Family Day! (Sunday)
Day 29: Talk! (Monday)
Day 30: Thoughtfulness (Tuesday)
Day 31: Trouble (Wednesday)
Day 32: Understanding (Thursday)
Day 33: Variety (Friday)
Day 34: Welcome (Saturday)
Special Palm Sunday Bonus: Family Day! (Sunday)
Day 35: Wealth (Monday)
Day 36: Wisdom (Tuesday)
Day 37: X-amine Your Own Marriage (Wednesday)
Day 38: Yes! (Holy Thursday)
Day 39: Zzzzz (Good Friday)