Catholic Commute S02E03 6 Disciplines to improve your marriage

If we don't have a healthy marriage, our other goals won't work!

Marriage is hard.  Last episode in the discussion with Mrs. Lisa Duffy, we covered a couple things that men especially can do to help improve their marriages.  I want to continue that theme.  I think, as we start this new year and have whatever goals and objectives we’ve set, we need to start by making our marriages a priority.  We need to realize that a healthy marriage translates into a successful future.  The old adage is still true: Happy Wife, Happy Life!

In this episode I explore 6 disciplines that will not only help us all to change how we look at our marriages, but increase the love and union that exists with our spouses.  Marriage IS hard.  To build it successfully we must be willing to sacrifice.  We must be willing to give, even when it hurts.  I think far too many spouses, especially husbands, are interested in taking.  I want to encourage us all to change our perspectives, and build happy, Biblical marriages.

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S02E03: 6 Disciplines to improve your marriage


Saint Gengulphus of Burgundy: Patron Saint of Difficult Marriages


St. Gengulphus, tormented by woman
murdered by your wife’s lover
you know how life works
you know what my life is
you know how much I need a miracle
you know how much I need your help

Pray for me to have the grace to endure whatever difficulties come in my marriage

Pray for the courage to show love to my spouse to the very end

Pray that I would be the instrument to lead my spouse to salvation

To join you in the presence of the model of patient spouses, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Saint Gengulphus is a little-known saint who has been called a great miracle worker. He was a knight who served King Pepin the Short in the 8th century. One story told about the saint is how his sanctity was revealed to the king when a lamp continued to miraculously rekindle beside him as he slept. Though he was renowned for his great charity and piety, his own wife was unfaithful to him, and he was murdered at the hands of her lover. There aren’t many details known about his life, but a certain Gonzo of Florence wrote that “This blessed Gengulphus daily performs among us so many remarkable miracles that, were he alive today, even the swift pen of the poet Thespis could not have described them individually.” His day on the Roman calendar is May 11.


Warning: Some adult content will be discussed today


  1. Let go of your own entitlement
    1. For a lot of men, we feel entitled to sex
    2. After all, it is THE MARITAL ACT
    3. Story of my own marriage, vaginismus, painful.
    4. Realize that we are all sinners and we deserve NOTHING
    5. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    6. It’s Just, Not Fair
    7. “Sex appeal alone is the poorest basis in the world for a happy marriage.”  ~ John R. Rice
  2. Focus on pleasing your spouse
    1. Determine her love language
    2. Make a plan, and calendar it in
    3. Find little ways to help out
    4. Don’t act upset if it doesn’t lead to sex – don’t expect reciprocation
    5. Smile when she is happy – seems simple, but it is a connection
  3. Master your tongue
    1. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
    2. James 3: 2-5 Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.  How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!
    3. There really is NO GOOD that comes from verbal sniping.
    4. Search, desperately if needed, to find positive things to say about your spouse.
  4. Be gentle with the children
    1. Ephesians 6: 4 – And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
    2. A mother’s heart is wounded when her children’s hearts are wounded. – “Compassion”
    3. It’s ok to be strong, it’s ok to be direct, but be very aware when we cross that thin line to being harsh.
    4. Offer children the mercy of Jesus sometimes.
    5. Discuss what a reasonable consequence is outside of the situation.
  5. Be active together
    1. People have to be friends.  Friends DO things together.
    2. Don’t live parallel lives, live intertwined lives
    3. Live, Laugh, Love
    4. Friendship is formed by common purpose.  Philia
    5. Marriage needs more than Eros
  6. Pray for (and with!) your spouse
    1. 1 Corinthians 7: 14-16: For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. It is to peace that God has called you.[b] 16 Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife.
    2. When praying, do not pray as the Pharisee, but as the tax collector (Luke 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.)
    3. Movie: War Room
    4. Do not expect a quick reaction.


6 Disciplines to improve your marriage

  1. Let go of your own entitlement
  2. Focus pleasing your spouse
  3. Master your tongue
  4. Be gentle with the children
  5. Be active together
  6. Pray for (and with!) your spouse


“In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self.” ~ William Penn



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