The Happy Couple

Is Your Marriage in Right Order?

On my wedding day, thirteen year ago, I told my dad, “I feel like I finally made it to the starting line!” I was determined to grow in love and happiness with my wife exponentially for the rest of my life.

Today, I still conscientiously put my marriage first, before all other human relationships and that has made all the difference.

It is painful for Katy and me to see so many couples who are no longer growing in loving communion with one another. I can’t imagine how miserable it must be to live without having marriage in right order.

Too many married men and women let something mediocre waylay them from the most enriching human adventure on the planet.

Sure, we can get our priorities way off.  Substance abuse, entertainment addictions, and adult screen-time are growing cultural problem.  But other goods can get in the way of marital bliss, as well. Raising children, work, friends, exercise, church or volunteer work can all distract us from the most important human relationship we will ever experience.

1. God
2. spouse
3. children
4. work (vocation)

These are my top four priorities. What comes after that is not as important as getting these first four in right order. (Yes, believe it or not, being a Marine Corps veteran is not in the top four. I got over that some time ago.)

‘God first’ is obvious, but difficult to quantify. A wise Catholic priest once told me:

“Let the measure you love your spouse
be the measure of
 how much you love God.”

It’s not really possible to be both holy and selfish. Who else in your life can hold you accountable for selfishness better than your spouse? It is a powerful thing to have to work out our salvation with one person over the course of a lifetime.


1.    Become an expert on marriage. Get some coaching or read a book. We train to further our career, to grow in our relationship with God, and to become better parents. We also need to train to become a better spouse. 

2.    Frequently ask forgiveness. Forgiveness sets us apart as Christians. No other religious people enjoys the freedom that forgiveness brings to personal relationships. Asking forgiveness is a chance to make a fresh start.

3.    Go all in with your spouse! Don’t give 50% to your spouse; don’t compromise; don’t meet half-way. Give 100% and see what happens! Expect nothing and give everything! Be enthusiastically grateful for the littlest acts of kindness from your spouse. Make a game out of outdoing your spouse in everything good. Instead of nagging or criticizing, try complimenting and encouraging. You are on the same team, act like a professional teammate, not an elementary school teammate. 

4. See each other as God's childrenHe makes us new every day. We are his children. Stop expecting your spouse to be perfect and ask the Lord to help you see your spouse as God sees him or her. God sees us as his children who need help, mercy, love, and forgiveness. God completely forgives your spouse's sins every time he or she  confesses; do you? You are given a fresh start every time you receive the sacraments. Why not give your spouse a fresh start every morning - why not give the grace of the sacrament of marriage, daily.

5.  Have more sex. Seriously, stop playing games and just do it. If you are having marital problems, you are probably not doing it enough. Every marriage needs a re-set button. Say to each other, "Will you forgive me for all my faults?" and spouse respond (without holding any reservations or grudges), "Yes, I forgive you for all your faults, and God forgives you." Forgive each other freely and then go to bed like its your wedding night and you are both virgins again. If it has been a while, I challenge you to come together once a day for three days in a row and see if that does not bring some healing to your marriage. Unplug the computer and the TV, power off your phone, light a candle, put on some essential oils, and get between the sheets. Marriage is a sacrament that we minister to our spouse. It is holy; just do it.

I had a buddy in the Marine Corps who got mad at me for buying Katy flowers, once. “You’re making us all look bad,” was his response. I’m thankful his conscience bothered him enough to care.

If you are the man, go buy some flowers and win her heart with something she enjoys. If you are the woman, cook his favorite meal and wear something he can’t resist. It’s not that hard. Just do it.

I never heard anyone say at the end of his life, “I wish I had been more selfish,” or "I wish I had spent less time in bed with my spouse."

We need to argue less and build up our spouse more. If we were all wildly in love with our spouse, the world would want to imitate us, instead of suffering through the vapid imitations of marital love we are subject to today.

As Saint Seraphim said, “If you want to change the world, be a saint.” Aspire to virtuous, spousal greatness! Become the person you want everyone else to be. No excuses; no passing the buck. You do it.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Christopher. Cheers to the happy couple, and may God bless you with many, many more years of marital bliss!!

  2. Thank you, Jenny! May God grant you and David many years in health and happiness, as well!