By Danielle Bean
One of my daughter Gabrielle’s favorite objects is a small rock that is covered with worn pink paint, tiny red hearts, and the words “I love you.”
She never tires of looking at and asking me about this gift I made and gave to her father more than 20 years ago. When I tell her how her father used to work late at night and how I would stay up, waiting for his phone calls and doing things like painting and writing to keep myself busy, she turns the rock over in her hand and smiles with wonder.
For me, the “I love you” rock is a reminder of the sturdy foundation my marriage is meant to be for our family. Dan and I might not spend much time painting love notes on rocks these days, but we still do love each other. It’s just a different kind of love that expresses itself in a different kind of way. As intoxicating as romance feels in the beginning of a relationship, as happy as an in-love couple can be when they are focused only on each other, ultimately God means for them to give themselves to greater things.
The couples that senior writer Lori Hadacek Chaplin spoke to in her article, “Simple secrets to a lasting marriage” (page 27), know this truth well. With nearly 250 years of marriage among them, they share the wisdom that can only come from experience and hard-earned triumphs over challenges. Read their stories and be inspired in your own family life!
Additional resources we are proud to share in this marriage-themed issue are a Q&A with the founder of The Choice Wine marriage program, Steve Bollman (page 12), a helpful explanation of the changes in the Church’s rite of marriage from regular contributor Fr. Thomas Berg (page 37), and practical ways to maintain a healthy relationship from Dr. Gregory Bottaro (page 17).
This spring, as many of us plan and attend the weddings of friends and family members, let’s commit to praying for marriages too. May God bless every couple with gifts of strength, patience, and generosity. May every marriage be the rock upon which a foundation of faith and lasting love are built. Thank you, God, for the gift of marriage and family living!