Say ‘I do’ to 3 New Year’s resolutions for couples

Matt and Mindy Dalton

Now that we all have lost five pounds since implementing better eating and a new workout routine, and started a new budget for the year (and this one we are going to stick to), we want to talk about some resolutions that could have a longer effect: on our soul.

Since the ultimate goal of marriage is to help your spouse (and children) get to heaven, we each must take steps toward this goal. We hear talk of “falling in love” and being “swept off our feet” when we each first met our spouse, but then the reality of life sets in and that’s where the phrase “labor of love” comes into play. We must make an effort each day to love our spouse; to honor, respect and die to ourselves for the sake of our beloved; the one we said “I do” to.

So here are a few suggestions of New Year’s resolutions for marriages.

#1: Make the commitment to greet your spouse with a hug and kiss every time the other arrives home (or at an event).
The power of a simple hug or kiss can go a long way—every day. Once, while waiting for our daughter’s high school volleyball match to start, we observed the men and women arrive at separate times; maybe the husband or wife came directly from work. The man would walk in, go sit with all the other dads, while the wife continued her conversation with a group of moms located a bit down the bleachers. If we were first-timers to this game, it would have been very difficult to tell which man and which woman were married; which two went together.

A simple moment of walking up to your spouse, with a hug and a greeting is a wonderful way to be united, a wonderful witness to others of your love!

#2: Let go of the one thing about your spouse that irritates you the most.
Maybe it’s the wet towel left on the bathroom floor, or flipping through channels without ever stopping to see what’s actually on TV, or some other annoying habit. Let go of the need to have the toilet paper roll with the paper put over versus under. Don’t worry if the drawers and cabinets are full of make-up, perfumes and the latest moisturizers. Take to heart that we all have a different way of doing things. Keep in mind that each of us has something that gets under the skin of our spouse.

What an opportunity to love, serve and make a gift of ourselves. Work on the virtues of kindness and humility. Pick up the towel and say a prayer for your spouse, make an effort to put the toilet paper roll on the way your spouse likes it (and do it without any expectation whatsoever). Consciously make the effort to not let these things bother you any longer—so help you God.

#3: Pray together as a couple.
This may be the most important and most fruitful of your New Year’s resolutions. Couples that pray together stay together. Invite God into your marriage and into your family. Start each day with a morning offering and end each evening praying as a couple. Most of us would say, “We pray as a family, we say grace before meals.” That’s good but there’s more. Spiritually connecting as spouses brings about a closeness, a peace and a love that is set apart, in a word—HOLY.

COMING UP: Sensitive locations, not ‘sanctuary’

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DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11: Msgr. Bernie Schmitz preaches the homily during the announcement of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish as a diocesan shrine on December 11, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

With the election of President Donald Trump, many immigrants are uncertain of their future in America. The situation has ignited a national conversation about immigrants and their legal status.

The term “sanctuary” has been making waves in the headlines recently after Denver immigrant Jeanette Vizguerra sought assistance at a local Unitarian church for fear of being deported. The term itself has largely been adopted by the media to describe cities where immigrants cannot be questioned about their immigration status and locations where immigrants can seek refuge and be safe from arrest.

While the so-called “Muslim ban” has been garnering a lot of media attention, there’s another piece of the conversation that’s equally as pertinent; that of the immigrants who are already living in the U.S.; those who have fled their home country in search of something better, established their lives here — and many of which are of Latino descent.

The fear among many Latinos is still prevalent, as many wonder what will become of their residence here in the U.S. under a Trump presidency.

“For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry,” President Trump said in an Aug. 31 speech in Phoenix, Ariz.

The law doesn’t give definition to “sanctuary” but instead describes places where immigrants are safe from any sort of enforcement action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “sensitive locations.” A 2011 memorandum distributed by ICE outlines that sensitive locations include, but are not limited to: schools, hospitals, churches, synagogues, mosques or other institutions of worship, the site of a funeral, wedding or other public religious ceremony and public demonstrations, such as a rally or march.

The memo states that enforcement actions are prohibited from taking place in any of these locations without prior approval by an ICE supervisor. In this event, supervisors are to “take extra care when assessing whether a planned enforcement action could reasonably be viewed as causing significant disruption to the normal operations of the sensitive location.”

The policy does, however, call for exigent circumstances in which enforcement actions can be carried out without prior approval. These include: matters of national security or terrorism, an imminent risk of death, violence or physical harm to any person or property, the immediate arrest of individual(s) that present an imminent danger to public safety, or an imminent risk of destruction of evidence material to an ongoing criminal case.

Should any of these situations arise, the memo instructs ICE agents to “conduct themselves as discretely as possible, consistency with office and public safety, and make every effort to lift the time at or focused on the sensitive location.”