This article is courtesy of Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

During the first session of marriage preparation, I ask the couple a simple question: Why are you getting married?  They typically look at each other for a while and then respond, “We’re in love” or “We’re compatible.”  Sadly, I almost never hear, “I believe with all my heart that God has put this person in my life to help me get to heaven” or “I truly believe with all my soul that my fiancée will help me become more of the person who God created and calls me to be.” 

When a man and a woman enter into a marriage covenant, they promise unending love and devotion to each other, regardless of their circumstances, for the rest of their lives until death.  In this exchange of life and love, they share all that they are and all that they will become.  The spouses-to-be promise to nurture and support each other so that they will always grow deeper in their love for God and each other.  When they give themselves to each other totally and completely as husband and wife, their union bears witness to God’s plan for marriage: a sacramental covenant of loving and life-giving communion. 

In this exchange of life and love, they share all that they are and all that they will become.

Here are three key ways to maintain covenant intimacy in marriage:

  1. Pray together.
  2. Use Natural Family Planning, not contraception.
  3. Pay attention to the little things.

This will not be easy: the world is filled with temptations and distractions. Married couples should draw strength from the fact that from their wedding day forward, they will have God’s grace to help them through the most difficult times and the toughest challenges, for with God all things are possible! The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this idea beautifully:

“Christ is the source of this grace. […] Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ, and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love.  In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1642).

Find out more about Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

10 tips to a Divorce Proof Marriage – Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers (MP3)

In this presentation, Deacon Harold takes us step by step through 10 ideas that will aid in divorce proofing our marriages.
By sharing stories of the experiences from his ministry, along with ideas that have helped in strengthening his own marriage, Deacon
Harold honestly and openly guides us through practical suggestions that will support the efforts of husbands and wives to live in intimate,
personal, loving, and life-giving communion with God.

The Greatest Commandments: A 40 Week Spiritual Journey

The Greatest Commandments – A 40-Week Spiritual Journey For Married Couples is an innovative and engaging multi-sensory product that seeks to help couples build strong and lasting Christ-centred marriages within the constraints of their busy and hectic lives. Packaged in an exquisitely crafted and visually stunning boxset, it serves as an impactful 40-week marriage strengthening program for married couples.

Though best embarked on within the first 2 years of marriage, it is equally relevant and engaging for couples who have been married for many years. The package consists of a set of 4 highly engaging guidance DVDs covering 10 topics presented by the dynamic evangelist Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, 2 bookmarks on 25 ways to love each other (one each for Him and Her) and 2 prayer cards with a beautiful prayer to be better spouses (one each for Him and Her). The package also contains an access code that allows a couple to sign up for an account on the TGC website that would allow them to register their email addresses to receive weekly emails (one each for Him and Her). The program consists of the couple watching a 20-min video together at the beginning of every month (for 10 months) relating to a particular topic and then to automatically receive a weekly email (for 40 weeks) that will give them more tips and information on fortifying their marriage as well as challenging them to do something special for their spouses .

Every video segment/topic correlates to 4 ensuing emails. Each email also has an MP3 audio file attachment link that is a recording of Deacon Harold’s or his wife Colleen’s narration of that email (for the husband and wife versions respectively) thus offering an engaging, personal and intimate journey with them over the 40 weeks. The MP3 files can also be transferred to iPods and other mobile audio devices for convenient listening. The product is a must-have for every married couple (especially newly weds) and also makes a great Wedding, Valentine’s or Christmas gift!

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