Episode 108, The Secrets to a Happy Marriage
Chris Padget is a Catholic speaker, musician, and artist. He and his wife Linda are both active in ministry, and their website details all they do at chrispadgett.com. Today I asked him to discuss their work and share some insights from his book, “Holy Marriage, Happy marriage - Faith-Filled Ways to a Better Relationship” available at Chrispadgett.com and at Amazon.com. Chris was not raised Catholic and loves to speak about his faith and his journey.
Marriage is Freedom
In part one of the book titled "A New Way of Thinking,” Chris discusses nine topics. Freedom is the first, where he states that the basic quality of a good marriage is freedom. Many men and women might immediately scoff at that and say there is less freedom within a relationship than in the single life. But freedom, here, is more of a free will to make decisions that guide us on our path to sanctity. Your spouse is your partner and so the goal should be to help each other attain eternal life; respecting and showing dignity to each other can help you get there.
The Third Leg
Men should love their bride as Christ loved His church, and He loved it so much that He died for us. Chris discusses commitment as in the marriage vows we say “for better or worse,” but for many, those words remain hollow. This kind of Christian love is only made possible by God’s presence. A footstool is stable with three legs, not two. Couples need to realize that the third leg is God and he needs to be in the picture
Communication and Self-Discipline
Self-control is also foundational, and not just from a sexual standpoint. One should strive for self-control in dealing with finances, discipline in children, etc. - Chris discusses how important it is to keep your “eye on the prize” of sanctity. When we communicate, we can remind each other of this. Communication is more than talking; it consists of listening and speaking authentically about what matters.
Forgetfulness Bears Fruit
In part two, Chris discusses “A New Strategy for Living.” The first strategy is to “Remember to Forget.” While it can be tempting to point out the flaws in one’s spouse and Chris does believe that It is important to always speak the truth, we must do so out of love. We all have suffering and trials in our lives, and we must work at “seeing God’s grace in the turmoil.” We can take a trial and allow good to come out of it. We must try to become better and not bitter, and recognize that marriage is a task of difficulty which can bear many fruits.