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June: Building Your Story Together

I want to begin this article with a quote from Steven D. Greydanus, a contributor to the Catholic website, On May 1, 2015, in a review of the 1937 classic film, Make Way For Tomorrow, Greydanus wrote:

Our lives appear to us as a story: a story that we tell ourselves about our past, act out in the present, and script for ourselves into the future. To share one’s life with someone, then, is to embark on a daring creative venture in shared storytelling. To marry is to say: Let us make of our two lives one story, a story that I will tell to you and you will tell to me. Telling and retelling that story — reminiscing about shared experiences, especially the happy or funny ones — is one of the secrets of happy couples, studies tell us.

There is a lot of truth in that comment. When we say “the two shall become one,” there is a sense in which we take the individual strands of our separate pasts and begin to weave them together with a new strand from God, forming a “three-stranded cord” that is not quickly broken (Eccl. 4.12). The telling and retelling of our story tightens that braid and makes it even stronger.

Have you ever noticed that one of the most fun things about getting together with friends is talking about the stuff you have seen and done together? It’s the best part of family gatherings and class reunions. And the older we get, the more material we have to work with! Even remembering the tough times, the struggles we’ve shared and the obstacles we’ve overcome, can build relationships.

Too often in our fast-paced world, we get caught up in the here-and-now, the current issues and what’s coming up tomorrow. We need to step back occasionally and take the long view – in both directions, past and future – to get a better perspective on the present. This is especially true in marriage. We should use birthdays, anniversaries and other events not just as a time to celebrate and give gifts, but to talk together about our story. Passing that story on to the younger members of the family can also help to build bridges over the so-called generation gap, and give them a new outlook on who they are as well.

Build your story as you build your lives together, and enjoy the retelling as it strengthens your marriage.

Contributed by: Larry Compter, Executive Director

Above image courtesy of photostock at

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