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Pope Francis’ 13 tips for a good marriage

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In Amoris Laetitia, the pope offers several suggestions on how to keep your marriage strong and happy through the years

“The Gospel tells us to look to the log in our own eye (cf. Mt 7:5),” he adds. “If we must fight evil, so be it; but we must always say ‘no’ to violence in the home.”

8. Love forgives. Francis recommends not leaving any space for “ill will to take root in our hearts,” but to work for “forgiveness, which is rooted in a positive attitude that seeks to understand other people’s weaknesses and to excuse them.”

“Family communion,” the pope states, “can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice. It requires, in fact, a ready and generous openness of each and all to understanding, to forbearance, to pardon, to reconciliation.”

9. Love rejoices with others. “When a loving person can do good for others, or sees that others are happy, they themselves live happily and in this way give glory to God, for ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Cor 9:7),” the Holy Father says.

“The family must always be a place where, when something good happens to one of its members, they know that others will be there to celebrate it with them.”

10. Love bears all things. This, the pope explains, “implies limiting judgment, checking the impulse to issue a firm and ruthless condemnation: ‘Judge not and you will not be judged’ (Lk 6:37).”

“Married couples joined by love speak well of each other; they try to show their spouse’s good side, not their weakness and faults. In any event, they keep silent rather than speak ill of them. This is not merely a way of acting in front of others; it springs from an interior attitude.”

Read more: How Amoris Laetitia saved my marriage

11. Love believes all things. “This goes beyond simply presuming that the other is not lying or cheating,” the pope explains.

“It means we do not have to control the other person, to follow their every step lest they escape our grip. Love trusts, it sets free, it does not try to control, possess and dominate everything.”

12. Love hopes all things. This word, the pope says, “speaks of the hope of one who knows that others can change.”

“This does not mean that everything will change in this life. It does involve realizing that, though things may not always turn out as we wish, God may well make crooked lines straight and draw some good from the evil we endure in this world.”

13. Love endures all things. The pope points out that this endurance “involves not only the ability to tolerate certain aggravations, but something greater: a constant readiness to confront any challenge.”

“Love does not yield to resentment, scorn for others or the desire to hurt or to gain some advantage. The Christian ideal, especially in families, is a love that never gives up.”

Read more: The most intimate encounter: Called to Consummation

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