Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

The American Family: Then and Now

Family walking in wheat field towards barn

I'm interested in American history, in particular, American military history. As a son of the South, I enjoy learning about the Civil War from the Southern perspective. I’m currently working my way through the book “Rebel Yell.” It's an exhaustive 650+ page biography of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson was a brilliant strategist and one of our nation's greatest generals. The book focuses on his life story as told through his personal letters. Turning the pages, I feel like I'm living in the period. I now have a much better sense of what America was like in the 1850s. The American family then stands in stark contrast to the American family today.Read Article

The List

Presents wrapped in front of the tree

With just a few weeks until Christmas, I’m sure that your shopping is in full swing. For many of us, the hustle and bustle can be disheartening. In this season of Advent, we wait with joyful hope, but most of our focus is on other things.Read Article

The First Step to Being A Better Spouse

Priest elevates the Eucharist at a Wedding

Everyone wants a happy marriage, but not everyone is willing to work for it. We’ve become too self-centered to recognize that we can build the marriage of our dreams. We must have the courage to mend our flaws and then the determination to cultivate a vibrant prayer life. If you want to be a more loving and patient spouse, you’ve got to pray at least 30 minutes each day.
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Gift Giving

Present gift wrapped for Christmas

There are many ways to express your love to your wife. Using the words, doing some chores, caring for her after a long week, and even cooking dinner are a few goods ways. One of the more infrequent expression of love is the giving of physical gifts.Read Article

Etiquette in Marriage



I recently wrote about my thoughts on reading “Emily Post’s Essential Manners for Men: Second Edition.” In that post, I highlighted the three components of etiquette: 1) consideration (how others will feel), 2) respect (how your actions affect others), and 3) honesty (courteous truth telling). I want to look at these three principles and evaluate in a specific way how their implementation can improve the marital relationship.Read Article

Be You



We all wear masks. We instinctively alter our behavior when we believe that we’re being watched in order to match how we believe other people expect us to behave. This phenomenon is seen most clearly in children who are always seeking to please their parents. The problem with behavior modification is that it can stifle out what we truly want to express for the sake of being more socially palatable.Read Article

Being A True Servant Leader



Servant leadership is a term that’s very popular in management circles. It attempts to form leaders who care less about power and more about using their influence to lift up their team members. Servant leadership turns the traditional model of leadership on its head by using its forces for good, instead of allowing itself to become susceptible to corruption. While it may be atypical to find servant leaders in the workforce, one place that it is easy to find these great leaders is in the home.Read Article

Give Locally



Until recently, Alison and I didn’t really have a giving strategy. Each month, we’d go over the solicitations that we’d received from various causes in the mail along with how much we had budget for giving. We’d write checks, send them out in the mail, and that was how we did things. There’s nothing wrong with that strategy. People were helped, good causes were able to move forward, and all was well. Lately, I’ve been rethinking our strategy because what was missing was a feeling of connectedness.Read Article

The Poor Box



Every moment is a teachable moment in a child’s life. What your children don’t realize is that as a parent, you’re constantly figuring out what to do. The life of a parent is one of judgement, evaluation, and action. We have to judge the proper course, model the expected behavior, and act decisively and within the vision of our children. We learn each day how to be better for tomorrow, but more importantly, all of this introspection helps us to define who we truly want to be and to start moving in that direction.Read Article

Where Are Your Manners?



I follow the work of Shawn Blanc pretty closely. Shawn is a writer based in Kansas City who does a variety of work and writing based on doing your best creative work and the tools to help you achieve that end. Among his sites are Tools & Toys and The Sweet Setup. I like Shawn because he and I share very similar tastes, and so if he find a particular app to be very helpful, I will likely do the same. One of Shawn’s sites recently featured a book recommendation, “Emily Post’s Essential Manners for Men: Second Edition” by Peter Post. Emily Post’s writings on etiquette are the gold standard on the subject, and now her grandson, Peter, is carrying on her legacy.Read Article

Random Acts of Service

Volunteer cuts lumber

Last Fall, Alison was on call one night at the hospital here in town. The proximity to our house to the hospital makes things both very convenient and painfully inconvenient. Benedict and I had the car and we planned on taking dinner to Alison shortly after her shift started. As I began to put the dinner together, I felt the urge to do something really nice. Instead of just a main course, I wanted to make her a full dinner. So I grilled up some burgers, packed up condiments, chips, dessert, and a mint. It was a small, random gesture, but one that brought her comfort on her long overnight shift.Read Article

Why Marriages Fail

One of the main roles in the household for husbands is to take care of all of the little details when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Oil changes, washing the car, lawn care, shoveling snow, and other associated tasks all fall within our purview. These are the tasks that we do for our wives. They aren't fun and they aren't glamorous, but we do them anyway.Read Article

Inconvenient Times of Need

If there's one thing about marriage that's true, it's that your spouse often needs you when it's most inconvenient. While not altogether a bad thing, it can be a bit frustrating when she wants to talk while you want to sleep, or when you need a favor while she's working on a craft. While the inconvenience can be chafing, it can also be beautiful.Read Article

A Christmas List

Although Christmas is just a few days away, I wanted to share an idea with you that might make next year's Christmas season a little bit less stressful. While the focus of the Christmas season should be on preparing our hearts to receive Christ, there's also an element of gifting. Gift giving is a wonderful and generous practice that allows us to show, in a material way, the internal feelings we have for one another. At its heart, gift giving is one person seeking to bring joy or help into the life of another. We give the gift of money to charities to ease the pains and sufferings of others. We give gifts to our spouses and children to meet some need or to bring them joy. We give gifts to our coworkers to thank them for their diligent work. Gift giving only becomes a negative when it takes our focus off of Christ and puts it on to materialism.Read Article

Everyone Craves Respect

The Golden Rule should be the gold standard in human relationships, but my experience tells me it seldom is. I think we're all a bit confused about just what it means to be respectful of others. The fact remains, we all have within us a desire to be treated with respect, even when we disagree.Read Article

Gratitude is at the Heart of the Christian Life

Today, we celebrate the amazing Thanksgiving. Although this humble holiday tends to get trampled on by shopping deals and the upcoming Christmas season, it’s actually one of the most important days of the year. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, which is a central theme of the Christian life.Read Article

Your Sacred Ring

In the Catholic Church, we have aids that help to remind ourselves of God’s loving presence in our lives. We call these aids sacramentals. They are things that have been blessed and that point us back to God. Without being blessed, they are something ordinary like some beads strung together on a rope or water in a bowl. After having been blessed, they become something holy, something that’s a means to achieve peace and holiness in this life, and joy in the next.Read Article

Keep the Fires Burning

As Catholics, there are many things that we too easily take for granted. Our regular encounters with the Risen Christ begin to wash over us as something totally commonplace. Sunday Mass, the cornerstone of our week, is just another appointment on our calendar. Many of us struggle to keep the flame of faith alive.Read Article

Cherish Your Father

Benedict has started behaving like a two year old just a few months early. He’s usually loads of fun, but he can also test my patience. He'll be cute and cuddly at one moment and melting down in the next. It's all part of the deal when it comes to being a father. This experience of fatherhood has helped me to better recognize a great blessing that I had growing up and still have today: a great dad.Read Article

How to Spend More Time with Your Wife

Earlier this year, during one of Alison's many rotations, she was assigned to a hospital about 45 minutes away. Her shift was from 7am - 7pm daily with the exception of Wednesday, meaning that her schedule and Benedict's schedule aligned very poorly. In fact, during the week, with the exception of Wednesday and the weekend, she often wouldn't see him at all. To help alleviate the loss that all three of us felt, twice during the month Benedict and I drove her to work and then went on an adventure.Read Article

Travelling Parents

Today I want to put out a challenge to travelers everywhere: be kind to parents with young children.Read Article

Open Wide the Doors

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Alison and I didn't have much going on. She had to work on Saturday and we didn't have any plans to go anywhere or do anything on either Sunday or Monday. I was in the mood to have some people over, so we invited my parents and one of Alison's colleagues over for a cookout. The weather was scorchingly hot, but we ended up with a delicious meal of hamburgers, chips, and key lime bars. Alison and I do occasionally entertain friends, usually about one hangout every other month. Our Memorial Day gathering reminded me that entertaining friends is a lot of fun and that we should be doing it more often.Read Article

The Joy of Giving

Earlier this year, while at the March for Life, Alison and I were approached by a man selling official event hats. Ordinarily, I don't bother buying branded merchandise from events, but this time, I did. He told me that the proceeds went to help a particular charity that provided housing and job training to the homeless. Since the hats were clearly high quality and bore the official logo of the March, I immediately reached for my wallet and bought two. The thing is, giving your money to help others is the most fun that you'll ever have.Read Article

Let Go of Past Hurts

I'm a grudge-holder. I don't do it for all things, but when a particular relational infraction occurs, if it's offensive enough, I'll hold on to it for a very long time. It's not the best system in the world and it certainly adds stress to my life because grudges keep coming up in my mind resulting in me reliving the offending action. The problem with holding on to past hurts is not just that we can't do anything about them today, but also that it makes us a prisoner of the past.Read Article

The Best Thing About Permanence

Marriage is designed to last. While that's a simple statement, the implausibility of the construct makes it an enigma. How can two completely different adults, with completely different customs, traditions, and rearing, come together in their 20s or 30s and build an entirely new family that not only survives a 50 or 60 year marriage, but thrives and endures after the couple's death? There is but one lynchpin in the whole system that keeps this complex arrangement together: permanence.Read Article

Give to the Beggar

Earlier this summer, Alison's family was in town and we made the trek into DC. While there, I was particularly struck with the number of beggars on the street. Certainly there were more on the street than in previous trips due in part to the nicer weather. Yet, for whatever reason, I was particularly struck with compassion. At one point, I saw a man literally eating trash off of the street, right here, in our Nation’s capital. I think that many of us refrain from giving beggars money for a number of reasons, but lately my thinking has been evolving.Read Article

Never Miss An Opportunity

Throughout any given day, we have plenty of opportunities to do the right thing. Several months ago, I was grocery shopping when I saw a man in a power scooter reaching for a product on the top shelf. A teen employee from the store stood there and watched. I felt compelled to help the man, and so I did. If I hadn't, the man's life wouldn't have been any different. I'm sure there are many times during the day when he has to reach for something that's just out of reach. I'm not a hero, but I'd hope that my small act of kindness made him feel a little more human that day. Every day brings us dozens of opportunities to serve and help our neighbor and I hope that you're taking action on at least a few of them.Read Article

Relational Fresh Air

If on your Wedding Day you expected your marriage to be full of positive emotions and the warm fuzzies, you may by now have found yourself disappointed. Emotions are ephemeral, but love is not. When things get a bit chilly in your marriage, sometimes all you need is a bit of relational fresh air. My favorite part about spring is being able to open the windows. After a season of a closed up house, there's something really refreshing about a gentle breeze whipping through the halls of our home. Everything feels better and I feel more motivated to get things done. At times, you need the breath of fresh air in your marriage.Read Article

3 Ways to Pamper Your Wife this Weekend

Weekends are a great time for some TLC. After a long week, often spent apart, the weekends afford us down time to spend as we please with our family. Hopefully you spend most of the weekend with your wife by working together on chores and projects, having a date night, or even something as simple as being in the same room together. The weekend is also a great opportunity to pamper your wife.Read Article

Valentine's Day isn't Over

I made a huge mistake last year. In honor of Alison's birthday, I coordinated among our family to give her an awesome present: her own coffee bar. She was getting ready to begin practicing medicine and I knew two things: Alison loves coffee and physicians need coffee. We got her an espresso machine, a wall-mounted coffee bar, coffee, and everything else that she'd need to have her very own, very fun coffee bar. Then I made a bonehead move. The excitement and anticipation overwhelmed me and I had her open all of her presents before her birthday. Her big day came, and there was nothing left. Whomp.Read Article

Humility in Marriage

Marriage is unlike anything else in our world. It's a relationship that cannot be fully comprehended without entering into one, and it's many layers make it a lifetime effort of discovery. As is normal for human behavior, we try to compare marriage to a relationship that we do understand, bending it to fit into a reality that we can comprehend. The result is error, confusion, and misunderstanding. We often treat marriage like a business transaction, but marriage isn't a joint venture or partnership.Read Article

Giving All of You

Earlier this year, Mark Hart from Life Teen was on Lino Rulli's The Catholic Guy Show right after Super Bowl Sunday. Mark, an avid sports fan, was discussing how viewing the Super Bowl has changed in the years since he became a father. Predictably, he spent little time actually watching the game this year. Instead, he was helping his wife and interacting with his kids. Mark's story perfectly illustrates how marriage requires both a full commitment and a willingness to make your wife and family the priority in your life.Read Article

The Joy of Serving

In the not too distant past, I engineered my weekly routine to involve cleaning a single room of the house every day. Since I spend almost all of my time at home, I want to have an environment that is clean and well maintained. When there's clutter or mess or dirt I feel impeded in both my energy and my creativity. When all is in order I feel balanced and at peace.Read Article

Drop Everything for Her

When Benedict is in the family room playing, anytime he hears the locks on the front door turning, he'll stop and say, "Mama." This cute response to an all too familiar sound is based on his experience of daily life. In the evening, when Alison comes home from work, soon after hearing that sound, his mother appears in view and he gets very excited. No matter what he's doing or how engaged he is with his current activity, he'll stop, say "Mama" and then crawl to the baby gate, waiting to catch a glimpse of her.Read Article

An Undivided Heart

When I was in college, I loved dating. I went on dates with many women, was in a relationship with a few, and married one of them. It's a difficult transition to shift your mindset from one of dating to one of a committed relationship. A marriage, being the lifelong commitment that it is, requires your full, undivided heart.Read Article

Your Role As Husband

The role of husband is perhaps the most challenging role that any man faces. As a single man, the world was your domain. You chose your coming and your going. You chose what you ate, when you ate. You did all of your own social planning, shopping, and travel. As we stepped into the role of husband, and subsequently the role of father, all of that changed.Read Article

The Secret of Service

When you reach a certain level in a company, one of the perks that you may be given is an administrative assistant. The job of your admin is to take things off your plate that, while they may be important, don't necessarily need to be done by you. If you're running a division of a company, do you really need to be spending your time playing phone tag with a client?Read Article

Do Valentine's Day Right

—PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT—

WARNING! Valentine's Day is in 4 days. WARNING!Read Article

Small Changes Yield Big Results

So many things in our lives are fully within our control. We control our emotions, reactions, and how we treat people. Over time, it can become embarrassingly easy to stop recognizing the gift of your wife. You see her day after day and it becomes easier and easier to act with less kindness. If you don’t watch out, you may end up treating her more like a coworker than your life's partner.Read Article

Clean House, Happy Wife

I love a clean house and a fresh start in the morning. I get up and work for about two hours until Benedict stirs and demands breakfast. Lately, I’ve been refining my evening routine to allow for more time to pick-up the house before bed.Read Article

Planning for A Better Marriage in 2015

A lifetime together is a journey of 1,000 miles. Each day, you take small steps forward and, some days, you simply make no progress. We all want to be better people, to live up to the idea of a person we have in our heads, but breaking free from our self-limitations can be extremely challenging, if not almost impossible to do.Read Article

Make Her Bedtime Better

The way in which we prepare for bed directly affects how much time we spend tossing and turning. With the right moves, you can significantly increase your sleep time each night. Among the changes you can make include decreasing your caffeine consumption, taking melatonin, and limiting “screen time” in the hour leading up to your designated sleep time. Why not do things to make your wife's bedtime better?Read Article

Don't Bury Your Talent

I used to work for a non-profit. My job was to go into communities and start youth programs. The biggest obstacle I faced every time I tried to get a program started was getting the parents involved. It seemed like no matter where I was, urban, rural, affluent, poor, parents just didn’t want to volunteer. There were some very notable exceptions, but by and large, most parents that I met seemed pretty absentee.Read Article

Priorities Matter

Our lives are full of priorities. Some things are simply more important than others. Making the right choices can drastically improve your quality of life.Read Article

The Best Way to Make it Up to Her

There are many times in our relationships that we make mistakes. There are times when we don’t love her as we should or when we hurt her.Read Article

Handmade Gifts Come from the Heart

The tradition of giving gifts to friends and loved ones at Christmas is a centuries old tradition. Unfortunately, it’s been targeted by retailers who have sought to benefit materially on the tradition. While buying people gifts from stores (at incredible discounts, no doubt) isn’t a bad thing, you can do better.Read Article

Going the Extra Mile for Her

You can’t be a minimalist husband. Marriage demands something more. Marriage demands all that you have. Marriage demands your best because your wife deserves it. What does it mean to go the extra mile for your wife?Read Article

Be A Saint, Now

I think that we have a pretty unhealthy view of Heaven. I’d venture to guess that most Catholics, myself included, take the St. Augustine view… “Lord make me holy, but not yet.” How different would our lives be, how different would our marriages be, if we instead took the approach, “Lord, make me holy now."Read Article

2 Years In

Two weeks ago, Alison and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. I’d like to share with you a few thoughts about what I’ve learned so far.Read Article

101 Ways to Love

We all want to be someone great. But do we have the courage to be more than average?Read Article

In Marriage, Time Doesn't Equal Success

In your lifetime, you’ll try many new things. You’ll be an amateur at a lot of hobbies. More important than experience, however, is confidence.Read Article

Attend to Her Needs

A major theme of this blog is personal service. I believe that the most fun you’ll have is in serving your wife selflessly. If you lose yourself in your wife’s needs, you’ll reap a harvest so abundant that your marriage cannot help but grow.Read Article

Deferring Your Wants

We live in a microwave culture. We want everything, now.Read Article

Care for the Sick

As a part of your wedding vows, you promised to care for your wife “in sickness and in health."Read Article

Sunday Hero

Here’s the easiest way to be a Sunday Hero: take the first shower.Read Article

Be Prepared to Give

Being married means living selflessly in a selfish culture.Read Article

Leave it Better

“He always leaves the toilet seat up."Read Article

You're the Servant of All

The Pope has many titles. Perhaps most intriguing is “Servant of the Servants of God."Read Article

The Fastest Way to Grow in Patience

You can’t control the things your spouse does. But you can control your response.Read Article

Withhold Nothing

We’re called to be selfless in this culture of selfishness.Read Article

How to Be An Awesome Husband

Step 1: Do something that will make your wife’s life easier.Read Article

What This Ring Means

Your wedding ring is a constant reminder of your wife’s love and fidelity. It’s a circle, without beginning or end. It’s perpetual.Read Article

Your Marriage

Your marriage was meant for good.Read Article

Why You Always Lose

Conflict in your marriage is a certainty. You and your wife are working towards the same goals, but you may each have a different way to get there. There will be a lot of times when you’re in the wrong, but there will also be times when you’re right, but end up losing the fight anyway.Read Article

When Your Wife Supports Your Dream

Dreaming is a wonderful thing. In dreams, you can release the physical limitations of the current world and imagine what it would be like to overcome them. Dreams are a not just an escape, they’re a path to the future. As a married person, your dreams have to apply to two people. If you’re wife isn’t with you in your dream, then you face an uphill battle.Read Article

Lightening Her Load

All vocations are a calling to serve others. The single person is called the Church and community. The Priest is called to serve the Parish. The Religious are called to serve their community. The married person is called to serve their spouse and family.Read Article

Acts of Thankless Service

As humans, we long to be recognized for our accomplishments. From a very young age, we seek praise for doing good things. Yet, in the married life, sometimes the joy is in not being singled out for a particular good deed.Read Article

Laying Down Your Life for Her

Marriage was designed to be a reflection of Christ’s love for the Church. Being part of such a union is a big set of shoes to fill. What makes it even harder is that we’re called to lay down our life for our wife.Read Article

Your Vows Aren't Stagnant

Your wedding is a day, marriage is a lifetime. Those words are so true, but we can easily forget the words that are exchanged. It can be easy to leave the events of the day in that day. To live an authentically Catholic marriage, we must bring the words and prayers of the Nuptial Mass to life.Read Article

Safe in Her Arms

Many of us have some major trust issues. We've all been hurt deeply by someone we love. Those experiences can be traumatizing to us at the time. They can also have lasting effects on our future relationships.Read Article

Men of Sacrifice

Growing up, my Dad always gave up the best portion to us.Read Article

The Most Commonly Missed Opportunity

Regret is a terrible thing. It only happens when we look back and realized we had a missed opportunity. As guys, there is one scenario that should cause us nothing but regret. Not taking our wife's offer to go shopping with her.Read Article

Do You

Do you love your wife?Read Article

Participating in Each Other's Work

Work is a key piece of our lives. Through work we do two things: we provide for our family and we use our God given talents to glorify Him and bring value to the life of others.Read Article

In Sickness

On your Wedding Day, you promise to take care of your wife, in sickness and in health.Read Article

Husband as Protector

As a husband (and father, too!) we have a very important role to fill. It is one that we simply can’t abdicate. It is the role of the protector.Read Article

It's A Race to the Top!

"Marriage is an adventure, like going to war." When my wife first showed me that quote, I hated it.Read Article

Spring Cleaning

Some people don’t like spring cleaning. The thought of spending your entire weekend working is not very appealing.Read Article

Toilet Paper

The other night, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that we were almost out of toilet paper in our bathroom.Read Article

What's the Least I Can Do?

American Catholicism is having a rough go. The funny part about it is, none of it has anything to do with Church teaching.Read Article

You're Not that Important

I don’t really mean that. You’re important to someone. Hopefully a lot of someones. You’re just not that important to your company.Read Article

Here's An Idea

When you get home early this week, before your wife, get ready for her.Read Article

If You Both Give 50%, You'll Fail

Just over a month after my wedding, my wife and I attended my brother’s wedding. It was a beautiful occasion. He got married in the same Church as my grandparents. All of the family was there. The priest was a man we had known for 12 years, from his days in the Seminary.Read Article

I Had A Win

My desk, at the end of the day, is always completely clear. I am a generally clean person. I try to be diligent in maintaining cleanliness in my life.Read Article

I Owe it to Myself

We cut ourselves a lot of slack. Many times, too much. We work hard and then use that as an excuse to be lazy. We come home, and expect our spouse to do all of the household chores. “I owe it to myself to take it easy tonight.”Read Article

Division of Labor

In my 9thGrade World History Class, one of the key areas of investigation for any particular culture was the division of labor. Whom in the family was expected to do what? In more recent times, one can be shouted down for even suggesting that one’s wife should have the option to stay home and raise the children. We almost have a division of labor identity crisis. Regardless of where the division lies, it needs to be made.Read Article

Mr. Fix-It

As men, we like to fix things. See a problem, fix a problem. We enjoy the challenge. We believe that we are good at it. The problem is, we apply this fix-it attitude to every situation. We don’t realize that what we want doesn’t always line up with what our wives want.Read Article

Lessons from Downton Abbey

My wife and I don’t have cable. We are currently on the Dave Ramsey plan and, well, we don’t really need it. Instead, like many households today, we simply have subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu+. A few months ago, The Office had a line mentioning Downton Abbey.Read Article

Try Serving

Growing up, every day, my parents used to require that each of the kids read a book for 30 minutes per day. We called this, “Reading Time.” I hated it. There were so many different things that I wanted to do; I wanted to play, to run outside, anything except do something so boring as reading. It took me until just a few months ago to realize the utter importance of reading. I finally understood that reading opens up entire new worlds to me. In fact, it has almost gotten to the point where I would rather read than play. Point: Mom and Dad.Read Article

Organic Child Planning is Sexy

Contraception is a lie. The pitch is simple. You're a young, hip, independent woman. You have the right to have sex with anyone that you want, at any time. However, pregnancy is a mistake and will put a damper on your fun. So, take these pills, and you won't have to worry.Read Article

Welcome to the Beginning

Welcome, friend! Well, there I am on my wedding day. A spry young man. As a friend would say, “Just a pup.” Ready to set off on the journey of a lifetime.Read Article