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12 Keys to a Sacramental Marriage View Comments
By Andrew and Terri Lyke

Terri and Andrew Lyke of Chicago, who married in 1975, have been leaders in Christian marriage preparation, education and enrichment since 1982.

AFTER 35 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, we look back and see clearly how the wisdom of others has shaped us. We have benefited from many stakeholders who opened their lives to us to witness their love through good, bad, fun, tragic—holy times.

Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Letting God’s light shine through us is our way of following Jesus. He instructs us in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Here are 12 ways sacramental marriages let God’s light shine through them and put their lamp on a lampstand. We will be using personal examples to illustrate this. Readers can make their own adaptations.

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Andrew and Terri Lyke were married in 1975 and have been leaders in Christian marriage preparation, education and enrichment since 1982. They are the designers of the Arusi Retreat for Christian Marriages, which they have presented across the United States. They are also the founders of Arusi Network, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that educates African-Americans on the skills and benefits of Christian marriage.

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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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