I had the joy of talking with Kimberly Cook–Catholic blogger, author, mom, and mental health professional–about her new marriage workbook. I’m so excited to share this on the one Valentine’s Day that begins on Ash Wednesday! Isn’t love about dying to self and imitating Christ?
Lisa: Tell me about the marriage workbook. How did it come to be and what was the inspiration behind it?
Kimberly: I worked in church ministries for many years before getting married and have always heard a lot of criticism about how the Church is lacking in good continuing formation for married couples. I found this to be a common problem, with parishes lacking resources that had to be searched for by the diligent faithful in order to obtain them. Another challenge for faith-based marriage resources is getting couples to commit to participating. Many spouses are not willing to be part of a marriage retreat or parish group. For these reasons, I decided to develop a mini-retreat from home!
Lisa: What an awesome idea. I had a chance to read through much of the program, and I was very impressed. Explain how the Marriage Workbook is laid out and what the format is that couples follow?
Kimberly: Thanks! The couples enter into a simple and guided course, from the comfort of their own homes, and at their own pace. Each week highlights one of the seven virtues, specifically as it applies to the vocation of marriage. Each chapter explains the virtue in practical terms and then offers study nights, with an accompanying scripture verse, discussion nights, and reflection nights. The expected amount of time each week is three nights of 20-30 minutes each.
Lisa: That sounds so do-able. I love it. Who is this Workbook meant for and how can benefit from using it?
Kimberly: The Workbook is meant for the average Catholic in the pew, but can be delved into much more deeply for those who have a more advanced understanding of the faith. The Workbook is specifically designed for couples who are at least a few years into marriage, and the priest who is overseeing the development and review of the Workbook says that he would like to see couples do this Workbook every 5 years of their marriage.
Lisa: That sounds so wise. I think we need to check back in with each other in different phases of our lives. What are your goals for the program?
Kimberly: Our hope is that, in offering married couples a material with a solid formation, rooted in the virtues, they will be more inclined to work through and grow in their marriage covenant with one another – particularly as it is able to be encountered privately in the home.
Lisa: Wonderful! Okay readers, just click any of the images in this post to be taken to Kimberly’s blog page, where you can order the workbook for yourself and your Valentine! Thank you, so much, Kimberly!