Three to Thrive with Ryan & Chelsea Harkins

Three to Thrive - 6th Podcast welcomes the 2nd guest to the program! 

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Ryan and Chelsea Harkins live in Dallas, TX and were married October 22nd, 2016 on the feast of St. John Paul the Great. They have a sweet 2 month old baby named John Paul and have worked to start a marriage ministry called Three to Thrive.  After reading Fulton Sheen’s Three to Get Married while engaged (they still read it frequently!), they were inspired to help couples navigate the most important vocation of their lives. They began “post-cana” classes with 10 couples at Birth Choice, a pregnancy center that Ryan runs, and have invited priests, Catholic psychotherapists, and consecrated women to give talks on the practical and spiritual realities of their greatest adventure: the intimate pursuit of another’s soul.  They now have 30-40 couples join them the last Thursday of each month going to different churches around Dallas. They have seen how much young couples are desiring formation for their marriage to thrive.

Chelsea just finished physical therapy school and realized that she will be continuing her education to maintain a standard of care. This career will last only a few decades but a marriage will last forever. It’s important to keep up the “dating life” of marriage!

The day after they married, Ryan and Chelsea realized there’s no instruction guide for marriage, but they needed something to help them stay on track. They went to a one day retreat with 8 couples and God blessed their efforts and helped them to start this small marriage and family life apostolate for all people: we’re all human and imperfect and we need God’s perfection in our daily lives and our marriage. Marriage is the building block of humanity and all of society hinges on its health!

Three to Thrive’s ultimate mission is to make divorce unthinkable.  They want their couples to receive practical and spiritual formation of the power of the vocation of marriage and allow their hearts to be changed to believe divorce isn’t an option. Praying that the Holy Spirit guides them, they remain confident that keeping marriages strong, healthy and together is on Our Father’s heart.

Ryan met a woman in her 80s who just celebrated her 54th wedding anniversary and asked her what her secret was to staying married that long. Her reply was so simple yet profound: you don’t get divorced! Don’t go down the road of thinking about divorce. What has changed in society that divorce is so common?

Three to Thrive is a great name which reminds us that God is at the center of our lives and that our marriage should be exciting. In Fulton Sheen’s Three to Get Married, “three” refers to the lover, the beloved and love itself which enables you to get married and thrive, and God is already present because He is Love itself!  

At the monthly Three to Thrive meetings the last Thursday of each month, couples gather at 6:30 for happy hour and spend time with other couples who are in their first 5-10 years of marriage. They begin with a marriage reflection (catechesis) and then invite a priest, Catholic psychotherapist or other experts in marriage to talk about 45 minutes. Couples then break off for a little while to continue the conversation. They have a priest present to offer confession and a consecrated woman offering spiritual guidance.

Their next big event will take place on labor day weekend of 2018 and it will be a 3 day pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City. They’ll stay at a 4 star hotel, have some fun and wine and dine, but will also spend all day at the Basilica to renew their wedding vows and have mass every day. They have space for 12-15 couples to join them.

You can contact Ryan and Chelsea and find more info at threetothrive.life or on their Facebook page.

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