This week I found that I appreciate a couple of prompt questions that were provided for us in our Marriage course. I appreciate the simplicity of them, and that they motivate me in regards to my marriage. I pray that they can enlighten you a bit as well.
What things in particular are you going to implement into your life to ensure that your marriage is a covenant marriage and not a contractual marriage?
Well, first things first…. My marriage is indeed a contractual marriage at this time. My husband is not a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, but we’re working toward that and I know in my heart that someday this will happen. With that being said, I live my life and my “half” of our marriage as if my husband is my companion from eternity to eternity. I read a talk for this week’s reading material from Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles titled “Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan.” In this talk, I was reminded of several things, but most importantly his reminder that we need to treat our marriages for what they are – sacred. Am I doing this? What do I need to change?
I try to treat my marriage as if it is sacred. My marriage is the most valuable thing that I have outside of my relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ. BUT, I am not caring for my marriage as I should. I do not make time each day, each week, or sometimes even each month to spend one on one time with my husband growing together, laughing together, or enjoying one another’s company. I intend to fix this immediately.
I will say that I had a little heads up from a classmate that took Marriage last semester that we would be able to start having weekly dates with our spouses as part of our course work. This excited me. I haven’t had time to have a date, or really I haven’t made it a priority. My husband and I are both guilty. When I shared with him the idea, he participated with me in making a list of places we’d like to go together and restaurants we’d like to eat at – by ourselves, no kids! I don’t want to rekindle what I have, we have a little fire going, but I’d love to see our affection for one another grow as we spend time with one another. I want to have a great big bon fire. Isn’t that the idea? I don’t simply want to grow old on this earth with my husband, I want to grow old and be feisty and love one another like no other husband and wife ever have…. Isn’t that what we should all be striving for? We are reaching for the temple so that we can have all of the earthly enjoyment of being eternal companions. I like him that much – in all of his stubbornness, in all of his kindness, in all of his sweet caring ways – I like him just enough to want to be by his side each and every single day for all of the eternities. So, I’m going to start dating him. This week! I am so excited! Thoughts on where we should go first? Please feel free to share.
Next, I want to talk about some big bad wolves. You know the story of the three pigs and the big bad wolf. Well, according to Elder Bruce C Hafen, there are really three big bad wolves. And they are:
- The wolf of natural adversity
- The wolf of our own imperfections
- The wolf of excessive individualism
These wolves are horrible. We can’t really avoid the first wolf, as it tests our marriage, we have to get on our knees and pray and have our Savior yoke with us so that we can overcome the trials that are put before us in this life. We all have trials to overcome, and we must. Remember that no trial that we are given is too much for us to endure.
The world of our own imperfections, however, we can avoid this one. Elder Hafen tells of a woman who was so belittled by her spouse that she felt invaluable and worthless. This is unacceptable on two levels. First, no human deserves to be treated in this manner, and I am confident that her spouse will be dealt with justly on judgement day. Secondly, and even more importantly, each and every one of us are a child of God. He made us in His image. We are made just how we are supposed to be. Sure we can learn to do more things, we can expand our skills and our knowledge. We can learn to control our patience level and learn to love deeper, and we should do all of these things that are praiseworthy and of good report. We have got to remember that are made in His image and we His children. Each one of us has great value in his eyes. If you aren’t a parent yet, you maybe don’t quite understand this… but sometime in the natural progression of attempting to be the best parent you can, one learns that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for the benefit of your child. I mean, just this morning, my daughter was begging me to pay $45 to send her on a field trip. $45 are you kidding me? I mean, I don’t normally mind $5 or $10, but $45? That’s not a field trip, that’s an expense line for the budget. Nope, she’s not going. I’m certain it would be beneficial for her, I’m sure she’d learn some great things, and yes, she will be the only one from her class period not in attendance, but I am not paying $45 for a field trip. I want her to be able to go, I want her to have the benefit of the cultural experience she has been promised from this outing, but I simply can’t afford it right now. There are a lot of things in life that I want for my children that I can’t provide, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want what’s best for them. Heavenly Father wants what is best for us, and that is a covenant marriage and a strong family. We have got to remember the value that we hold in His eyes and never let anyone strip us of this.
Lastly, the wolf of excessive individualism. I used to know this wolf. We were even intimate. He and I may as well have been conjoined twins. After my divorce, I went searching for me. I thought I found me, and boy was I wrong. I went several years with putting my career in front of my children. I worked hard to provide for them, and I was successful in doing so. But I had too much time to myself making me who I was – the provider, and not enough time being mom and loving on my kiddos. I have since remarried and am now blessed with being a stay-at-home mom. I wish I could turn back the clock and stay a struggling single mom instead of a financially set single mom. I am saddened by the field trips, snotty noses, owies, and meal times that I missed working overtime because I thought that I needed money in order to give my children what they needed. I was wrong, and here I am now, blessed beyond belief to stay home and finish watching some of them grow into beautiful young adults. I get to drive them to school, pack their lunches, and attend every single event that they are involved in – because that’s what moms are for – at least this mom.
So, what am I going to do? I’m going to beat these wolves away. I’m going to teach my children of their worth in the eyes of God and I’m going to always strive to be the mom that I was meant to be – divinely appointed to be. I am going to kiss scraped knees and hug girls with broken hearts and I am going to go to the marching band practices for the next four and a half years. I am going to love with all of my heart and focus on the gifts and blessings that I have been given from above. And I pray whole heartedly that you find a way to fight those wolves that are at your door – pray them away. Yoke with Him.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.