Ok y’all this week is the last of the reading from the two assigned text books for FAML300:Marriage. I am really quite sad about it. I have spent the last few weeks loving the quiet moments I have had reading books that aren’t written as text and that fill me spiritually and provide me with realistic objectives that I can apply in my life.
So, what did I walk away with this week? What knowledge have I gained that I can share with you? Other than you need to go to the closest bookstore (don’t speed) and buy both of these books Drawing Heaven Into Your Marriage and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work? I will say this: I have work to do, and so do you.
I’d like to write this entire post and just ask a zillion questions for you to really get thinking, but I have a prompting that I need to go in a different direction – I don’t want to, but I do try really hard to follow those little promptings. Today, I got up out of a chair and the instant that I stood up, the raised seat fell completely off of the base of the chair onto the concrete. I know for certain that this was a great blessing! I was home alone and I’d probably have knocked my head against either the porch or the patio (both are cement) and bled out all over, missed picking the little one up from pre-school and laid there unconscious until Hubby came home from work hours later. No one would have known, so today, as a HUGE thanks for blessings both big and small, I will follow the prompting that I have been given and open up a little bit more – even though it’s not what I really want to do. Apparently, it’s something that I need to do. Making me even more apprehensive – I’ve been writing this blog on and off for over 18 months now, and last week Hubby told me he’s been reading it. What? I thought he never read it. Oh my word! So, I’ve been saying things here, in my blog that has recently about marriage that I am a little bit scared to say to my husband in quiet. – Clearly an issue that I need to deal with.
Okay, back to the point at hand here. This week I learned that I need to look at myself in order to gain understanding of my husband. Does that make sense to you? It didn’t to me at first, and then I kept reading. I read about charity, I read about different meanings of the love of Christ, I read about forgiveness, I read about the Atonement, I read about the natural man and how Satan wheedles his way into our hearts and drives wedges the size of 100 year old oaks between man and wife. And in all of that, I learned that I need to work more on turning toward God, turning toward my spouse, and fixing me.
I need to stop, and pray. There is a prayer offered by the prophet Mormon in Moroni 7:47-48 that reads: “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.” Not only does Mormon instruct us here what charity is, but he tells us how to obtain this most precious gift. We can obtain charity through sincere prayer. Charity is the opposite of the natural man and by praying and asking for charity, we can not only become better individuals but we can become better spouses.
In the conclusion for both books, we are given information on how to fix our marriage that might be struggling. Let’s face it, there is no perfect marriage. I love my husband and I see him as my eternal companion (even though we’re not sealed in the temple), but I can admit freely that our marriage is no where near perfect. I am actually pretty certain if someone asked me face-to-face how our marriage was good that I would laugh out loud. I will say that we do not raise our voices at one another in anger or frustration. There is no violence in our home – so we have those two things going for us. This is my second marriage and his first – and both of our last. Our very first kiss was in an airport parking lot. Our very last kiss was just a few moments ago, while I was sitting in this office typing up this blog while peeking at a Facebook page that I’m waiting to load. We are both scared of growing old alone, we both worry about our financial future – but he more than me. We both want our children to grow and be happy and healthy – and we both want a goat. I like to talk (I’m pretty typical in this fashion) and he does not (I think he’s pretty typical too). “Feelings? What are those?” is one of the sayings that I can quote directly from his mouth, even though he’s normally smirking when he says it. But we certainly have our differences. I grew up in the suburbs, he grew up in a small town. My sisters and my mom are my dearest friends and he’s not super close with his brothers. I grew up in a very liberal part of the country, and he grew up in a very conservative part of the nation. We are different. We have different views on different topics and at times, we simply butt heads. I know for a surety that in the last five years that I have learned lessons from him, and I am so grateful for each of them and I pray there will be many more to learn.
Here, I have gone on and on, gushing about my marriage and not a word on how to fix the problems… here’s how: get on your knees and pray. Ask forgiveness from Heavenly Father for being selfish and ask for charity. Ask for Heavenly Father to show you how to have charity so that you can serve your spouse. As you lose yourself in service to your spouse, you will gain a lot. Try just giving your spouse a compliment tomorrow. Even if he/she laughs at you. Do it again the next day, and the next. While you’re giving sincere, from the heart, compliments, ignore the things that drive you nuts: dirty dishes, wet towels, toilet seats, dirty socks, stolen soda’s, whatever it is… just listen to Princess Elsa and let it go. When we look for the good (the compliment giving) we start seeing less of the things that drive us crazy.
And it came to pass that you worked on serving your spouse and giving compliments to them as you do little things here and there to make them happy – this is selfless – giving sincerely out of want to give is charity. And it came to pass that as you went about doing good in your home, your marriage thrived and those irritants became a stupor of thought for you… because they aren’t important. Marriage on the earth is our test for the eternities. Heavenly Father gives us spouses to teach us, so learn from your spouse – learn all the good things and forget all the bad. You can do it, and so can I; we can do it with the Lord as our guide and He will be our support each day when we don’t think we can make it on our own. He is always there, He will always be there, and He will take care.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.