Generally when we think of marriage, we think of old married couples who have been together what seems to us as forever. But sooner than later, marriage is going to become a very big part of our lives. We need to prepare for it years in advance so when the time comes we are not so overwhelmed that we breakdown. There are many components to marriage: self-respect, selflessness, communication, forgiveness, honesty and enduring to the end.
Love s not a three way street, you ll never share real love until you love your self… # In the new Broadway musical, RENT , Roger shares with Mimi, that he can not marry her unless she loves herself. He can not stay in this relationship unless there is love between them, and that each person loves them self for who they are. In the world today, we can get caught up in the worldly images of Hollywood, which can be very detrimental. I am a child of God, and he has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday. # When we remember the words to this song we can think of how important we really are. When we can overcome self-doubt and low self-esteem, we can then start to love other people deeply. Through service and dedication to the church we can really know what it means to be a Child of God. In Psalms 82:6 it says, I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. This is a great reminder that we do have a Heavenly Father that cares for each one of us. He knows each of our names, and our challenges. The most important thing is to love who you are, and what you stand for. My parents always reminded me when I walked out the door to go on a date or to a party, they said, Remember who you are! That has stuck with me, because we need to remember who we are and why we are here.
Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of our secret of love is that it can work its miracle in any relationship. Ideally, this process is not one-sided; a truly happy and enduring relationship requires selflessness and kind, loving regard on the part of both spouses. # In your marriage, you need to be in a give-give relationship, not a take-give relationship. Always remember that Jesus taught, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12) It s just like the saying, Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. If we always remembered that one statement we would be so much happier. Jesus died for us; he literally gave his life for us. We can do little things to show our love and respect to our spouses. We will be truly happy if we give of our selves instead of take, take, take.
Nothing is more important to the relationship between family members than open, honest communication. This is particularly true for parents trying to teach gospel principles and standards to their children. There are powerful moments of communication through regular family prayer and through family scripture study. # Not only is communication between spouses, but communication with your children is equally important. In my life, I can remember when I have gotten into fights with friends, or with my parents. Most of the time, it was because we had some sort of miscommunication. If we would have talked things out, or thought things through before we acted a lot of grief and pain would have been spared. Also, communication with our Heavenly Father is a key principle in the Gospel. A fervent, sincere prayer is a two-way communication that will do much to bring the Spirit flowing like healing water to help with the trials, hardships, aches, and pains we all face. # In Moroni 7:6 it explains …prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. If we put the word communicate in substitute for prayer we read, communicate unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. We need to communicate with our family and spouse just as we would with our Heavenly Father, and that is, with real intent.
The Atonement is the center of the Gospel and the Atonement centers on forgiveness and love. President Boyd K. Packer said, The great morning of forgiveness may not come at once. Do not give up if at first you fail. Discouragement is part of that test. Do not give up. That brilliant morning will come. Then, the peace of God, which passeth…. understanding comes into your life once again. (Philippians 4:7) Then you, like Him, will remember your sins no more. How will you know? You will know. # Through forgiveness you will be able to forget the little stupid things that your spouse does. We all have little irritating habits, and sometimes you are going to need to ignore them. You need to think, Is my love for this person more important than this silly little thing I can t get over? If we center our lives on Jesus Christ and the Atonement, we will have the right attitude to be able to forgive and forget.
I think honesty and trust are one of the most important keys to a successful marriage. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men… (The Articles of Faith 1:13) Honesty is a virtue that we all need to hold dear. When I was younger I had a struggle with honesty and I look back and realized how unhappy I really was. When we lose trust in our family, and spouses we cannot even begin to think of the damage that it does to our relationships. “I think the Lord expects of His people that they will be absolutely honest in all of their dealings. In all that they do, they will be honest with others and honest with themselves. # Your marriage will be based on trust, and if you lose that trust it will be one of the hardest things for you to gain back. Honesty is not a sometimes virtue, we need to be honest in all of our doings just like President Hinckley says.
The last but also one of the most important doctrines is enduring to the end. Enduring to the end means starting right now to live a righteous life and continuing that path to the end. If we have a temple marriage, that is a huge important step to our exaltation. It s when we endure to the end with our spouse and family righteously, that is when we will receive our reward. Those who endure to the end shall be lifted up. (1st Nephi 13:37) We must live obediently and do that which we know to be right, working with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Then we can expect to have the Spirit to be with us to guide us and direct our actions to be good, endure to the end, and attain eternal life. #
Living together, raising children, having financial difficulties, death, and health struggles are all apart of daily life, but it is our virtues and principles that will save us. We can have all of the money in the world, but if we forget who we are and why we came here then our life is basically worthless. You will have problems in you marriage but if you remember to love, forgive and learn, then those problems and trails will become blessings in your life. When we remember to have self respect, give our all, communicate, be honest in all of our dealings, forgive and finally endure to the end our marriages will stay together not just for this life time, but for all eternity.