Friday, March 16, 2018

The Virtue of Charity

It seems to me that unless you have true love and charity for you spouse, your hope of success is very small.
Conflicts are common in marriage. As we learned last week, perpetual conflicts are 67% of the problems we endure in marriage. In other words, conflicts that continue to resurface over and over. These are often the conflicts that cause gridlock. This gridlock can cause you to be drawn farther and farther from you spouse. You start to see them as selfish and the root of your misery and unhappiness.
As Gottman describes gridlock, "1. You've had the same argument again and again with no resolution. 2. Neither of you can address the issue with humor, empathy, or affection. 3. The issue is becoming increasingly polarizing as time goes on. 4. Compromising seems impossible because it would mean selling out-giving up something important and core to your beliefs, values, or sense of self." 
When we are locked in these problems, it becomes difficult to feel charity for our spouse. Charity is described in the Book of Mormon as 'the pure love of Christ". Elder Max Caldwell says, "The phrase 'love of Christ' might have meaning in three dimensions: Love for Christ, Love from Christ, and Love like Christ". (Goddard p.116). As we strive to feel this way, and develop these virtue, working our way out of gridlock because easier. This attribute is developed as we study the teachings of Jesus Christ and try to experience a mighty change of heart, as we pray and focus on acting charitable in our lives. When we do this we will have a greater power to overcome our perpetual problems and come out of our marital gridlocks. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Choosing our Battles

John Gottman says in his book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" that there are two main types of problems in a marriage. First is perpetual problems. I like to think of these as chronic pains. The second is solvable problems. This can also be understand as problems that have a solution. He says that unfortunately most problems in marriage are perpetual. He says, "When choosing a long-term will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unsolvable problems that you'll be grappling with for the next ten, twenty, or fifty years". This can be a little disheartening to think about, especially when you are at the beginning of the long journey of marriage. However, he points out in the book that perpetual problems do not need to interfere with marital satisfaction. They are much like a chronic pain or ache, and when you learn how to forgive and cope and can communicate effectively about these problems, you marriage will still be full of happiness and satisfaction. This was really hopeful to me. It seems counter intuitive, that there can be happiness and perpetual problems, but if there is humor, love and consecration in your marriage, the problems do not have to define or distract from your ultimate happiness. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Choosing to be Humble

I have read the talk "Beware of Pride" by Elder Benson many times, but for some reason, most likely because I wasn't yet married, I never put it in the context of marriage. I really loved his quote, "The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)"
This is so applicable to a marriage. When we are not focused on God in our own lives, when we are getting puffed up, and prideful against him, we can't help but act this way towards others as well, especially those closest to us. 
If we see this start to happen in our marriages, first and foremost, we need to repent and strive to develop humility, greater obedience, and faith. As we do this, we can begin to discuss marriage issues, and resolve them. If we do not first repent and seek humility, then when we strive to discuss marital problems, we will not be able to truly and sufficiently resolve them. Our pride will eventually sneak back in. 
We must be vigilant in our quest to be humble, faithful and teachable. If not for the sake of our souls, for the sake of our marriages, and eternal happiness.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Turn Towards One Another

Recently I have been considering how incredibly important it is to have a marriage where you are both committed to the things that matter most. A marriage where you both place value in the same things, or at least truly understand the value of something to the other partner. This involves a lot of communication. I think it also involves being humble and seeking to be understanding and compassionate towards your partner. Once again, I think that this is easier done if you are focusing your life on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When you and your spouse, as individuals and as a couple are trying to be more Christlike, and trying to build faith, then you can increase your humility and lovingness in your relationship. With these feelings there is a greater ability to communicate and understand one another. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

True Love

Today is Valentine's Day and that seems like an appropriate day to make a post about marriage and true love. 
Marriage is situation which requires the companions to be selfless and giving in order for there to be harmony and peace. Marriage is work. It requires the very best of us. In order to have harmony and peace in our marriage, we must put the needs and desires of our spouse before our own. If they are doing the same thing for us, then we will be in harmony. 
Sometimes in marriage, we feel that our spouse is not doing their part or putting our needs first. This does occasionally happen on both sides as we grow as humans. That is why we must have a marriage which is also centered in Christ. As we center our lives and our marriages on Christ, we grow together, and repent and change for the better. As we draw nearer unto Christ, we draw nearer to one another, and become more selfless in our marriage. 
These aspects, create true love. True charity. This leads us to harmony and peace in our marriage. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Marriage is Essential to Heavenly Father’s Plan

Throughout the world it is hard to ignore Satan’s acute and blatant attacks on the family. It is being attacked in every conceivable way, from the breaking down of gender and gender roles, to the breaking down of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Those in the world that still believe in God and that he has a feeling about these things, have started to create for themselves a god that is all about tolerance and love, ignoring the fact that the one true God himself says, “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:39). No matter how the world tries to distort the truth, it is still truth. No matter how the world tries to make good look evil and evil look good, God knows better. No matter the methods of Satan to deceive and lead astray, wickedness never will be happiness, and the philosophy that “he will justify in committing a little sin...if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Ne 28:8) will NEVER be true.
When it comes to our views on marriage and the family, we must keep an eternal perspective. Marriage is essential to salvation in God’s eternal kingdom. It is not something defined by human minds, but it is quite literally ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is a way to sanctify God’s children. It is also the ideal setting for the bringing up and rearing children. Elder David A. Bednar says, “A home with a loving and loyal husband and wife is the supreme setting in which children can be reared in love and righteousness and in which the spiritual and physical needs of children can be met. Just as the unique characteristics of both males and females contribute to the completeness of a marriage relationship, so those same characteristics are vital to the rearing, nurturing, and teaching of children. ‘Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.’ (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)” (Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan). This idea is often neglected when thinking of marriage. The world thinks of marriage only in selfish, and self fulfilling terms, never considering the effect on the children of society. This is simply wrong. We MUST consider these innocent charges, placed in our care. We must care for them more than ourselves. 
We live in a world where the emphasis is on self and autonomy. This is completely contrary to the doctrines of the kingdom and what God requires of us. He commands us to, “putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19). God wants us to live selflessly, to serve others, and to follow the example of Jesus Christ in all things. Jesus Christ was the perfect example of humility and long suffering, he was the perfect example of selflessness, even in the midst of His own suffering, He first thought of others. The Father also lives this way, as we learn when He teaches us that his, “work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). A completely selfless work for an all powerful God. If we are to inherit all He has, and become like Him, then we need to begin living NOW, as he does. By casting off the natural man, and not giving into the enticing of the adversary which appeal to our natural man, and by consuming our lives and marriages with the service and concern of others. This lifestyle will ultimately bring the most happiness, not autonomy and the pursuit of self fulfilling, and devilish ideals.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Disciples of the Lord are Defenders of Marriage

So my major in school is Marriage and Family Therapy. As I have studied this topic I have found the statistics and case studies and just overall information fascinating. I loved everything that I have learned.
This semester I am taking a class that focuses specifically on marriage and everything socially and politically associated with that. For this class, I am required to keep this blog. I think that will be quite interesting since I am a person that has very strong feelings on marriage, and believe fully in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, released by the prophet and apostles of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I believe that marriage is ordained of God. I believe it was created and instituted by him as the best way to carry out His Plan of Salvation. I don't think marriage is a social or political concept that can mean whatever you want, and be displayed and recognized in whatever way the world feels is correct. In our world today, this is a very unpopular and persecuted opinion to have. But that doesn't scare me. God is greater than the world. He gave us our life, and He gave us this earth, and He gave us everything we hold dear. With all these blessing He also gave us commandments and guidelines and when we make choices contrary to these, it displeases God, and there are consequences and punishments.
Marriage is for the family. Marriage is ordained of God because it is the perfect way in which to bring children into the world and to raise them. Marriage between a man and a woman. This is the way, and anything else is contrary to nature and contrary to God. To really believe in God, and understand Him and his ways, is to understand this. There is no way around it. You cannot profess faith in God, and a desire to live His way and be His disciple and then disregard His very specific feelings on marriage and family.
To be a disciple of God is to be a defender of marriage. Anything else is hypocrisy.
So with this blog, I intend to be a defender of marriage as God has defined it.