Saturday, June 18, 2011

On Marriage...

As I read through my scriptures all this week, reading along with the Good Morning Girls, I was inspired to be so much more than I already am. Pair that with good company and I had a recipe for a great week! Last night I went for a "girls night!" It was such a blast! We went to a bookstore, drank cocoa from the cafe, and we browsed around various sections talking about books that we had read. It was a wonderful time! The women I was with enlightened me, and their words were always helpful, uplifting, and often funny. While I smiled, laughed, and browsed I couldn't help but feel the glow of pleasure- being in a positive environment with positive people really does make a body much happier!

After the bookstore closed, two of us decided to see a movie. Yes, the movie was entertaining, but the best part of the interaction came on the drive home. We ended up sitting in the car for over an hour- discussing children, marriage, and emotions. Her kind and loving words are still ringing in my ears. At one point in the conversation we were discussing single parents. (I had made a comment about how I feel like it is harder to work at a marriage than just leave.)

Her kind words were something like this:

Single parents were not meant to happen, that is why it takes two people to have a child. No... marriage is not always about romance, or even being best friends. Sometimes marriage is simply two people honoring their partnership and working for the betterment of the family they both agreed to have. The ideas that make us want to leave our families are often *selfish. When we follow selfish desires we never truly gain joy. I have seen divorce, and it hurts. Being a single parent is a lot harder than simply dealing with a less-than-perfect marriage. Sometimes people don't realize it until it is too late. By taking responsibility for our own thoughts and therefore taking responsibility to find happiness in our current marriages, we would all be better off and much happier!

Her words were much more eloquent than that, and much longer. I was so inspired! And, it all makes sense. Rather than sit around and make a checklist of all the things I want different in my life, I should instead stand back and remember the decisions that I made that brought me here. Rather than sit in my own little puddle (which is, in my case, made of laundry that never seems to be finished) and feel sorry for myself- I need to remember that I CHOOSE to do this, and I need to switch my mind back over to being GRATEFUL for the things that I have in my life.

Our wedding day, 2004

One of the readings this week was from Luke 14:

27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?

Carter and Harrison-

I want you to PRAYERFULLY consider marriage, and your intended wives, long before you propose. Getting married is fun- I won't lie. There are pretty dresses, gifts, tons of attention, and it is a huge rite of passage in adulthood. Being married is fun too! You get to live with the person you adore! It is a sleepover every night! Great times! HOWEVER- consider the verse above. If you tell yourself that she is the only one, and you are not going back, and if you work hard to eliminate the word "divorce" from your mind then you will set yourself up for a better marriage.

Ask yourself (and her!!!!) about what you believe your family roles should be. Discuss gender roles. Discuss children- the number, the desired time before the first, the time you would be willing to have last (Do you want a baby when you are 22? Do you want a teen when you are 70?). Ask about holiday vacations. Ask about politics. Ask about EVERYTHING!

One of the best things your dad and I ever did was talk, a lot. The early part of our relationship was spent as buddies. Later, when we felt romantic love- we were hundreds of miles apart- and our phone conversations created time for us to really get to know one another without the distractions that can come from looking into the eyes of someone who makes your heart leap. Dad and I have seen SO MANY marriages fall apart over something so simple- conflicting religions or conflicting ideas on the number of children. These failed marriages would NEVER have had to happen had the couples just put their hormones on the back burner and asked the tough questions. We do not want to see your heartache from making such a mistake! Communicate early, and often! Find your priorities, and make sure you are compatible- ESPECIALLY when it comes to building your own "tower" together. Political differences or views on food preference do not have to be deal breakers, but number of children or feelings about birth control might be. Either way- talking about it will make you informed, and only then can you make a wise and informed decision before taking it to the Lord and asking for confirmation. Be smart, boys, so that you will be smart husbands and fathers! Then, and only then, should you consider asking your love to become your eternal companion.

Marriage is not always easy. Parts of it can be very hard. But with a prayerful heart, respectful words and thought out decisions it can be rewarding and fulfilling in itself. Finally, I ask that my boys remember- it is better to be single than be married to the wrong person. Wait. Be prayerful, be patient, and all will work out.

(Yes, 6 year old Carter, I am aware that you intend to marry my wonderful friend, Kayla. But if you decide to ever even entertain the idea of someone else, I hope that you read the above text... You have been in love with Kayla for almost two years now, and from the moment you met her you expressed a desire to marry her!)

*Obviously, we were not discussing people who leave toxic or abusive marriages! We were simply chatting about the common "I don't love you anymore" divorce. My friend is the most nonjudgmental person I have ever met, and her words were directed at my comments, not divorce in general.

1 comment:

  1. The words are so true, and thank you for posting this! Sometimes I need that reminder too, and I am so touched that you tell this to your boys as well! :)