Marriage — Wonderful Work
“…if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness…”1
“Some people think they should be spared from any adversity if they keep God’s commandments, but it is “in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10) that we are chosen.”2
During Spring Break my husband and I experienced some unity issues. Both incidents became incidents because of how I chose to respond.
The first incident came about as a screaming, napless toddler was being put to bed for the night. Father was handling the situation. I was invited to help and denied the opportunity so as to finish dinner dishes. However, as the situation escalated in volume, I found myself becoming more and more agitated. Knowing the hysterical child just needed a story read to calm her down enough for sleep to take over, I scrubbed pots until I couldn’t stand it any more. By then, Father knew he had “crossed a line”, but was determined to finish what he had started. Instead of making a verbal suggestion to read a book, I stepped in and took over, which pretty much undermined any progress Father was making. Not a good choice.
Incident number two happened in front of all the children as we tried to organize weekly family scripture study. Father had one opinion. Mother had a different opinion. Father called for a parent council, but Mother had a task to complete. Thinking we could just do it the way we had the week before, Mother moved forward with assignments. Father left for work, and the Holy Ghost began to work on Mother’s heart. I knew I had messed up again.
Marriage is work. No matter how hard both of you are — -or aren’t — — trying to keep the commandments, staying connected and working through differences takes effort.
The good news is, “the Lord loves effort, and effort brings rewards”! 3
No one wants your marriage to succeed and to reach its full potential more than your Father in Heaven. “God is not just interested in what we do or don’t do but in what we are becoming.”2
That’s another reason He sent His Son. Through the example and Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can practice forgiveness and repentance in marriage relationships, even if it is one sided. Weaknesses truly can “become strong”.1 Peace, a gift from the Holy Ghost, can be given.
It is in working through daily incidents that we can draw near unto our Savior and unto each other. Conversely, allowing these seemingly insignificant daily incidents to pile up and fester pushes away the Holy Ghost and divides what is meant to “be one”.4 “We should approach [a] challenge…knowing that our Heavenly Father will sustain us. But it is crucial that we turn to Him. Without God, the dark experiences of suffering and adversity tend to despondency, despair, and even bitterness.”2
Yes, marriage is work. It is wonderful work with pay-offs that can last into eternity.
“When we have our Heavenly Father’s help, our adversity and our afflictions will refine rather than defeat us”….or our marriages.2