Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Meaningful Life: On Marriage

Something that I think makes life meaningful is having a good marriage. I thought marriage was good when it was just the two of us, how could it get any better than that? Then when I saw Ben as a father, my love for him took on a new and different dimension that I can't even describe. But being married for only two years, we are obviously not experts on what makes a good marriage. That being said, I am always looking for ways to make our marriage better, and more meaningful. I have really loved a handout our bishop gave us when we moved in, something he gives all the new move-ins that is a compilation of church teachings. I have poured over it since the day he gave it to us, reading it and re-reading it. I'm praying that by reading it over and over again the ideas will get stuck in my head and I will do all these things. It's by no means all-inclusive, but I love how it's simple and outlined, like a checklist. I hope that in posting this, even if this is not what our life looks like all the time, our kids will know that this was the idea we were going for.

1. Center the Marriage on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
        a. Worship regularly in the holy temple
        b. Kneel in couple prayer morning and night
        c. Attend church together
        d. Study the gospel together daily
        e. Exercise personal moral fidelity both mentally and physically
        f. Share testimony openly
2. Take Time for Each Other
        a. Go out on weekly dates
        b. "First Four"-- ensure that the first four minutes together after being apart are focused on assessing one another's well being, expressing love, and reviewing plans for going forward
        c. Occasionally have lunch together or something similar
        d. Hold weekly planning meetings
        e. End the day together
3. Have Fun Together
        a. Set regular time aside just for having fun-- get it in the schedule
        b. Don't try to solve marriage or other family problems during fun time
        c. Consider getting away from the day-to-day environment of home, work, and/or church
        d. Remember to recreate is to re-create-- recreate your marriage regularly
4. Talk Frequently and Positively
        a. Ask open-ended questions, then listen
        b. Compliment your spouse at least five times as often as you suggest change
        c. Joke more, but be careful not to offend
        d. Accept spouse's opinion when it is different than yours
        e. Reminisce
5. Perform Acts of Kindness
        a. Serve the Lord
        b. Ensure the happiness of your spouse
        c. Ask your spouse what he/she would like you to do more often to show your care and concern
        d. Give your spouse "wings to fly"-- help your spouse give expression to his/her talents and interests

Some of these we are better at doing than others, but I have a testimony that because of sacred covenants we made in the temple, God will help us make our marriage everlasting.

I love you Ben.


  1. Thanks for posting that handout! I am stealing it. What a great list.

  2. I love these! The "first four" is a really cool idea.

  3. I love it. And your family picture is gorgeous.