Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Manly Man Training #26: Love Your Choice

Marriage can be a tough topic for some folks these days.  In the world marriage has lost its luster and many see it as a great risk rather than a great opportunity.  A weakness rather than a strength. Interestingly nearly every human being desires to be loved and understood by someone and that desire assures men and women keep being attracted to each other.  But the word of the day is caution.  The process of marriage has been greatly slowed down because people are cautious.  They are not sure who this person is they have feelings for, and maybe more importantly they aren't sure who they will turn into after they are married. People are increasingly unsure of themselves as well, so they fear they may be a weak link in a marriage.  They don't realize that their daily thoughts and actions decide that.
I remember hearing of a young man asking if there was any mental illness in the family of his beloved.  Was his fear that his beloved would have a familial propensity toward it and develop a mental illness?  Or maybe he was worried about the children having a propensity toward it?  Maybe he was asking not as a selection criteria but more as a desire to know if he needed to prepare for that possibility.  Today, we seem to find all kinds of reasons to avoid marriage.  I don't have enough money.  I am not done with school.  I'm too busy in my career.  I don't know if I am ready/prepared to be a husband.  The list goes on and on.

The truth is that all the difficulties of life that happen in a particular marriage are able to be overcome if both partners are committed.  A reasonable question to ask oneself is, will I commit to this person...forever?  If you will not commit then work on yourself and prepare yourself to commit.  If you have been harmed or embarrassed by dating choices in the past then ask for help or get over it.  There really is some wisdom in asking your parents what they think of a person and listening closely to their response.  Your parents know things about you that you haven't figured out yet, and they know where you come from and the direction you are going, so they have good insight.  I'm not saying they should have the final word but they do have good insight.  As long as they are thinking of you when they give advice then it is worth listening to.
The theme for this post comes from a quote by President Thomas S. Monson.  He said in May 2011 Conference: "Choose your love; love you choice."  He saw this quote on a plaque in his Uncle and Aunt's house when he was younger.
Most of you who are reading this are already married, I suspect.  So we need to concentrate on the last part; "Love your Choice".  When we get married it is imperative that we are committed and then we show that commitment by being loyal.  Being married changes us because our acceptable interactions narrow with the other gender.  No more flirting, looking, or thinking romantic ideas about other women. [However, both are highly encouraged with your wife!]  That wouldn't be loyal. We also need to learn, if we haven't already, that we control our own thoughts.  So we use our capability to control our thoughts to police them and make sure they are thoughts of loyalty to our spouse.  Our thoughts must be loyal to her in regards to everything.  We must forgive her when needed.  We must appreciate her.  We must be attracted to her body, regardless of the size and shape and the changes that time and childbearing will cause.  We must accept her strengths and weaknesses.  We must support her efforts to become better (and then means more like Christ and not more like what you want).  We must support her decisions with the children and not oppose her parenting in front of the children in most situations.  If necessary we can discuss concerns behind closed doors and encourage her growth.  We must encourage her in her professional life as well as home life if necessary.  We must support her in her callings at church.  We must always look for reasons to love her and must work out any reasons to stop loving her.  We must enjoy learn to enjoy her cooking.  We must fully use our ability to become a better man so we can treat her like she deserves.  We must value her for herself and realize her weaknesses can work together for her and our good as well as her strengths.  We must be patient.
President Monson quotes President Howard W. Huinter: "Being happily and successfully married is generally not so much a matter of marrying the right person as it is being the right person.  The conscious effort to do one's part fully is the greatest element contributing to success." 
So the point is that we need to be fully invested (as Bronco Mendenhall would say) to this marriage.  This is not a situation where we see how much they put in and then we equal their investment.  This is a case of where we say "I will put it all".  Sometimes we might be asked by friends to participate in a service project to help someone at Christmas or something.  We might ask, how much should I contribute?  In marriage we put the whole amount, everything we are goes into the pot.  And as we grow, advance and our abilities and value increases, it all gets contributed to the success of our marriage.  Nothing is withheld.
So, will you do it?  Will you be the weak link in your marriage or a strong link?  Will you wear only some of the armor to protect your heart from Satan's efforts to ruin your marriage, or will you give/wear it all?

If you are one of those people who learn best by knowing what not to do, click here to see the article "31 stupid ways to kill your marriage.

1 comment:

  1. I really like what you said about just being willing to give everything to the marriage right up front and not making it dependent on how much or what the other person is giving. I totally agree that that is one of the most key elements in a happy and successful marriage!! :) there are so many situations in life where people don't want to put all their cards on the table or they wait to see what someone else does so they can react in kind but that isn't how marriage should be!! Knowing that Mike is "all in" no matter what is a wonderful feeling and hopefully he knows and feels that same way about me!! :)


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