Marital Vows and Fidelity (FAML 100 Topic #4)

The most important thing to understand about the law of chastity is that it still needs to be kept even after marriage and that the law of chastity doesn’t just mean to have sex with someone who isn’t your spouse. There is physical infidelity, and emotional infidelity which is more common. The Family:A Proclamation to The World says this about chastity;

WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.

the importance of keeping fidelity in marriage is said right in our covenants that we make in the temple. We need to stay committed to our spouse. In the world today cheating, not keeping marital vows is a normal thing and happens often, and they even make the consequences of those actions not true to real life. When we are not faithful to our spouse, that not only put the marriage at risk, but the children as well.

Emotional infidelity is more common than physical. Many will get caught in the idea of move romance, or think highly of someone else and then replace their husband. In one of my marriage classes we discussed a story of  a young newly married woman. She dated another guy right before he went on his mission, and then while he was on his mission she met and married her now husband. When her ex came back from his mission she ran into him while at college, the first meeting was harmless just two friends catching up, but she found herself thinking about him, taking special routes around campus to run into him, and even putting off her husband to meet up with her ex. She found that her attention went from her husband to this ex boyfriend. He was a nice guy, he wasn’t trying to seduce her, or break up her marriage, they didn’t do anything physical, but emotionally she was invested in someone else other than her husband which is what emotional infidelity is. This is more common, you might hear someone say; “well, we are just friends.” This is dangerous, emotional infidelity usually leads to physical infidelity.

Many of us may feel that our marriage isn’t the same as when we were first married. It is important to work on your marriage instead, instead of putting the effort into someone who isn’t your spouse. In order to help your marriage it is important to continue dating. Dates once a week with your spouse is important, you don’t need to spend money either, watching a movie after the kids are in bed, cooking dinner at home and having dinner together. It is important to have time away in order to be together and create memories. Going to the temple often to remember your wedding vows, something that I love doing with my husband is sealings, it remind me of our wedding day and our covenants that we made to each other and the Lord. It will take a lot of work to keep a marriage going, and to keep the focus on each other, but it is possible and worth it.

 

Husband and Wife: An Equal Partnership (FAML 100 Topic #3)

With a lot of different opinions in the world today, I wanted to touch on the subject of husbands and wives having an equal partnership. Many believe husband and wives are not equal because of their different responsibilities to the family, but what is important to note is that just because responsibilities are different does not make them equally important. The Family: A proclamation to the world says this;

HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children…Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

I’d like to focus on this passage, mostly because it talks about the responsibility both parents have for their children. Many families may achieve these responsibilities and goals in different ways depending on their own family situation, although the Family proclamation states the mother and father’s role int the family, it is important for both husband and wife to focus on the overall goal that the Proclamation states; “…have solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and their children.” The traditional family would state the mother should stay home, and nurture for the children while the husband works and focuses on his career in order to support the family. This is a wonderful way to have a family, and in this traditional family setting the roles are different, but still equal. I know many families where both the husband and wife work, where the husband works but the wife goes to school, or even the wife works while the husband goes to school. I know of a family where the husband stays home and the wife works, each family has a different dynamic, but the important part about this dynamic is focusing on raising the children and focusing on the teachings of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

When we look at a football game and focus on the different players, each player is important to the game and has special talents and abilities that allows their team to win  and progress. Each player has a different role, a different play through, and a different responsibility but still equal. It is the same in a family, and the same in a marriage. As we have our own families and meet other families we must not be quick to judge each marriage and family but focus on how we can better ourselves.

How husbands and wives can have an equal partnership, is by establishing goals they have for their families together. once goals are established together, then a husband and wife can both help to nourish those goals. Another suggestion in helping maintain an equal relationship is to have constant communication on ways where none or the other may feel the relationship is not equal. When having good communication where both husband and wife are heard then both can have say in the relationship and both can contribute. While having goo communication and keeping goals in mind, husband and wife can maintain an equal relationship where both can use their different talents and personalities to build and work toward one overall goal.

Dating & Marriage (FAML 100 Topic #2)

For the topic this week I thought I would talk about the journey of dating, and the wonderful end result of marriage.

In Hawkins’ book, Successful Marriages and Families he talks about the different steps that lead to marriage: The Awareness and Acquaintance Phase, Transition from Acquaintance to Buildup, The Buildup Phase, and lastly, Commitment and Continuation. I want to use Ben and I’s relationship and love story as an example for transitions between these steps.

The Awareness and Acquaintance Phase
What is the first thing we look at when spotting a potential partner? Looks. I know that sounds shallow, but its true, and there isn’t anything wrong with looking for someone who is physically attractive. This is a necessary part of attraction, but not the most important part. When I first met Ben, we were in the same Family Home-evening Group at BYU-Idaho. He introduced himself, and I thought he was cute. He was shy and didn’t talk much so we didn’t get to know each other very well. It wasn’t until later in the semester when I really got to know Ben when I found him more attractive. When we date we are trying to find someone who we want to spend eternity with, that person needs to have a lot more qualities than being attractive, and there are many things that each of us desire in a eternal companion. One thing that was important to me, was humor. I wanted someone who was funny and could make me laugh. It is important for me to laugh especially in hard times, and that was one of the first things that attracted me to Ben, he was funny.

Transition from Acquaintance to Buildup
In Hawkins’ book be describes the difficulty many couples and individuals have when transitioning to a relationship from friends. Ben and I didn’t have a problem of moving our relationship forward, but I had many roommates and friends who did. Since so many are different in their own transitions the communication to wanting to move forward in a new relationship can be hard. The best way to go about this is to go on a date, in a group or by yourselves. This gives the couple a time to get to know each other, and doing something fun takes stress of the new potential relationship.

The Buildup Phase
There are two process that happen in this phase, as Hawkins’ suggests. Developing mature love, and seeking mutual influence. When people seek mutual influence they are seeking equality in their relationship in which both people contribute equally to the relationship, what was interesting to read about was that Hawkins found relationships that started out physical were less likely to have a mutual influence. The best equality in a relationship was when it started out as a friendship. Mature love is what leads to success in marriage and family life. Mature love can be seen as someone who allows room for growth, someone who is willing to commit, or sacrifice for the other person. While immature love is when someone is making excuses, not committing, and seeking lust rather than love.

Commitment and Continuation
For many, the decision of marriage is hard and a long process. As members of the church a really important part of deciding marriage is a spiritual confirmation. Since this decision is very important for members of the church, they take spiritual confirmation very seriously. When I prayed to know if Ben and I should get married, the answer came to me as a peaceful feeling. I didn’t get an overwhelming feeling, just a calm feeling, which is exactly what I needed. It was important to me that the man I married was dedicated to not just the gospel, but to God and Jesus Christ. However he chose to be committed was his choice, but I wanted to see that and the love he had for them. Many times in our relationship Ben and proven to me multiple times that he would commit to me and our family because of the commitment he had to the Lord. He looked for the same thing in me, and that is what gives out marriage mature love and commitment.

Getting Married
Ben and I were married for time and all eternity in the LDS Dallas, Texas temple. Our wedding was not fancy, not big, and not what I dreamed my wedding would be like. But I still loved it, because it was the start of all our adventures together with our new family. As I was dating I pictured my wedding in a certain way, I wanted my dress, the food, the reception to be a certain way. It wasn’t until after I was married, when Ben and I had our first trial when I knew that the wedding stuff didn’t matter, it was the stuff before that. The building a relationship, developing mature love and mutual influence that was what made our relationship strong and made us better and withstanding trials when they came our way.

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