God ordained marriage in the first place. It is not good for man to be alone, nor for the woman either. Through a marriage covenant they grow ideally together, to be one in purpose and goals, and God willing, to have children.
These past two months so far, my wife and I have been teaching a marriage class at church, not that we are qualified, but the Bishop asked us to do this. We have been learning a lot, and so many of these lessons apply directly to us, even after 35 years of marriage, there is still much work to do.
Surely the Lord knew this would be the case.
Marriage is for growth. Marriage is to learn. Marriage helps a man become a better man, and a woman become a better woman, because through the process of learning to become selfless and put the interests and needs of your spouse before your own, you become Christlike. Yes, that's the ideal, and I am still learning and have a long way to go. That reality I think, helps me be a better and more approachable teacher on the topic. I can relate to the struggles that others have had in marriage and raising a family and children and finance, etc. etc. because this is something that goes with the territory.
STRUGGLES WILL HAPPEN.
It's important to realize this truth about the inevitability of struggles, because there will be times of ease where it seems like you have no problems. And then there will be times of trial, sorrow, and possibly pain. How we prepare for these sure things to come will determine if we can KEEP THE FAITH.
The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi taught about OPPOSITION in ALL THINGS and how it is an integral and even necessary part of life here on earth. It will happen to everyone! Opposition will come, trials will come. These challenges give us opportunities to grow, or an unfortunate choice to murmur, or worse. How we respond is what God is looking for. Lehi said:
2 Nephi 2:15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
And so we have this OPPOSITION which is built into the earth experience. No one can escape it, for our very weakness in body and eventual death demands we face opposition... even opposition in ALL things. A good attitude in marriage merely realizes that this is the way it is, life is hard, and marriage is work. But work can be fun and even enjoyable if we have the right attitude and believe in God. Our faith helps us and informs us of how we must behave and respond to the challenges. Our faith tells us by the Holy Ghost when we need to repent, say we are sorry, and what we must DO to help out. The Lord will tell us all things we need to do pertaining to our marriage. He will also tell us, if we ask him in our personal prayers, what we are doing wrong and how we need to apologize, say we are sorry, improve, and show more love. After we have hurt or offended someone, we need to fix that. And the one who was hurt needs to also forgive. Because of they don't the Lord has said
Doctrine and Covenants 64:9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him thegreater sin.
So we absolutely must forgive all trespasses against us. Marriage is not about holding grudges and being sullen, or aloof when things go wrong. It is about communication. Taking time out of your schedule to address the most important thing in your life: your marriage. More important than your job. More important than your house. If there is trouble in the relationship, there is need to immediately address it. Don't let it go even a day without striving to resolve it. Try hard. Make it work. Make it last. Show true love to our spouses because it is what Christ has instructed us to do. He revealed through his prophets:
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.
Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
By divine design, FATHERS are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.
MOTHERS are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. I
FATHERS and MOTHERS are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that shereverence her husband.