At a young age…you have no idea what marriage is all about. You think its some fairy tail in which you have this perfect wedding day and live happily ever after. Newsflash! You won’t even remember your wedding day so I recommend video taping it! It just doesn’t play out as easy and carefree as you think. Not for anyone! Marriage takes work…and the more you work at it the better it will become. In fact…the persistence is what leads to marital ecstasy. Instead of giving up on the most important person in your life, go and buy some of these candy bars and then ponder their meanings.
First off, more people need to understand how important marriage is. Marriage is the end-all-be-all of Heavenly Fathers plan. It is ordained of God…and it can be the most glorious experience of your life. However, it can also be the worst experience of your life if you make the wrong choice in selecting a spouse…so that is where we’ll begin.
Selecting A Spouse
A lot of respectable men told me while I was young that the single most important thing I will do in my life is to select the right spouse. I never realized that all of the the candy I loved growing up was one giant lesson on how to choose and then cherish my spouse.
From the beginning, God intended us to be a Twix. Try to imagine you’re holding a scrumptious Twix bar in your hand. You are holding one package in your hand but there are two bars inside. In effect, those two bars of goodness have become one. They still retain their unique individuality but are now considered “one”. God asks us to become one with our spouses and leave our father and mother and cleave unto each other. What does the word “cleave” mean? The dictionary definition means “to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly. There are not enough people today (especially guys) that understand how to apply that word to their spouse. The world needs more couples that are unwaveringly close and loyal to each other.
So…just like that Twix you’re picturing in your mind…your going to be in awfully tight quarters with this person…so you’ve got to get it right. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. That’s why if your a guy… you’ve got to marry a….
Guys…don’t let anyone tell you that your being shallow for wanting to be attracted to your future spouse. There are many things that might make your future spouse “hot” in your eyes. Make sure that those qualities you find attractive in her are long lasting and not temporary. Regardless of age and entropy, you want someone that is striving for optimal health. A healthy person will shine and the attributes you were initially attracted to will get better with time.
For some reason, the media has made it seem like it’s only important for the girls to be looking the best for their guys. The TV shows of our day depict the wife/mom as someone who is expected to take care of the kids, go to school, work full time, and look perfect all of the time. Guys are depicted as out of shape lazy couch potatoes that sit around and watch sports all day while getting verbally slammed by their children over and over again. They are not educated, hardworking, or respected by their families. A girl does not want that kind of guy. She wants a…
Guys need to take care of themselves just as much as women are expected to take care of themselves. There should not be a double standard. A husband and a wife should want to look their best for each other. So many guys work out and try to impress their girls before they get married. After they get married, they take the attitude, “we’re married…and now your stuck with me.” Forget that! Don’t be that kind of guy. The fact that you’re married now should make you want to look better, get smarter, and work harder for your queen. A guy should turn on his spiritual jets after marriage instead of going into hibernation. Constant improvement is the key to success in any marriage, which is why you never want to marry an…
The mind is the foundation of someone’s character. “Thought proceeds action, actions becomes habits, habits form your character, and your character is what you take back to the presence of God”. If you can look for one attribute in a person…look for character. Look for someone with a good mind. Someone who is “quick to observe” and emotionally intelligent. Nothing could be worse than going through life with someone that is oblivious to the feelings of others. Be with someone who can read situations and repair them instead of narcissistically thinking only about him or her self.
If guys will search diligently, eventually they will find a “babe” in the scriptures that they can pattern their future wife after, she’s known as…
…a woman whose name means “lovely friend”, she exhibited love and loyalty to everyone who surrounded her. She lived by this mantra first for Naomi and next for her husband Boaz,
Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried
Every day of my life I feel this kind of unwavering loyalty from my wife. It gives me the energy to do my best at everything I do. She is in effect telling me everyday I walk out that door that “I’m your babe…and I’ve got your back…and earth and hell rage against you…you will always see this face when you walk in that door.” There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing you have that support in a challenging world.
For the most part, women are innately loyal. Many men have a “Ruth” by their side and yet they blindly take for granted the greatest blessing in their lives. They don’t understand the word commitment or loyalty which is what every good girl on the planet longs for. As the song goes… “If you like it then you should’a put a ….
…on it”. No seriously! Guys need to be more committed and they need to be more grateful for the woman in their life. If you’re unmarried and just scared to commit, then work your way backwards with these candies above. If you’ve got it going on…then commit and don’t look back. I hope no one will throw Revelation 22:18 at me for doing this but I’d like to alter one of my favorite scriptures just a bit. In Luke 9:62 it says that “No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.” I would alter it just a bit in this context and say that “no man having put a ring on her finger and looking back is fit for her love.”
In surfing, especially in big waves, there is an understood rule of success when making a big drop. From surfer legend Shaun Tomson, number 3 from his [surfers code] is to “Take the drop with commitment.” Anyone whose been there knows that if you do not commit to a big wave on the drop in, you will get worked. You must commit to the wave in order to avoid certain failure and the “biggest wipeout of your life”… so the next time you’re at Wal-Mart, hit the candy bar aisle and pick up a…
Most of you haven’t heard of this candy bar but it’s out there…trust me. I just ate one. My wife and I had an acronym while we were dating similar to this candy bar and for illustrative purposes we’ll just consider them the same. YANO [You And No Other]. This saying carried us through two years of not seeing each other because of me serving a mission for my Church. Grab and eat one of these “U-No” candy bars and remember how important that commitment is that you made to one another. Think… U… and…NO other when you see this bar! That is what you both want…deep down…for the other person to want you…and no other!
A person that merits your commitment will most definitely need to be sweet…like the candy we’ve already discussed above. Avoid people that have a tendency to be sour like a…
There are some real life warheads out there. Steer clear of them because your life will be one constant battle. You know who I’m talking about right? Those people that seem to always have a chip on their shoulder. They regularly find something negative to throw at you and they derive pleasure from cutting others down. They’re bitter at life and they need a dog to kick…and guess who’s going to be the dog? Yeah…good guess. It’s you. Their faces become disfigured between fits of rage or constant frowning similar to what happens to someone after they have just popped a warhead in their mouth.
You want an optimist! To quote my wife from a blog she wrote about her “ideal man”,
Nothing is worse than going through life with someone who is constantly dwelling on negative things. I don’t care who you are, you are going to go through hard times during your marriage. Financial troubles, sickness, having children are just a few examples of what you will have to deal with during your life together. Gordon B Hinckley said that, “there is nothing that dulls a personality so much as a negative outlook.” My husband is always talking about people as being fountains or drains. You can choose to be a fountain, but if you choose to marry a drain, they will suck the life out of you until you have nothing more to give. A person who is a fountain is someone who is always trying to look to the bright side of things. Someone who tries to see the good in any given situation and radiates light and happiness to those they are around. They can easily fix a bad situation because they can see past the challenging aspects of it without getting bogged down with hopelessness. If it’s a situation that can’t be fixed and just has to be endured…it’ll sure be an easier road to go down if your holding hands with someone who believes there is light at the end of the tunnel rather than believing the sun will never shine again. The drain never gives. It only takes, and it gets moldy in the process. They make a hard situation worse because they emphasize the difficulty of the problem instead of trying to focus on the remedy.
You should be able to determine which of these two they are before you get committed. Remember that your kids are going to pattern their lives after them. It sure wont be any fun walking around with a rain cloud the rest of your life and it won’t make your kids lives any easier either. Make sure your man loves to bask in the rays of the sun and has it in his nature to bring a smile to your face no matter what challenges may come.
Its not always going to be sunshine and roses and 99 percent of marriages will have a…
This is just a fact of life and marriage. Recognize this early and understand that it is ok. What isn’t ok is people giving up when the road gets rocky. These times will strengthen your relationship in ways nothing else can. When you are faced with the decision to quit or persevere, you must almost always persevere. The problems that can arise in life are endless and sometimes the marital relationship is strained the most during those trials. Instead, we should make that relationship an anchor to keep us steady during the storms.
Sometimes the road gets rocky for no other reason than varying personalities, opinions, and backgrounds. In that case it’s important for you to just…
Gordon B Hinckley related a sure fire way to end an argument and live long because of it.
The story is told that reporters were interviewing a man on his birthday. He had reached an advanced age. They asked him how he had done it. “He replied, ‘When my wife and I were married we determined that if we ever got in a quarrel one of us would leave the house. I attribute my longevity to the fact that I have breathed good fresh air throughout my married life.’
So walk outside and Take 5 before your petty argument turns into a verbal laundry list mud slinging contest. One of the best pieces of advice on marriage I’ve ever heard came from Jeffrey R. Holland and can be watched just by clicking on the play button below. It’s a clip taken from his BYU address “Remember Lots Wife”.
Remember that, “The devil flatters us that we are very righteous when we are feeding on the faults of others” [History of the Church, 5:24–25] Instead of constantly dwelling on the mistakes of your spouse, try turning his or her weaknesses into a…
Yeah that’s right! Forget their mistakes like you wish Christ would forget your mistakes. Jesus said that “your sins and iniquities I will remember no more” and only when you truly forgive others [especially your spouse] will you receive forgiveness in return. Make others past sins into a “Whatchamacallit” and the Savior will do the same for you…not to mention the endless benefits it will bestow upon your marriage. Just don’t let anything allow you to forget how important your relationship is with your spouse…not even a…
Money is one of the most argued about issues in marriage. It doesn’t matter how much you make, money will always seem to crop up and stir the most hateful emotions. Jeffrey Dew, an assistant professor in the Department of Family, Consumer and Human Development at Utah State University and many other reputable studies have proven that money arguments are the highest predictors of impending divorce.
I cant emphasize this enough; Satan has made it explicitly clear that he will use money to destroy you…and if the family is the most important thing to God, then he will find every single possible way to utilize money to bring you and your spouse down. He’s laughing at you and his minions are rejoicing every time a child innocently looks on while mommy and daddy berate each other because they can’t figure out whether to buy a new couch or a basketball hoop.
Don’t let something as insignificant as money bring your family to sad ending. Remember, “that we brought nothing into this world and it’s certain that we can carry nothing out.” It’s just not worth it…because if you persist and overcome the many trials that are thrown your way, you’ll have a…
…like you cant even imagine. The payday I’m talking about will come 5 years, 10 years, 50 years down the road. It will come when you realize how strong your relationship has become because of your ability to overcome all odds and all adversity. That payday will come when you realize that you’ve accomplished something that very few people have ever even come close to accomplishing. It will come in the eternities when you are being exalted because of your faithfulness and loyalty to your spouse and to the covenants you have made to him/her and to God.
…and all of this because you were part of the…
There should be three members of your marriage. You, your spouse, and Jesus Christ. Like the three musketeers, you should be inseparable. Make Christ the center of your marriage…and not in a cliche sort of way…but truly seek what Christ would do whenever each challenging situation presents itself. This one thing…by itself will make any and every marriage the fairy tale you dreamed of when you were young.
The most important relationship in this world that we can develop is the relationship we have with our spouse. Now…every time you walk down the checkout isle at the grocery store, you can see those candy bars and be reminded just how lucky you are to have someone to go through this life with. So pick up these candies together and talk about what they mean to you and don’t forget them when times get tough. Then you can give your kids an object lesson that they will never forget. I know they’ll thank you for it if you let them eat the candy after you’re done!