Today I read Ephesians 5 where Paul teaches the saints to love their husbands and wives. Paul even draws a comparison between spouses loving each other and loving ourselves. We know that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Paul tells us to love our spouse as we would our own body. I think this is the reason there is so much strife and unrest in most marriages, we are not loving our spouse like we should be.
We have talked int he past that the way to a happy marriage is to put the needs of the spouse ahead of our own. For some reason, that does not seem to happen in most marriages. I think it starts out being that way, but it quickly becomes back to all about the individual. Instead of becoming one flesh and working towards becoming one in purpose together and with God, they again start separating and becoming like an individual instead of a couple.
If every couple would follow the advice that Paul has laid out for us here in this chapter, there would be no divorce. There would be very few arguments and almost no fighting at all. There would be no infidelity. There would be no divorce or spouses leaving each other and their children. Today in church was our Ward Conference and so we had a member of the Stake Presidency teach our Elder's Quorum lesson. We talked about making sure we are meeting the needs of our wives as individuals. It was a great lesson and very in keeping with what I read today in the scriptures. However, I was a little disturbed by something that was brought up. The 1st Counselor of the Stake Presidency was the one teaching and he mentioned that recently, 4 of his wife's friends had come to her telling her that they no longer loved their husbands and that they wanted a divorce. It was a sad story and truly these women it sounded like and put up with 25 plus years of trials. However, what he said next made me lose about 90% of the the sympathy I had for these women. He said that in all 4 cases the husbands were totally blindsided and had no idea anything was wrong at all.
That tells me that it is just as much the women in the stories' fault as it is the men's fault. If the men are not told what the women need, how can they change and adapt to meet their needs? It is shameful and ridiculous of anyone to feel that the other person "ought to know" already what the needs are. That is just crazy because no one in this world is a mind reader. Now it would be a totally different story if these women had patiently told their husbands what they needed, and perhaps in their own minds they had. But the fact that the husbands were clueless that anything was wrong tells me those 4 women did not do it adequately enough if they did it at all. Being in a partnership means being partners. That means sharing the responsibilities. Sharing the work load. Sharing the good times and the bad times. It means putting the collective needs ahead of the personal ones.
I love my wife more than anything in this world and I made sacrifices daily to spend time with her, as I know she does for me too. It is important to us to be able to spend time together and to keep our personal relationship strong, especially now that we have children. I hope that you too are working towards an eternal partnership with your spouse and that you find joy in your life with them. I know I find more joy at my wife's side than at any other place on earth. Until tomorrow.