Elder Bruce C. Hafen gave a talk entitled “Covenant Marriage” where he give three examples of wolvesthat continuously test marriage. The wolves are natural adversity, their own imperfections, and the last wolf is excessive individualism. As we do our best to build a strong marriage relationship—by serving, forgiving, being patient, giving your 100% in your marriage—then we will be able to avoid the wolves that would destroy our marital relationship.
|Natural Adversity, Imperfections, Excessive Individualism|
Elder Hafen related a story about how his wife helped one of their children through a school project that was completely exhausting her. Later the child proudly presented the project with a big smile. Elder Hafen later asked his wife how she did it and her reply was that she didn’t know she had it in her, “I just made up my mind that I couldn’t leave him, no matter what.” Marriage and raising a family can be very difficult at times, but if we make the decision that we will do what it takes to make a lasting relationship, then we will strengthen our marriage and family.
As a Mormon, we believe that marriage is a three way covenant, between God, our spouse, and ourselves. This relationship and covenant is not to be taken lightly. How we live in regards to this covenant has not only immediate consequences, but eternal consequences as well. Through the example of a married couple, their children will learn and may follow the same relationship patterns.
This week I created a genogram of my family, including three generations. I was to study the patterns found there and see what predictors and indicators there are for the marriages and relationships that exist, and then this will also tell a lot about how the next generation is affected.
In my observations, when a couple has devoted their lives to each other and to God, marriage stays strong and the children usually make and keep strong marriages themselves. When there are problems in the marriage, the children end up suffering as well. The children are not just immediately affected, they are influenced by this example throughout their lives, and the problems may continue to afflict them in their marriages.
This idea that husband and wife can affect generations after them gives greater need and emphasis that we need to make the decision not to give up. Just as Elder Hafen’s wife said, “I just made up my mind that I couldn’t leave him, no matter what.” Are we up for that kind of determination? Never give up, make a fuss about making it work. No one is perfect, we just need to forgive and be forgiven. Then we move forward in love.
The Savior has never given up on us. We should never give up on our best friend, our spouse. Make your marriage something you want to last forever.