Hi there! Brooke here from Blissful Roots with you today. I hope this beautiful September day finds you happy, well, and enjoying the sights and sounds of fall! We most certainly are here in Utah!! I do love all the seasons, but fall really does hold a dear place in my heart.
A few months ago, I shared a 365 Reasons to Love Your Spouse Journal here at OSSS. That was my first attempt at offering a small bit of marriage insight with you. And today, I’m going to try my hand at it again. The topic this time, charity in marriage. I have a favorite scripture in The Book of Mormon that defines charity as this…
I Googled charity and Wikipedia brought up some nice definitions, but I have to say the scripture above is most definitely my favorite definition! For me, pure Christ-like love leaves no room for anger, jealousy, faultfinding, or resentment. Now we are all human, we’ll fall short many times, but I am here to say this charitable love is attainable as we work on it daily.
Many years ago, I was walking through a local book store, and this book made up the front table display. (When I bought the book back then, the cover looked like the one on the left. As I searched for the book, I found two different covers. I believe they are the same book, but the one on the left is a hardback. You can order a copy of it by clicking here. The book on the right is paperback, and a bit less expensive. You can order that one by clicking here.)
I was still very new at the whole marriage thing, was happy as a lark, and everything was as I thought it should be, so really I didn’t think I needed a book like this. But somehow, before I knew it I’d picked up a copy and had it up at the register to purchase. I was thinking it would be a good reference for someday down the road. Well, that someday came a lot sooner than I’d anticipated. I’m not saying my marriage fell to pieces over night, I was still a very happily married girl. But I quickly began to realize that marriage takes patience, marriage takes unconditional love, marriages takes WORK! I decided it wouldn’t hurt to get a few pointers, so I read it. I read it in just a few days cover to cover, and had sticky notes poking out of just about every single page! So many fantastic bits of insight!!
I have since loaned my copy of the book to family members, and do not have it in my possession right now, so I can’t look up Elder Hafen’s exact wording on my favorite part of the book. But I can remember it impacted me enough that it’s my marriage motto to this day, and I share it with every soon-to-be-married couple I know. He talks about charity reaching its highest potential in marriage, and that it belongs in a marriage more so than in any other relationship. Take a look (and you can substitute the word marriage for charity here):
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (Mosiah 7:45)
Here are those bolded words again in list form:
NOT PUFFED UP
SEEKETH NOT HER OWN
NOT EASILY PROVOKED
THINKETH NO EVIL
REJOICETH NOT IN INIQUITY
REJOICETH IN TRUTH
BEARETH ALL THINGS
BELIEVETH ALL THINGS
HOPETH ALL THINGS
ENDURETH ALL THINGS
I like the list form because now that I have this pretty much memorized, I can run through each quality every time I find myself getting worked up about something in my marriage. I simply think of each quality in the list, and then play a checks and balance game. I ask myself if the way I’m feeling is kind, am I puffed up about something, can I suffer this a bit longer, am I being easily provoked, am I hopeful that this will all work out, etc. And I have to say, pretty much 100% of the time my unsettled, angry feelings disperse because I know I’m falling short in my charitable qualities. Not to say you can’t stand up for your thoughts or allow your spouse to treat you harshly, but as you implement these characteristics of charity, you will find a lot of things don’t matter! I have also found that charity is completely contagious! The more charitable I am to my spouse, the more he is to me.
I know this isn’t an easy task to conquer. Our spouses (and other family members) are often times the ones who get the short end of our charity stick. We do, after all live with them 24/7, and they see us at our worst. Charity oftentimes is so much easier to give to the neighbor across the street, or the widow around the corner. But I think that’s exactly Elder Hafen’s point. If we can master being charitable with our spouse, then we have reached a pinnacle! And just think of how it will enrich your relationship with each other. There is so much joy and fulfillment to be had as husband and wife, but it takes effort, it takes charity! I believe charity alone could solve just about every single marriage problem we face today. I am here to say, it’s working for me and I am completely grateful for it!
Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought today. And I’d love to hear your marriage tips! What does charity look like in your marriage? How do you work through the hard times? What improvements are you making in your relationship with your spouse? We all can use a bit of marriage evaluation and readjustment every now and again, right?!?
Thanks again for letting me be here with you today! Enjoy your day, and I will see you next month! It will be October, and my topic for the month is family fun, so you know I’m going to have to share something Halloween-ish!! Tune in! But in the meantime, hop on over to Blissful Roots for all your Halloween needs!
For more love and marriage posts on OSSS, check these out: