During stake conference President Staker quoted Elder Callister and gave us a list of 7 ways to strengthen husband/wife relationships. For some reason lists always make me perk up and listen.
1. Adopt an unyielding commitment to make it work.
I like the work "unyielding." It seems that too many people go into marriage thinking what they will do when marriage doesn't work instead of what will I do to make it work.
2. Adopt an "Is it I?" principle.
At the last supper, Jesus told the twelve apostles that one was about to betray him. "...They were exceeding sorrowful, and began everyone of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?" (Matt. 26:22) President Staker said when you have problems in your marriage you ask yourself "Is it I?" and the answer is always "YES!" It reminds me of a song I sing to my kids at school.
"I'm gonna tell, I'm gonna tell.
I'm gonna holler and I'm gonna yell.
I'll get you in trouble for everything you do.
I'm gonna tell on you.
....I won't tell teacher what I did to you,
I'm just gonna tell on you.
Notice the apostles were not looking around to see who they could blame for betraying Christ. Or who they thought might be the one to betray their lord and savior. They were looking within their own souls to see what they needed to fix. They were looking so hard within that they didn't even notice who was looking guilty.
Is it I? YES
3. Make your spouses happy. Make sure they are successful.
Don't spend your time trying to make your spouse guess what you want. President Staker said his mother told his wife that if she wanted flowers for her birthday etc. to go buy them and than thank him for the beautiful flowers. She will be happy with the flowers and he will be happy because she got what she wanted. I am not sure you would not have to go to that extreme but really if you want something tell your spouse what it is.
4. Stay out of Debt!
What more needs to be said than that? Debt binds you down and we must be free.
5. Speak in soft and kind voices and words.
The words spoken in the home are the most important. Some of the wittiest things ever thought should be left unsaid.
6. Make parenting a joint adventure.
Don't leave everything to your spouse. Take turns. Work together. Play together.
7. Pray together.
How can you stay angry at someone you are praying with and for?
Eternal Marriage has become a concept of time rather than a quality of life. It should be a quality of life because you wish to spend time together.