Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Proclamations - Marriage

You're invited to join me in examining and deepening your convictions about the Family this month.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.

I'm not going to venture into the dangerous waters of discussing same-sex marriage and attraction in this series. I think I've created more than my fair share of controversy covering more benign topics. Although I do think that my post about Chastity applies to that issue.

I do, however, want to mention the eyebrow action I experienced over the multiple articles about faith + the decision to marry that I found in this magazine (April 2010 issue) in my mailbox today. It brought to mind this talk that was sited here. Apparently this is a very real issue. Young people today are hesitant to marry, even those who believe that marriage is part of God's plan for his children.

I think I was along the cusp of this phenomenon. In college I informed several earnest young men that I was focusing on school and not relationships when they expressed an interest in pursuing one with me. My 3rd year of college was littered with strong impressions that I needed to be preparing for marriage. (And with hardly a date in sight at the time, this occasionally seemed silly). But when I look back at my journal entries from that year it becomes clear that God was preparing me to be willing to let down my guard and allow someone to get close to me.

This is not the same as saying I think Mr Renn and I are made for each other. I think very very few people experience ecliptic, soul-mate-matching, star-aligning marriages. I don't feel the least bit short-changed though; I think most people have to consciously choose to marry their mate and then consciously choose to make it work. And that such a relationship can be every bit as fulfilling as any lightning-bolt romance. (Granted, this is only possible if both parties involved are somewhat invested in making it work). Marriage, like any other important and lasting relationship, requires work. It requires humility. It requires doing far more than is "fair" most of the time. It requires gratitude. It facilitates tremendous purification of soul. It brings to the surface most of a person's demons of selfishness and self-absorption and forces them to be dealt with. There are more opportunities to ask for and extend forgiveness in a marriage relationship than in any other on earth.

I hope that this doesn't sound like a fairy-tale, because it isn't. But I hope it sounds incredibly enriching and rewarding, because it is. The potential for growth within a marriage is almost limitless, when both people are committed to the marriage and to aligning their lives with God's will for them. When Mr Renn and I are able to eek out time for deep conversations we almost always come away more appreciative of one another, more committed to doing what we can to increase our contributions to our marriage and our family, and with clear impressions of what God is trying to teach us through whatever trial or experience we are going through. Going through it together and having one another to discuss our experience with makes for great synergy in surviving life's turbulence.

I have expressed several times that I feel the reason that marriage and parenthood are part of God's plan for all his children is because these experiences help us grow and refine us in ways that nothing else can. Clearly some don't have the opportunity to experience these things in this life, but if they have the desire they are promised ample opportunity for it afterward.

If there is a need in the world today for testimonies of the blessing and reality of marriage, then I'd not hesitate to let mine out for all to see. It is hard, it is worth it. This I know.


Kermit~the~Frog said...

There's a crossover in the Church magazines this month -- the New Era is going to be all about dating.

Enjoyed the remarks, and the picture is gorgeous.

Stina said...

I second everything you said. Taylor and I "decided" to marry each other...cosmic forces DEFINITELY did NOT force us to. Alot of people observing it as it happened thought we were both crazy, but now see that we work for and together on a daily basis...and that works :-)

PS. have I told you I love reading things you write Ems, you have a talent for explaining things well while still coming out as "you" in the writing. I can hear your voice saying every word :-) LOVE YOU!

hairyshoefairy said...

Excellent Em. I just got the Ensign in the mail today. I'm excited to crack it open, especially after what you shared. And I second Kermit; The photo is gorgeous.

Carolanne said...

Well said. I had similar experience that prepared me for my husband. And I couldn't agree more that two people who are willing to work it can be just as or more successful in marriage than "star-crossed" lovers. I have learned sooooo much about my self that I would have been blind to had I remained single. Marriage really is a blessing in my life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

By the way, your wedding picture is beautiful!

Devon said...

Great post! I too was one of those that was consciously NOT preparing for marriage, and yet I at least am smart enough to listen to the still small voice when it is YELLING at me! ;) And I never believe it when people say marriage is easy and not work. I figure they're just in denial!

Kaydee said...

What a great wedding pic...and of course great insight as well

The Perry family said...

Beautifully said, as usual!

Krystal said...

You look beautiful in your wedding dress! Perfectly said! Then again you usually do!

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