The end of the year is upon us. I’ve been writing about marriage all year, and it has been a good experience for me. I’ve enjoyed exploring the various facets of marriage, and it was a good reminder not to take my own marriage for granted. As the year ends, summing up marriage seems appropriate. I made a checklist of the most important points I want to personally remember about marriage from what I’ve written over this past year.
Over the last year, I’ve tried to define marriage to the best of my ability. Since every marriage is different, that’s not an easy task. At some point, it becomes necessary to look at marriage the way our Heavenly Father sees it, for marriage is ordained of God. In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, we are told by prophets and apostles—God’s very own representatives—what marriage and family means to Him and to us.
In a few days, my husband and I will celebrate our 38th anniversary. This is a good time to reflect on why we are still together after all these years of marriage. It is also a time to stand back and appreciate him for the wonderful man he is and for all he does. This article is dedicated to him.
We all have to eat and to provide the necessities of life for our families, and that means at least one person must go to work. Balancing work with marriage and family is not always easy. How much time away from our loved ones is necessary for the collective good? How much work time is too much? Is it even possible to strike a balance? Each family situation is unique, so there is no one hard and fast rule—unless that rule would be to pray about it.
I really appreciate that my husband has a sense of humor. If he didn’t, our marriage would not have survived. He loves to laugh, and he occasionally gets a bad case of the giggles. To see this great big guy giggle like a little girl is charming and quite endearing. Unfortunately, he also giggles when he is nervous, which sometimes gets us into trouble—like when he tries to look into my eyes over the altar in the LDS Temple. Obviously, when you are kneeling at the altar doing sacred ordinances on behalf of other couples who have passed on, it is not appropriate to break out in a bad case of the giggles. My husband loves doing this work in the temple, but he gets nervous kneeling at the altar. For whatever reason, if his eyes meet mine, it’s all over and giggling ensues. We make a point of looking anywhere in the room other than at each other, which I’m sure is an oddity and curiosity to the temple workers.
As we approach Thanksgiving, we are all counting our blessings. It is a good thing to do once in a while. We all need perspective. Taking a long look at the good in our lives enriches our sensitivity to what is really important. What it all boils down to is marriage and family. Countless times we have watched tragedies of fire, tornado, earthquake, hurricane, and other disasters unfold on our television screen while a news reporter interviews victims who say, “Our family is safe and together, and that’s what counts. Nothing else matters. We can rebuild.” Those tragedies remind us of the importance of marriage and the family unit. Those are times when we are a thankful marriage partner.