Monday, April 8, 2013

The 10 Commandments for Husbands and Wives

Currently my wife and I attend a ward comprised of young married students as there are a lot of those in Provo, Utah. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a ward is the group of people with whom you attend Sunday services and other activities throughout the week. One of the things I enjoy most about being in a married student ward is that since we are all in relatively similar situations, the lessons we learn in church and other meetings are tailored more specifically to our needs. One meeting we attend at church is only the men—called Elders’ Quorum—in which we talk a lot about how we can be better husbands and fathers and we discuss the challenges we face in those capacities. I imagine that the lessons and discussions in the concurrent women’s meeting—called Relief Society—are no different in content and scope.

Having these types of lessons at this point in our lives is a wonderful blessing. Getting training and help in our marriage right now, when Alyssa and I are young and our marriages are new, is a great blessing, so that we can develop the right habits to then strive to perfect for the rest of our lives. I believe that many unnecessary heartaches and silly trials can be avoided by learning correct principles now, early on in our marriage.

Recently we had a larger meeting that comprised numerous married student wards, called Stake conference. Stake conference was no different in content from our regular church meetings as our leaders emphasized strengthening our marriages through scripture study, prayer, putting your spouse’s needs before your own, and the joy of serving others. Elder Eduardo Gavarett, one of the higher leaders in the Church—called a Seventy—was also present and spoke to us. In his talk during the Sunday session of the conference, he read to us what he humorously termed, “The 10 commandments for husbands,” and “The 10 commandments for wives.” They are as follows (paraphrased as best I can from my notes and the notes of my wife):

The 10 commandments for husbands
  1. Thou shalt not take thy wife for granted and shalt treat her as an equal
  2. Thine highest allegiance after God is your wife, not thy brother or cousins or friends
  3. Thou shalt frequently tell thy wife how valuable she is
  4. Thou shalt hold thy wife’s love now as you did when you first won it
  5. Thou shalt actively establish discipline in your home with the aid of your wife
  6. Thou shalt remember to do all of the little things for your wife when you say you will
  7. Thou shalt keep thine own eyes on thine own wife and not on thy neighbors’
  8. Thou shalt make every effort to see things from thy wife’s point of view
  9. Thou shalt not fail to kiss thy wife every morning
  10. Thou shalt not be stingy with thy wife when it comes to money
The 10 commandments for wives
  1. Thou shalt not expect thy husband to bestow as many luxuries on thee as thy father bestowed upon thee
  2. Thou shalt work hard to build thy house with the husband you have, not the husband you could’ve had
  3. Thou shalt not nag or hit thy husband with a frying pan
  4. Thou shalt coddle thy husband and be a warm wife
  5. The approval of your husband is worth more than the many side glances of those around you
  6. Thou shalt not yell but be gentle and a quiet spirit
  7. Thou shalt not let others assure you that you’re having a hard time
  8. Thou shalt dress up with an eye to please your husband like you did before you were married
  9. Thou shalt submit (laughingly) that your husband is the head of your house
  10. Thou shalt assure your husband and everyone else that your husband is the greatest man alive
Some of these may seem common sense and some may be new and enlightening, but hopefully all of them are being applied in our homes. I got a good laugh while he was presenting them while at the same time recognizing the areas in which I need to improve.

Marriages performed in the Lord’s house are eternal. Eternal marriages are perhaps our greatest source of happiness as we strive for exaltation together with the one with whom we get to spend eternity. Happy and successful eternal marriages are the most important and vital part of our quest to attain the highest form of exaltation, even to become like God the Father.

I am grateful for eternal marriage and for the great ability I have been given to be married to Alyssa not merely until death do us part but for time and for all eternity. And I am grateful that the Lord has given me leaders that divinely guide and direct me in my fumblings to attain eternal life.

What do you think? What has worked for you and your marriage? What has helped you focus on the things that matter most in a relationship? Let me know in the comments.