The other day I was reading an article online that discussed the importance of parents continuing to have time together after having children come into their lives. I guess every night after 9 PM the parents would send their kids upstairs for at least an hour so that they could continue to have time together and develop their personal relationship. I thought this was interesting because you would imagine that parents spend a lot of time together throughout the day but how often do they get to spend quality time together just talking about their day? I would say that it isn’t often they get to sit down and talk about how they’re doing and the things going on in their lives.
The reason I thought it was interesting was because when people are dating, they often times spend so much time getting to know each other and spend time together and falling in love. However it is a very normal thing that once children come into their lives or some other type of time consuming activity occurs (job, church callings, etc) that they quit spending time together developing their relationship.
Which brings me to what I wanted to talk about this week. Why people need to continue to build their relationship through the years and not just during that time dating before they get married. I was reminded of a movie that I had the opportunity to watch during my sophomore year of High School. We had been discussing mental illnesses and this movie in particular showed the effects that depression and suicide can have on a family. Towards the end of the movie it shows the parents discussing their relationship after their daughter had passed away and they both decided that they were going to get divorced because once their daughter was gone they just felt like they didn’t have anything in common anymore. That for so many years their main reason for being together had been because their daughter was in their lives and that once she was gone they felt like they didn’t know each other and no longer had a reason to go through life together.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this to seem like I am discouraging parents from having kids. I know that having kids within the means of marriage are a huge blessing and they can strengthen families. I just know that if couples don’t continue to build their relationship once they’re married then the marriage is going to struggle and in extreme cases it can end in divorce.
There are always going to be things that come up and distract or pull marriages apart. That is just part of the world that we live in today. That is why it is so important for us to continue to develop those sacred relationships as we grow old and go through the struggles of life together. It reminds me of this quote by Russel M. Nelson.
“Meanwhile, mortal misunderstandings can make mischief in marriage. In fact, each marriage starts with two built-in handicaps. It involves two imperfect people. Happiness can come to them only through their earnest effort. Just as harmony comes from an orchestra only when its members make a concentrated effort, so harmony in marriage also requires a concerted effort. That effort will succeed in each partner will minimize personal demands and maximize actions of loving selflessness.”
I know that as people continue to develop their relationships throughout the challenges of life that they will be able to have successful marriages and happy families. It just takes a little bit more effort than you may have been expecting. The Lord expects our marriages to work out but He also knows how much work those successful and happy marriages take. Lets make sure we are doing everything we can to either continue building our marriages or preparing ourselves for the marriages that await us.