I continue to talk about faith because I believe this is truly the answer that we all seek in order to improve our marriage relationships. What does faith have to do with marriage? Everything. Faith points our minds and our hearts toward God, toward our Savior Jesus Christ. If we have faith in them, we see hard things in our lives differently. We see people differently. We see ourselves differently. I focus my thoughts once again on the writings of Wallace Goddard as I have come to know for myself that what he teaches is true. “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ provides eternal perspective.” (Loc 1112) As a person who has experienced great difficulties in my own marriage over the course of 17 years, I have come to realize that there is only one way to overcome challenges successfully in a marriage. I must rely upon the Lord. He is the one in whom I place all of my trust. People are imperfect. My husband is imperfect and I certainly am imperfect. Therefore, the only source I can truly and consistently rely upon is the Lord. This is the answer. There are some who see difficulties in marriage and in life in general as some kind of cruel joke inflicted upon us by our supreme creator. Their eyes have not yet been opened. “Jesus taught something far nobler: Life as perfectly guided moral education.” (loc1133) Having faith is knowing that all we experience in this life our Father in Heaven will make it work for our good if we allow Him to do so. If we look to Him. “When we have vibrant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that the irritations and challenges of marriage are blessings intended to develop our character.” (Loc 1148) Elder Holland observed, “too often too many of us run from the very things that will bless us and save us…” Many years ago, my husband and I were in the middle of a particularly difficult challenge in our marriage. I was to the point that I wanted to give up. I doubted the possibility that people can change, that my marriage could change. I felt hopeless and broken. All of my focus was centered on how much I had suffered, how unfair my life was and the mistakes of my husband. I was led by the spirit to read a book and there was one sentence in that book that changed everything for me from that point on. It states, “Being mistreated is the most important condition of mortality, for eternity itself depends on how we view those who mistreat us.” (Ferrell, 33) To me this is an attitude of complete faith. Our eternal progression depends upon us experiencing mistreatments, injustices, pains, sorrows, etc. etc. It is how we view those who mistreat and how we respond to these circumstances that makes all the difference in our lives. They are opportunities, even the greatest blessings. I saw my husband and my marriage very differently from that point on. I still have a lot of learning to do and I still forget this most important principle from time to time but this is the answer. It will always be the answer to my struggles.
It is extremely important to note that “Satan knows that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptiveness are enemies to his cause. Satan’s best hope is to keep us from looking up. He must keep us fully absorbed with the trivial, fretting over our inconveniences and stewing over our grievances.” (Loc 1140) If he can make us doubt and focus our attention on all the little injustices in our lives that is all he has to do. It is simply a matter of which direction we are facing. Are we looking up or are we continuously looking down?
There is another great blessing of faith in a marriage. We have the unique gift and opportunity to see our spouse as our Father in Heaven sees them. We live with this imperfect person. We are exposed to their faults and weaknesses daily and yet we have the opportunity to see them for who they really are. The Lord will grant us this gift if we ask Him. “Brigham Young was once approached by two sisters, each of whom wanted a divorce. I paraphrase his response: ‘If you could only see your husband as he will be in the glorious resurrection, this very husband you now say you despise, your first impulse would be to kneel and worship him.’ He said the same thing to husbands who had ‘fallen out of love’ with their wives. Those are mighty words.” (Loc 1140) What a powerful promise from our beloved Prophet Brigham Young. If we can strive daily, to search for the good in our spouse we will find it. If we desire to see them for who they really are we will blessed to do so. This will change everything for us.
How differently would our daily interactions with one another be if we could truly see each other the way the Lord sees us… with all of our divine potential? This is faith in its most powerful form. If faith’s power can raise the dead, part the sea, move a mountain - then surely it can transform our marriage into something so much more than we ever dreamed of.
Ferrell, James L. The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Our Hearts and Homes. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2004. Print.