Love Your Spouse
President Gordon B. Hinckley
made this valuable observation in a "Husbands and Wives Firesdie
Satellite Broadcast", January 29, 1984:
have long felt that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of
romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of
one's companion. That involves a willingness to overlook weaknesses and
One man has said, "Love is not
blind-it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing
to see less" (Julius Gordon, Treasure Chest, ed. Charles L.
Wallis [New York: Harper and Row, 1965], p. 168). . .
women want to remake their husbands after their own design. Some
husbands regard it as their prerogative to compel their wives to fit
their standards of what they think to be the ideal. It never works. It
only leads to contention, misunderstanding, and sorrow.
of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.325)
From “Nurturing a Love That
Feb 2000, p. 70
President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught
that “marriage … is a
union between a man and a woman under the plan of the Almighty. It can
be fragile. It requires nurture and very much effort” (“Walking in the Light of the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 99).
“Love Feeds upon
The effort of which President Hinckley
speaks involves in part those everyday acts of courtesy and kindness
that make ordinary relationships extraordinary. President David O.
McKay observed that too many couples come to “marriage looking upon the marriage
ceremony as the end of courtship instead of the beginning of an eternal
courtship. Let us not forget that during the burdens of home life—and
they come—that tender words of appreciation, courteous acts are even
more appreciated than during those sweet days and months of courtship.
… Love can be starved to death as literally as the body that receives
no sustenance. Love feeds upon kindness and courtesy” (Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of
President David O. McKay,
comp. Clare Middlemiss , 289).
marital difficulties often begin in seemingly minor ways. Without
repentance, fleeting moments of rudeness may become more frequent. Poor
communication may allow spouses to drift apart. Failure to show
affection, even in small ways, can erode feelings of love. Unresolved
frustrations can heat up until they boil into anger and even abuse.
Nurturing love moment by moment,
however, eventually extends loving moments into eternity. One way
couples can nurture their love is simply to say “I love you”—often.
Another is to pray together each day. It is nearly impossible to harbor
ill feelings when humbly kneeling before Heavenly Father. In praying
with and for one another, in seeking answers to common concerns, and in
striving to follow divine counsel, husbands and wives open themselves
to the influence of the Spirit. And the Spirit fills hearts with the
pure love of Christ (see Moroni 7:47-48).
Our First Concern
Many of the attitudes and behaviors
that weaken marriage can be summed up in one word: selfishness. President Hinckley said: “I find selfishness to be the root
cause of most [broken homes]. … Selfishness is the antithesis of love.
It is a cankering expression of greed. It destroys self-discipline. It
obliterates loyalty” (“What
God Hath Joined Together,” Ensign, May 1991, 73).
In contrast, selflessness builds
strong, loving relationships. Before his death from cancer, former
Brigham Young University president Rex E. Lee was hospitalized for five
months. His wife, Janet, was at his side virtually every day. When he
“was so sick that he couldn’t even
read his favorite literature—Supreme Court cases—Janet read the cases
aloud to him while tenderly rubbing his bare feet. In a multitude of
such moments, the roots of their love, including their affection,
stretched ever deeper. President Lee said he knew Janet loved him
before, but now their love has a depth they could not otherwise know”
(Bruce C. and Marie K.
Hafen, “ ‘Bridle All Your Passions,’ ” Ensign, Feb. 1994, 17).
President Hinckley assures couples:
“If you will make your first
concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your
companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you
will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity” (“Graduates
Receive Challenge from Prophet,” Church News, 6 May 1995, 11).
"Nurturung a Love That Lasts," Ensign,
Feb. 2000. p. 70)