It all began when our family attended General Conference in Salt Lake City and I, as a big fan of strengthening marriages, captured the following favorite marriage quote from the whole conference given by Elder L. Whitney Clayton:
“Marriage is a gift from God to us; the quality of our marriages is a gift from us to Him.”
Marriage as a Gift from God
How is marriage such a gift? I realize there are some that may question that notion! Marriage is God’s way of creating the ultimate opportunity for fulfillment of the deepest longings of the human soul.
We long to be intimately connected to another–not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually and sexually as well. This complete knowing and being known by another in such a deep and profound way is available only within the bonds of marriage as designed by God, Himself.
Marriage as a Polishing Process
Marriage is also a gift in that it provides the greatest opportunity for each of us to smooth off our rough edges and become more whole and more complete as human beings.
There’s nothing quite like marriage to highlight all of our shortcomings and the parts of ourselves needing a little work. It’s not always fun, but it’s worth it if you’ll do the difficult work of personal growth when and where you need it.
Just like I mention in the video, one of my all-time favorite marriage quotes is one by Dr. David Schnarch who says:
“Marriage’s ‘polishing process’ uses each spouse as the abrasive to finish the other’s development.”
If you’ve been married for any length of time, you can probably see how “abrasive” is an appropriate word for what husbands and wives can be to each other from time to time. Thus, marriage is truly a polishing process.
This refiner’s fire in marriage ultimately allows us to develop into a state where we experience greater joy not only in our relationships with each other as husband and wife, but also in our relationships with others. In addition, this marital polishing process profoundly adds to our peace and joy with life itself.
Our Gift to God
Elder Clayton suggests in his quote that the quality of our marriage is our gift back to God.
As a marriage counselor and sex therapist I imagine that because of the very difficult work of bringing two people together to become ONE–emotionally, spiritually and sexually our Heavenly Father is so grateful for any efforts we make to increase the quality of our marriages, which inevitably increases the perfection of each spouse.
Happy Marriages are Possible
Making our marriages the best they can be not only blesses our lives and our children’s lives, but it also blesses the lives of all those around us by providing a light and a hope that happy marriages are possible.
The world is in sore need of hope regarding marriage, as I discuss in my article Happily Married
Couples Needed. Not only is marriage a gift to us from God, but it truly is also a gift from us to Him as we make our marriages a priority and become more and more ONE as husband and wife.
You can see more of Laura’s Marriage Messages on YouTube — Strengthening Marriage, Inc.
Marriage and intimacy expert, Laura M. Brotherson, MS, MFT, is the author of And They Were Not Ashamed-Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, and host of “The Marital Intimacy Show.” Visit her website StrengtheningMarriage.com to learn more.