Friday, March 23, 2018

A few years back, a friend confided in me that she was falling out of love with her husband. He wasn't the same man anymore. He didn't tell her everything/anything. He was a good man and he was a great father but she just didn't love him the same way. She told me about how she knew she couldn't leave him because she covenanted with God that she would marry him and stay with him. She couldn't break her covenants. She felt lost and alone. She didn't know what to do.

Fast forward to 6 months later. She had been praying and fasting. She asked the Lord what she should do. One day a friend came to her door and told her she had bought her a flight to go spend time with her husband (who was going to school far away, somewhere warm). Her words: "The day of my flight arrived. I headed out the door for my 2.5 hour drive to the airport, excited and anxious. I listened to some podcasts on marriage as I drove. Then I prayed. “Heavenly Father? I’m exhausted. I’m working on being willing to stay in this marriage, but I am so tired. Help me get both feet in this. I need a miracle this weekend. Please help me. I can’t do this on my own…” Later she found him in the airport, "and then we embraced. I use the word embrace because that hug was no ordinary hug. We had been less than affectionate to each other for quite some time. There was love in that embrace. “That was strange.” Was the first thing he said. The rest of our weekend together was simply incredible. It was healing. We were submerged in forgiveness and found understanding for each other.
It hasn’t worn off. Hurray! Our love for each other was rekindled and we are keeping the flame alive. Neither of us are na├»ve to the fact that we have a life long of challenges ahead of us. But, I have learned and experienced that forgiveness can be found and love can be rekindled and burn deeper than one could ever imagine." (Shared from my friend's blog with permission.)

Fast forward to 2 years later. They have a new baby, they're still in love. She has had a complete change of heart. She now sees him as God does and they couldn't be happier. It was only through the grace of God and her willingness to submit to it that she was able to overcome her thoughts, overcome her weaknesses, and learn to love him with all her heart again.

Spencer W. Kimball said, "There are those married people who permit their eyes to wander and their hearts to become vagrant, who think it is not improper to flirt a little, to share their hearts and have desire for someone other than the wife or the husband. The Lord says in no uncertain terms: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22). And, when the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. And, to the woman it is paraphrased: “Thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shalt cleave unto him and none else.” The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse." (Kimball, 1972).
Whatever relationships we choose to foster will flourish. Whomever we spend time with will benefit and grow from our presence. It is important to choose our eternal companion over others. My friend did. It took her some time, but some would say now that they have one of the best relationships they have ever seen.

Dr. Goddard tells us that we shouldn't even allow these thoughts any time in our heads. He says, "Do not entertain mental fantasies of romance or passion" (Goddard, p. 94). Matthew 5:28 tells us the same thing:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

Dr. Goddard gives 10 tips to stay out of trouble:

1. Do not allow the seeds of lust to germinate.
2. Never make excuses to spend time alone with a person of the opposite sex who is not your spouse.
3. Do  not be flirty with anyone but your spouse.
4. Do not allow your heart to dwell on anyone.
5. If you find yourself making excuses for continuing the relationship, you are addicted. Get help.
6. Spend more enjoyable time with your spouse.
7. Renew your spiritual efforts.
8. Don't set yourself up for failure.
9. Keep your soul free of the soul-numbing barrenness of pornography.
10. Celebrate the sweet gift of companionship. (Goddard, p. 94-95).

If we put up a fight for our marriages, and really nurture and protect them we will be blessed throughout eternity where we will find that our spouses are truly more noble and godly then we ever thought they could be.

Goddard, H. (2009). “Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage: Eternal Doctrines that Change Relationships”. Joymap Publishing. 3933 W. 9850 N Ceder Hills, Utah, USA.

Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 142–43.

See Hannah's story here: 

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