I beginning a series of posts during the next three months to discuss and share with you my thoughts regarding gospel principles and successful marriages and families. For those of a different faith, I am simply sharing my views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint's doctrines on the family.
For my first post in this series I would like to discuss the affect of faith, any religious faith, on marriages and family life.
In one of my current college courses I came across a statement that stayed with me. It is from a man named Joseph who is a non-denominational Christian father. He said, "There's something that...when as a family your hearts are pointed together toward the same thing, and it's God, then parenting and economics and space and food and disagreements and hassles and joys and celebrations and all that other stuff...it works different, it seems different, it feels different....Our family is all oriented in the same way. Christ is King, He's the center, He's what it's all about....Our faith informs our relationships and everything about us."
When you decided to take that step into marital status, it is key and extremely important that you and your future spouse have a common religious goal. In today's world, religion is being pushed to the side and being made to appear unimportant and having no affect on one's daily life. I wholeheartedly disagree.
Without religion, without faith, the commandment to Love thy Neighbor is gone. That love and divine heritage that connects us all fades away until it is completely forgotten. What reason have we then to sacrifice for our fellow man to serve those around us?
Many are saying we are human after all. It's in our nature to love one another. I say it is not. The natural man is selfish, and cares only for its survival. Without the simple knowledge of who we are, we come from, and where we are going, the world will fall into chaos.
This is being proven today. Marriages are being entered into with the attitude of, "Me, Me, I, I". People become concerned when they receive nothing from their marital relationship. They feel they deserve more from their relationship. However, no one is stopping to ask the extremely important question, "What have you put into the relationship? What have you done to serve your spouse, to help your spouse, to work together with your spouse?"
Faith provides a common direction, goal, and guide to how to serve each other and God throughout our lives. Faith is the anchor that keeps us from being swallowed up in the chaos of today's selfish, egotistical world demanding extreme individualism.
The introduction of individualism in the 17th and 18th centuries was initially a great revolution of the American family. It allowed for children to be seen as they truly are: innocent and pure. It also allowed for more freedoms for women and a newfound respect for their roles in the home. Most importantly it introduced the important of mutual affection and love in the marital relationship.
Now, however, individualism is being taken to the extreme. Only faith and faith filled communities can remove the selfish nature of the natural man and instill the virtues of selflessness, sacrifice, and the true love of Christ in a world in desperate need of these virtues.
Please comment and share how your faith, no matter the denomination, has influenced your life and your marriages. Thank you!
For further reading:
Successful Marriages and Families. edited by Alan J. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, Thomas W. Draper; Chapter 18, "Faith in Family Life".