Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: marriage (page 2 of 2)

Wedding Wednesday: Kid Questions

The excitement is building; I am officially counting down the days now. In a little over two weeks my fiancée and I are getting married in the Salt Lake Temple! He feels like it’s not coming soon enough, I feel like the time is whizzing by.

Today, instead of talking about wedding planning, I’d like to talk about something that I will have to start thinking about in the near future; when to have kids. My fiancée and I have only talked about it occasionally, and it was only the basic questions like: “how many kids do you want?” or “what should we name our kids?” We haven’t really talked about it seriously yet, but I imagine that time will be coming soon. It’s a question that all married couples have to face and eventually decide on.

A couple weeks ago, my cousin told my fiancée and I not to have kids until he had a secure job. At the time we just smiled and didn’t say anything, but I was inwardly upset. Not only was it not her place to say, but also in the LDS faith we are taught that having children is part of God’s plan, and that families are essential to our salvation. I have often heard from Church leaders that couples should not necessarily wait until they are financially secure to have children. I knew that my cousin had heard the same testimonies on the subject so I was confused as to why she would say that to us.

I had to take a step back and think about where my cousin was coming from. My cousin grew up in a home where her father came from a well-to-do family and was already secure in his job when he married her mom. Taking this step back, I could see her perspective and knew that she sincerely had our best interests at heart.

While my cousin’s advice was logical, it is not up to her, the rest of my family, nor my friends, or really anyone, to decide when my fiancée and me have children. The decision when to have kids and how many should be between the spouses and the Lord. When making this decision, and really any important decision, it is necessary to consult with each other and pray to the Lord about the decision. By doing this we invite the Lord to be a part of the marriage and have a hand in it.422661_433475463356702_1883829178_n

Just as we wouldn’t want to be judged, it is important not to be judgmental of other couples based on how many or how few kids they have. No one really understands their specific situation, only the Lord does. The Lord is the judge of mankind, not us. Many times it may be difficult for a couple to bear children, and it would be unfair to judge them. Remember, it is not anyone else’s business; it is solely between husband, wife, and the Lord.

I personally cannot wait to start a family and I am so ecstatic to be a mother. Families are essential to society, and most notably to the children that are brought into it.

By Bryn Adams

“Let No Man Put Asunder”: A Marriage Promise

By Jerrick Robbins

My sister recently bought a new cell phone. It has all the speed, all the data, and all the memory a person could want. Her brand-new technology puts my one-year-old technology to shame. In fact, it might as well own my phone. Her phone’s screen has better resolution, its width is thinner, and its camera can even take a video in slow motion. As much as I love my phone, I plan on getting the newest model as soon as I can update next year.

It seems like our culture is going toward a “newest and best model” theology. People need the newest technology, the best car, the best job, and the newest trends. I have to admit, I want it—all of it. All the new and best things. Yes, that thought might be a little materialistic and unobtainable, but a guy can dream, right? Yes, guys can dream, so can gals. People can dream, and people can have hope that they will obtain their dreams. But there’s one dream no one should entertain.

As I write this blog post, my fiancée is sitting next to me writing “thank you” cards. Earlier today, I massaged her feet as she relaxed from a hard day’s work. I love her, I love serving her, and at this moment, I could never see me leaving her. Sadly, that’s what many couples say at the beginning of their relationship, but they end up doing what they never thought possible.

image from flickr user urbiefoto

image from flickr user urbiefoto

Too many people fall into the “newest and best model” theology when it comes to a spouse. In effect, they think that if their marriage isn’t working, if they run into technical difficulties or glitches in marriage, it’s time to trade in for a new one. Our culture’s “newest and best model” theology has been taken too far. That thinking has removed commitment from a relationship and inserted change instead. It has removed responsibility and inserted replace.

Marriage is not meant to be easy, and it’s not meant to be perfect. Even though there may be difficulties or glitches, we shouldn’t replace it; instead, we should restore it. Rather than the “newest and best model” theology, let’s go back to “let no man put asunder.” A marriage promise should be a lifetime warranty, not a money back guarantee.

What Bees Buzz about Relationships

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By Jerrick Robbins

When I lived at home, my dad often enlisted my help on certain household projects. My mom called it his “Honey do“ list, although it wasn’t really a list. She would simply call out, “Honey, do this” or “Honey, do that.” My dad would echo Wesley from The Princess Bride and say, “As you wish” to his Princess Buttercup. He was her farm boy and her worker bee.

I’m slightly terrified of bees, but I’ve also come to respect those little black and yellow creatures. I learned that bees converse through a sort of dance. They zig and zag communicating to the other hive members the location of a particular flower-filled meadow. On average, a hive of bees will fly over 48,000 miles to accumulate enough pollen for just one quart of honey. That’s a lot of work!

Looking back at those Saturdays spent working on the list with my dad, I remember the feeling of accomplishment I had when we would finish a project. I imagine that honeybees don’t have that same feeling at the end but during the journey. For them, collecting honey is a continuous process. Collecting honey never stops.

Those days of helping my dad on his “Honey do” list are past, but I’m getting closer to having my own Princess give me “Honey do” lists someday.  I’ve decided there’s a reason why so many couples call each other “honey.” Now maybe it’s because many people think it’s cute, but I believe there’s a deeper reason. Think of all the time and hard work a hive of bees accomplishes just for one quart of honey. Now think of all the time and hard work required to nurture a relationship. There’s a correlation there, and it’s not coincidental.

 

What I Wish I Would Have Known (Part One): Marriage

by Alissa Holm

My oldest sister and her husband on their wedding day, August 21, 1999.

The experience of marrying another person is likely the biggest transition a person will ever make in their life. Each person goes into a marriage with their own set of values, beliefs, traditions, experiences, and testimony, and is expected to join with another to create a united eternal unit. While this experience may sound blissful from the outside, often this “clashing of minds” isn’t quite so easy from the inside.

Before I write any further, I should probably explain that I am not married, nor do I claim to know much about the subject. But in my associations and conversations with the married couples that I do know, I often hear them sticking in their two cents here and there about what they wish they would have known before they got married. Each of them has developed advice based on their experiences that they want to impart to us “unmarrieds” to help in our relationships and future marriages. And I’ll be the first to admit—I love hearing their tips so that I can better know what to expect once I reach that phase too.

I have polled my close family, friends, and coworkers to come up with a list of ideas and experiences LDS women say they wish they would have know prior to their own weddings and marriages. No matter your relationship status, try reading through at least a few of these. You might be surprised at what you can learn!

Newlywed Life

  1. Surprises are inevitable. “No matter how well you think you may know your future spouse, you’re bound to find out something new the first day you’re married,” says my co-worker Sarah.
  2. Recognize that differences will emerge. “I wish I would have known that when two people get married, they bring two entirely different cultures into one house,” says my friend Kaitlyn. It’s important to understand that while your spouse may cook rice differently, clean the bathroom differently, or do the dishes differently, it doesn’t mean that their way is wrong. Be willing to compromise on these things!
  3. “Any traits, positive or negative, you see in your future spouse will be amplified as soon as you’re married,” says my sister, Lara. The old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin rings true—“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-closed afterward.”
  4. Take some time for yourselves before you have kids. While this is a topic that is personal to all couples, most of the people I talked with expressed the importance of taking the necessary time before having children to enjoy each other’s company, get to know each other, and travel. Once you have kids, your lives will never be the same.

Your Married Relationship

  1. You don’t have to be brutally honest with each other all the time. “Sometimes, things are better left unsaid if they will hurt your spouse,” my sister, Lara, tells me.
  2. Fall in love with your spouse on this inside as well as the outside. We all age and change physically over time, usually for the worse. This bit of advice comes from my sister as well, who has been married for 11 years—enough time for a few new wrinkles and grey hairs to appear. Yet, I still look at the two of them and can see that they are just as in love now as they were 11 years ago.  
  3. Put his needs in front of yours. “When you are single the only person you really need to worry about and take care of is yourself—making yourself the best possible,” says my friend Jani. “But when you’re married, you have to cook, clean, budget, earn money, etc., with someone else.” She explains that this works well if you have a Christlike attitude, but if you don’t, Satan will try to find his way in and change your attitude to one of selfishness.   
  4. Remember, he can’t read your mind. If you have something on your mind, just tell him, don’t bother dropping hints. Communication is key!

Your New Family

  1. “Kill your in-laws and new family with love,” says my friend Kaitlyn. She also recommends not complaining to your spouse about their family—these are the people, other than you, that they love the most. “Be kind and love, love, love,” she says. “Chances are, you’ll end up falling in love with them as well.”
  2. Remember, you marry the family too. “As much as you want to think that you two get to run away and live happily ever after by yourselves, that is not true,” says my friend Jani. “He will want to spend time with his family (which is a good thing), and you will want to spend time with yours.” And remember to be yourself—don’t try to be someone else just to impress them.
  3. Don’t keep score. “If you spend time with his family one year, don’t think that it’s your house for Christmas the next year. If you see one family every week and the other once a year, it doesn’t matter because everyone wins—it’s not a competition,” says Jani.

 

So there you have it: a few basic tidbits of advice from married couples of all ages.

Whether you’re single, engaged, newly married, or have been married for several years, hopefully you can benefit from or at least relate to these points.

 

Have any advice of your own? Feel free to comment below—we’d love to hear from you!

What about Abstinence? It is Free and Freeing

by Christy Hinkson

Christy is an author and a mother of ten. She recently released her new book Home Remedies for a Nation at Risk: What American Leaders could learn from American Families. Also, click here to view Christy’s blog Stand for the Truth.

With the contraception debate brewing and boiling over, I have to ask: What about Abstinence? Why does anyone have to pay for birth control at all? Why do people laugh and think it is impossible to keep sexual relations within the bonds of marriage. What about all the people in the world who manage to control themselves and refrain from sex until they are married. There are millions of people all over the world who do this and have lived to tell about it. I also believe that those who abstain before marriage are in a better position to speak about “women’s health” than those who are having sex with multiple partners and using birth control, which has historically caused several women’s health issues.

I practiced abstinence and so did my husband. Our children and their spouses have also abstained until they married. I attended a prestigious private University where people were expected to live by an honor code and if they had sex outside of marriage while they were students they faced being dismissed as students from the university. What a great opportunity to go to school where the focus was actually on academics.

Choosing to be “morally clean” was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Here are some of the stresses in life that I now do not have to worry about now because I was not prematurely sexually active:

1. I don’t have to worry that I will get a sexually transmitted disease.

2. I don’t have to worry that I will be as tempted to succumb to breaking this law as an adult. If I can survive the raging hormone time of youth, I am well on my way to living a pure life.

3. I don’t have to worry that I will have an unwanted pregnancy outside the bonds of marriage.

4. I don’t have to worry that anyone will ask me to consider having an abortion or giving a child up for adoption.

5. I don’t have to worry that there will be a child somewhere that I gave birth to and have not been able to raise.

6. I don’t have to worry that I have near as high of a chance of developing cervical cancer that is significantly linked to having multiple sex partners.

7. I don’t have to worry that my husband married me because he “had to.”

8. I don’t have to worry that I will run into old partners and be embarrassed.

9. I don’t have to worry that I will ever think about other partners that I was immoral with.

10. I don’t have to worry that God will be disappointed with my choices.

Practicing abstinence is not only free, but it is freeing. It may cause some people a little stress to practice abstinence but look at all the stress you are able to live without later.

Extra! Extra!: BYU Professor Reveals Results of Provo Dating Study

by Erin Jones

Provo, Utah, is known for its obsession about dating matters, and for good reason. When you stick a group of thousands of Latter-day Saint (Mormon) young adults together who are all trying to get married, you can expect to hear about dating.

Being surrounded by dating talk, I was instantly curious when I heard about a dating lecture that would take place on campus. Professor Holman was to reveal his exclusive results from a study he conducted on Provo dating life.

I sat in a crowded room at the Joseph F. Smith Humanities Building at Brigham Young University, awaiting Professor Holman’s lecture. I nervously sat in the back of the crowded lecture hall, not wanting to be seen in such a laughter-inspiring situation. As I sat, I watched dozens of people enter the room: couples holding hands, groups of girls, and even some curious guys. I overheard a married couple in front of me say they were there for extra credit. Having already successfully navigated Provo’s complicated dating scene, why else would they be at such a lecture?

Professor Holman started out the lecture by saying that he wouldn’t be staying for the viewing of The Princess Bride following the lecture, because he was going home to his own “princess bride.” The crowd let out a coordinated “aww”—or at least the females in the room did.

Professor Holman then explained that his team had spent the last several months studying Provo dating life. A group of young adults had been selected to have their dating life put under a microscope and revealed to the student body. These research subjects had agreed to send weekly texts on the status of their relationship (such as “I’m dating someone,” “I just broke up,” or “I went on a first date”) over the period of several months. A few participants were also given weekly interviews on their thoughts on dating.

With all of these results, the professor and his team found that Provo dating is not how dating used to be. Apparently there are no clear signs understood by everyone that indicate how the relationship is progressing. Generally, a guy and girl who like each other will increase time spent together, until they decide they want to date. This mutual like could be communicated solely through physical affection (bad) or through communication (good).

The research team also found some interesting dating quirks of their research subjects. They humorously grouped their subjects into several sociological categories. The girls fit into three groups:

Flirtatious Girls: These are the flirtatious girls who base their self-esteem off of how many guys like them. If this girl likes you, you will KNOW. Unfortunately, they probably like 10 other guys as well. The tough thing with dating these girls is convincing them that you are the best guy around and that you are willing to treat her better than the other millions of guys she’s after.

Lock and Key Girls: I heard this description and immediately thought “Oh my gosh, it’s me!” These girls are relationship avoidant. They are independently minded and have high (sometimes too high) expectations. If one of these girls likes you, good luck—there is no way you will know. Just ease into the relationship slowly and convince her you are worth it.

Stable Girls: These girls are comfortable with dating. They will open up to guys and share their feelings and are willing to go through the dating process without rushing it.

As for the guys, there are three groups as well.

Emotional Guys: When they go too far, these types of guys can be perceived as creepy or stalkers. Really, though, these are some of the sweetest guys you’ll meet because they’re very dedicated to dating. They feel rejection really hard. When they hear from general authorities that they should be dating, they feel guilty and get to work! But maybe too much work.

Closed Off Guys: These guys don’t try very hard to date. When they hear from general authorities they should be dating more, they think, “They’re referring to someone else,” or “I would love to date more, but I have too much homework.” Then they lock themselves in their apartments on Friday nights and play video games.

Stable Guys: These guys are willing to go through the dating process. They don’t jump into a relationship too fast, but they also don’t avoid dating. They move on after a rejection or a break-up and keep trying. And eventually, they win (find a wife, that is).

Professor Holman and his team said that no one fits perfectly into one of these three categories. Nevertheless, the characteristics of each category seemed all too familiar. So what can you do about these dating weaknesses? Well, there is hope. Apparently you can change your attitudes about dating. If it goes right, dating leads to marriage, which leads to family, which leads to life-long (and eternal) happiness—even though there may be a lot of bumps along the way.

I walked out of the lecture a bit frustrated by my lock and key ways, but determined to change them. Provo dating, here I come!

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