Photo by Sarah Wells http://www.freckleblossom.com/
Getting married is hopefully the best decision you’ve ever made, but like any major life change, it comes with a lot of transitions. Even if you come from the same religious background, it is likely that you and your spouse will have some differing views and traditions when it comes to religion. (Read more on merging traditions in the first installment of this series.)
My husband and I were both raised in a similar way, with religion being a top priority in our families’ lives. Despite that, we have had to learn how to make our religious practices work in our marriage.
Here are a few things we’ve learned
- Talk about it. We had to sit down and discuss what religious practices we wanted to carry into our relationship. We decided which things were a priority to us, and what we would start doing now so that we could have well-established traditions for when our children are born.
- Set a time to be spiritual. This could be every day, every week, or whenever you decide is best for you. We have loved setting aside time every day to study and pray together. It’s a quiet time when we can reflect on what is most sacred and important to us, and in which we can remember what is truly important. No matter what you and your spouse do during your spiritual time, setting aside time for it will ensure that you can have time amidst a busy schedule.
- Involve friends and family. Just because you are married now doesn’t mean you have to exclude friends and family. My husband and I have loved having a weekly religious discussion group every other Monday night with four other couples in our apartment complex. We keep it fun and always have a treat and game to go along with it.
- Lift each other. One of the best things about being married is that you have another person to encourage you. Never nag or criticize your spouse when it comes to religious habits. If you know he or she can be better, show your spouse! Treat them how you want them to be and that’s how they will act.
As my husband and I live our religion together, we feel closer together and find meaning in our marriage. As you find what works best for your new marriage, you will find that having religious traditions you can do together will increase the spirituality of your relationship and help you to be closer.
By Mckenna Clarke
This is the third post in a series about making the transition from single life to marriage. Each post will highlight a topic about marriage that begins with a letter in the word. As we work our way through M.A.R.R.I.A.G.E, whether you have been married for a while, are a newlywed, or are preparing to get married, we hope that these posts will help you to make a smooth transition
There are many types of family traditions. There are religious traditions, seasonal traditions, celebratory traditions or just plain fun traditions. Whatever kind they are, all family traditions have one thing in common—they unite us. The best way to strengthen family relationships is by spending time together, and traditions can play an important role by helping families remember to take time to appreciate one another.
Most of my family’s traditions revolve around two things: outdoor activities and food. In the part of Oregon where we live we have the sweetest berries. Every summer we make a point of going berry picking, taking advantage of a beautiful day, and then going home and enjoying the deliciousness together. Another annual tradition we have is on the day after Thanksgiving we go to the Christmas tree farm to chop down our tree. No matter what the weather is like, we go traipsing all over the farm looking for that perfect tree. It’s always a fun and sometimes muddy outing that ends with stuffing a giant tree through the front door and warming up with steaming cups of hot chocolate.
Creating memories together.
Taking the time to do these things together has strengthened our family relationships. We laugh and joke together and cherish these fun moments. Families can also develop weekly and daily traditions. Whether it’s family prayer or game night, children remember and are shaped by these wholesome activities.
Elder L. Tom Perry said, “If we will build righteous traditions in our families, the light of the gospel can grow ever brighter in the lives of our children from generation to generation.”
When we prioritize family traditions, we are prioritizing each other and the treasured relationships we have. It’s never too late to start a new family tradition or rekindle old ones. Take some time today for family and traditions.
—Allie Hamilton, Stance
by Katie Parker
Every December, my family has the unique opportunity to visit with Santa Claus. Not because we hide under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and wait for him to show up—we wouldn’t all fit under there anyway—but because my grandma had a knack for making friends.
by Alissa Holm
My mom with her first child, circa 1978
We all have our own “What if’s” and “I wish’s” about past phases of life. In an attempt to learn from the past, I’ve come up with a series of blog posts based on this idea: Learning from other’s past experiences to enhance another’s future experiences. In part one, I discussed what married LDS women wish they would have known before they tied the knot. For this segment, I’d like to discuss what LDS women wish they would have known before they had kids.
Like I said in my last post, I am not married, nor do I have any children. However, I do have several connections in my life to wise women who do have children and know quite a bit on the subject. So, without further ado, I give you a list of ten “What I Wish I Would Have Known’s” in regards to having children.
1. Motherhood means sacrifice. Joseph Smith said, “Sacrifice is the first law of heaven.” From the moment you conceive your child, you will learn to sacrifice everything from your health, to your sleep, to your appear for them.
2. Kids won’t ever be happy when they are hungry or tired. Your kids need to be well fed and rested to be happy and perform well.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can discipline children all day long for what they’re doing wrong. Some of these things aren’t THAT big of a deal. Who cares if the kids rearrange your silverware drawer? Yes, it is annoying, but it isn’t worth making a big deal out of it.
4. Emotional scars are just as bad as physical scars. Be careful with your little ones’ hearts.
5. Be silly. Sometimes this is the best way to connect with your child.
6. Read a lot. Turn off the TV and teach your children to love books.
7. Kids are mirrors. Sometimes they may be slow to listen, but they are very quick to imitate. Be careful.
8. Traditions matter. The traditions your family establishes will shape your child’s memories for the rest of their lives.
9. You can’t spoil your kids with time, just money. Spending extra time with your kids can only make them better.
10. Be quick to forgive. Kids are so quick to forgive, so don’t feel too bad when you make a mistake. Just try harder the next day.