Posted on August 31, 2015
How to Invite the Lord into Your Marriage
A few weeks ago some good friends asked my husband a question: “How can we invite the Lord into our marriage?” He posed the same question to me and suggested we study it together. It has been a really great experience and we have learned a lot, and I felt that I should share my findings with you!
As I was sharing my study notes with my husband, mostly a laundry list of things to do, he asked “what is the underlying principle here?” The answer we came up with was obedience. The Lord has promised that as we are obedient to his commandments, we will be blessed. We will have the spirit of the Lord with us, and we will be able to feel his love, not only for us, but for our spouse as well!
Come Close to the Lord Yourself
If you want to have the Lord in your marriage, you need to be doing all you can to be close to him yourself. Linda K Burton said, “The best way to strengthen a home, current or future, is to keep covenants.” As we keep the promises we have made to the Lord at baptism, in church, or even commitments that we have made personally, he will send his spirit to be with us. The Holy Spirit can guide us in our marriages, and help us to know God’s will for us. Attending church services faithfully and regularly, following the council of church leaders, and doing your best to emulate the Savior are all wonderful ways to draw closer to the Lord. You also need to be working hard to make the best marriage you can. “Marriage is a gift from God to us. The quality of our marriage is a gift from us to Him.” -L. Whitney Clayton
Prayer is how we communicate with God. If we want him to be involved in our marriage, this is an obvious place to start. Praying together, out loud, with your spouse can bring you closer to each other and to your Father in Heaven. One of the best ways that my husband and I have found to draw closer together during prayer is to pray for each other when we pray out loud as a couple. When I sincerely thank the Lord for my husband and all he does for me, and ask him for the blessings that my husband needs, I am able to love my husband more fully, because I can feel the love my Father in Heaven has for him. I can also feel the Spirit guiding me to pray for the things my husband needs most. It is such a wonderful experience that has drawn my husband and I so much closer together, and to the Lord.
Read the Scriptures
Study God’s word, both separately and together. His instructions for us are there. Again, as we are obedient to his commandments we will have his spirit with us. Though his words were written long ago, we can find applications to our own lives. As Nephi (a prophet in the Book of Mormon) said, we should “liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” When we apply the stories in the scriptures to our lives they gain more meaning and teach us important lessons. As we study the scriptures with personal questions in mind, the spirit will help us find the answers we need as we read.
Make Plans, Then Give God the Eraser
When making plans for your life, council with your spouse. Study out your options, be prayerful, and do your very best to come up with the ideal plan, but don’t get too attached to it. Remember, God’s plan is perfect. We cannot always understand what he is doing, or where is leading us, but if we have faith that his plan is the best, then when we bring our plans to him it will be easier to hand him the eraser and accept his direction. The Lord is pleased when we do our best to make informed decisions and try our hardest to do what is right, but he will also give us the necessary guidance and corrections when we ask for them. As an example, when we were first married my husband and I decided that we wanted to wait until we had been married a year before we tried to get pregnant. We thought this was a very reasonable and righteous decision, and we took it to the Lord. We kept praying periodically and, after three months of marriage, the answer came: “it’s time.” To say I was terrified didn’t even begin to cover it. We prayed for comfort and for strength and eventually found the peace and reassurance we needed that it really was the Lord’s will for us. Now we have the most beautiful little boy in the world and we are so grateful that we listened to the Lord!
Forgive and Repent Quickly
Choose to Love
Christ taught that the first and great commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor. “Love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison. You need to choose to love your spouse. It can be hard, especially if you’ve gotten into the habit of finding faults in your spouse, but this is something that God has asked us to do, and it will infinitely strengthen your marriage. It will also bring so much happiness! Choose every day, multiple times a day if you have to, to look for the good in your spouse, serve your spouse, and be kind. Pray for your spouse and also pray for your own heart to be softened so that you can love him or her. As you do these things you will come to love your companion more deeply than you ever thought possible. Even if you already have a good relationship with your spouse, these things can strengthen your love and marriage even more.
I know that marriage is a gift from God. I know that as we turn to him and invite him into our marriages that we will find more joy, more fulfillment, more peace, and more love than we could ever achieve on our own.