A Welcome Message

It's a great big world we live in. And yet-it's a small world (after all). There are so many different cultures and opinions and theories and beliefs, but there is one thing that exists among them all, and that is FAMILY.

I firmly believe that "the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

On this blog, I'll share information from my classes, experiences from my own life, thoughts and feelings from my heart-all on the subject of FAMILY.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How NOT to Fall in Love

Once upon a time, there was a princess. One night, she went to a ball. As she descended the steps to the dance floor, the handsomest prince in all the land surged forward to greet her and take her hand for the first dance. As soon as he placed his hand on her back, she knew! He was the prince for her. They would dance tonight, marry tomorrow, and live happily ever after.... or would they?

Thanks to the movies and our girl-ish daydreams, we often approach dating with this attitude that the man of our dreams is simply going to come along some day, we'll meet, touch for the first time, and the rest will be history.

Perhaps this is why dating has become so unsuccessful in leading to successful marriages and has even become an endangered model for getting to know a prospective spouse.

Rather than the traditional dating and courtship that was once the only dating model, young people today have started to follow others, such as:
Hang out, Make out, Drop out
Date 'em til you Hate 'em

If people approach dating this way, what are their approaches and attitudes towards marriage going to be?

Did you know?
When kissing occurs, 
a chemical called Oxytocin 
(the same bonding chemical 
that forms an attachment 
between mother and baby) 
is released-especially in women, 
so that when the relationship is severed, 
there is an actual wound that takes place? 
Women who kiss around 
a lot have a harder time 
forming an attachment 
in each subsequent relationship, 
therefore making it hard 
for them to commit to a lasting 
relationship or even marriage. 

What is the purpose of dating?
Your ultimate goal is to spend eternity with Heavenly Father, and in His kingdom we will live as eternal families. So the ultimate goal of dating is to find an eternal companion you can make and keep temple covenants with. (taken from Dating FAQs).

Elder Oaks (and his granddaughter) taught the three P's of dating.
A date is:  Planned.  Paid for.  Paired off.

Can you see how this model of dating leads to better marriages than those other models and behaviors?

Look at it this way... according to The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a husband's role is to Preside, Provide, and Protect while the wife's role is to nurture. The three P's of dating prepare us for the three P's of marriage and family life!

Planned ....................... Preside
Paid for ....................... Provide
Paired off ..................... Protect

Let's not just pick on the guys, though. What about us women?
It is our divine role to nurture, so how can dating prepare us to fulfill that role?
Elder Scott said, "[Women] should be developing the sacred qualities that God has given His daughters to excel as a wife and mother: patience, kindliness, a love of children, and a desire to care for them rather than seeking professional pursuits. [They] should be acquiring a good education to prepare for the demands of motherhood."
Men should be looking for such qualities in the women they date. They should plan dates that provide opportunity for these qualities to be proven.

In reality, the sequence for getting to know and falling in love with someone has become totally skewed. Where a relationship should look like this-->

it quite often is the opposite, and that leads to problems down the road. The healthiest order of relationship development is Dating -> Courtship -> Engagement -> Marriage.

A perfect love is the love that combines all four of the greek translations of the word:
Storge - The least discriminating kind of love. The love of affection.
Philia - The kind of love that exists between friends.
Eros - Romantic love between a man and woman. It is more than a desire for sex, though it is included. It is longing to be with a particular person, thinking about them.
Agape - Christlike love. Acting for the well-being of someone else, regardless of whether you like them or not.
(Marriage & Family The Quest for Intimacy by Lauer and Lauer)

If you follow smart dating practices and find someone for whom you feel all of these kinds of love, I'd suggest sticking with that person. Chances are, you'll live a lot happier ever after than your favorite fairy tale couple.

The End.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

By Divine Design

You've heard the saying that husbands and wives compliment and complete each other, right? Well, after what I learned a few weeks ago, I am more of a mind to believe it than ever. Forgive me for my absence. I assure you it is not because I wasn't learning some amazing stuff the last few weeks-because I have learned so much and have been so blessed by what I've learned! It's exciting.

For example, the things I learned about men and women's instinctive differences and how they impact our families for the better. It's stuff we all know to some degree or another, but until I thought about it in depth the way we did in class, I didn't realize how bodaciously awesome it is. People still use the word, bodacious, right?

Let's take a minute to talk about our non-physical differences. What are the more obvious ones?

Females are relationship focused. In general, they are better able to empathize than men. They listen and respond, verbalize, and are observant of others and their emotions. The female brain has more connective tissue which is why they seem to be thinking of everything and everyone at the same time.

Males, in general, are not so naturally great at those things, but are excellent in their own strengths. They're action focused-they take on and complete tasks with less distraction. Aha! My husband's always teasing that I need horse blinders when I tell a story because one thought leads to a million others and I have a tendency to stray from the original topic. Males have spatial orientation, which is why they understand north and south easier and we girls are much more comfortable with landmark directions. My husband is able to look at a basketball or football game on TV for a matter of seconds and he knows exactly what's going on, whereas I am rather lost for a while unless I've been watching the entire game. Men are also naturally more aggressive than women.

How do these differences help the family?

"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."

Let's break it up.

Mothers are to: Nurture.
Fathers are to: Preside, Provide, and Protect.

Can you see how our male and female differences aid us in fulfilling these responsibilities?

A mother's ability to recognize and respond to the individual needs of each family member allows her to nurture the entire family the way she was divinely appointed to do.

A father's ability to focus on his work and then immediately switch gears to focus on his family as soon as he gets home allows him to provide the best he can, and preside with love and righteousness. A man's natural aggression makes him the perfect protector for his family.

SO COOL!!! Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing when He created us male and female and sent us to Earth in families. Not that we ever doubted that.

A classmate made the observation that if we (husbands and wives) were the same, we'd only be able to achieve mediocre. But together, with our differences, we can excel.

We are so much more together!

Often times we nag and pick on the opposite sex because they are different from us and frankly, we don't understand them sometimes. But those differences are exactly what make us the most powerful of partners when it comes to raising a family! So cherish and celebrate those differences!