In the book, "Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage", by H. Wallace Goddard, PhD, it says, "Most of us want the prize without paying the price"(p.40). Later in the same chapter, chapter 2, it says, "In striking the marriage bargain, we are (unknowingly)giving up the egocentrisms of childhood in favor of the charity of Godhood. We make a covenantal step toward unselfishnes"(p.43). This is something that I think about a lot. In marriage, we are given the greatest opportunity to become like our Heavenly Father and like Jesus Christ; selfless and being able to truly understand charity.
Marriage is hard, but it also can be so fun! Before getting married, Rybot and I had a lot of fun. We were going to school at BYU-Idaho and somehow seemed to have plenty of free time. We spent a lot of time in one of the large buildings on campus reading, talking, analyzing the artwork, dreaming, and building our love maps. Love Map is a term from Dr. Gottman's book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work". He says, "...emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other's world. I call this having a richly detailed love map--my term for that part of your brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner's life" (p. 54).
Before marriage we easily and freely build our love maps of our future spouse. This is something that I hope is common practice. The thing about love maps is that they must be constantly updated to be able to strengthen our marriages. Within Dr. Gottman's book there are several questionnaire's or games to play between spouses and as Rybot and I did the first one, questioning some of the significant times in our lives or our favorite things, it was interesting to see the things that we still believed about each other that we had shared over 3 years ago. As I better know and understand my husband, his hopes and dreams, I can better serve him. In the gospel of Jesus Christ we are taught that marriage is eternal, but for it to be eternal we don't just get married and move on; we have got to work at loving our spouse everyday and helping them on their journey. The main idea that I think brings this all together and it works in all relationships is that you must give more than you take; that is charity and that is putting someone else's needs above your own. That is the best investment we can make.