courage for the week 2.13.11

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This was first published in 1983, but I loved it and thought it would be appropriate for Valentines.

20 Ways to Make a Good Marriage Great

by Richard W. Linford

1. Night and Morning Prayer to say thanks, to ask for help in your marriage and family, to worship together.

2. A Weekly Planning Meetingto discuss the calendar, talk over needs and problems, decide priorities and next steps.

3. A Daily Phone Call or Personal Conversationto say “I love you,” to touch base, to discuss the day, to show you care.

4. A Weekly Date to a favorite park, a concert, the library, the gym; or staying home for a candlelight dinner, a game, or a mutual hobby.

5. Patience Regardlessof missed meals, tardiness, forgotten favors, a thoughtless remark, impatience.

6. Daily Servicehelping with house or yard work, mending a piece of clothing, taking a turn with the sick baby, fixing a favorite meal. (Write it down. Do it!)

7. A Budgetto tie down income and expenses, help set financial goals, and give you control over your finances.

8. Listeningnot only to what is said, but also to what is meant.

9. Regular Attendanceat church—and where possible—the temple.

10. Daily Scripture Readingto learn the gospel, to receive inspiration for yourself and your marriage, to become more like Jesus.

11. Working Togethercaring for a garden, painting a bedroom, washing the car, scrubbing floors, building a piece of furniture, writing a poem together, team teaching a class.

12. Forgiving Each Otheralways learning from each other, trying a different way, being the first to make peace. 

13. Courtesies like saying please and thank you, not interrupting or belittling, not doing all the talking, continuing the niceties of courtship.

14. Soft and Kind Wordsof tenderness, compassion, empathy.

15. Learning Together byreading to each other, discussing ideas, taking a class.

16. Respectingopinions, ideas, privacy.

17. Supporting Your Spouse’schurch service and righteous goals.

18. Caring for Your Spouse’s Family by … enjoying their company, praying for them, serving them, overlooking differences.

19. Occasional Giftssuch as a note, a needed item—but mostly gifts of time and self.

20. Loving with All Your Heart. “Thou shalt love thy wife [thy husband] with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her [him] and none else.” (D&C 42:22.)


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