28 January 2008

Is That All?

I've been teaching the Beehives for almost one year. I really enjoy it. The girls are really animated and seem to have strong testimonies. They actively participate in the lessons (unless that lesson is about sex, but I understand that) and share stories...related to the topic or not. The only problem I have with this class is that the manual is older than I am. Not one quote in the book comes from a decade since the 1970s. Yes, doctrines and principles stay the same. But why can't we make the stories a little bit more applicable (out with farming and in with texting!).

Next week in Young Women's I get to give this lesson. It's titled, "Preparing to Become an Eternal Companion." My first thought? Blech. Even though I am temple-married (and therefore C's eternal companion), I still struggle with these topics for this reason: shouldn't our young women be striving for something more than this? To me, becoming an eternal companion, while not easy, is not the final step in our progression. Staying worthy of being one, yes. But just becoming one? No. After some thought, I realized that we still have to be prepared for this, whether this happens in this life or in the next. (And don't worry, I'll certainly make this point!) So fine.

Once I came to terms with the actual objective of this lesson, I had another issue. This lesson listed two areas in which we need to prepare to become these eternal companions. First, spiritual preparation and second, homemaking skills. That's it. Just these two. I'm stunned. If I teach this, won't I be woefully underpreparing these girls?

So here's my list of additional areas in which I think anyone (male or female) should be prepared:

  • First, and most importantly: I think we all need to know who we are. This is not simply, "I am a son/daughter of God." This should go far beyond that. It's knowing your likes, your dislikes, your expectations from new mate, the things that drive you crazy, the things that you could do without. These kinds of things.
  • Second, communication. Once you know who you are, you need to be able to communicate these things to your spouse. Your spouse is NOT a mind reader!!! (Possibly the most important thing I've learned since being married.) Tell him/her if you have wants or needs that are not being met. I know it's romantic to hope that he'll magically notice that the garbage is ridiculously full; but realistically, he won't. So ask him, nicely, to take it out. He probably will. Also, if asked the question, "What's wrong?" NEVER answer with "Nothing" if in fact, something is wrong. Practice talking about things, all things: finances, moods, feelings, wants, desires, etc.
  • Third: compromise. In any relationship this is huge. Also important is knowing that compromise isn't relegated strictly to the big things. Rather, I think most spouses agree on big-tickets things; that's probably why you're together. So this includes compromise on the small things.

What am I missing?


emily said...

honestly, erin, i think you pretty much got it all. seriously.

and, OH MY, i love the bruno picture!!!! my favorite so far, i think!

lys said...

Ha! I just taught that lesson two weeks ago & my impression was "barf" also. I searched for more up-to-date material, refused to use the word "homemaking," and asked some of the other YW leaders to share stories/experiences instead of using the really cheesy ones from the lesson (especially the first one about the girl coming home from college at Christmas. . .). It's a good thing that we don't have to teach verbatim from the lesson manual because, like you said, that is really out-of-date. Good luck!

Camie said...

Sounds good to me, but what do I know? If I do ever find myself close to that holy institution, I'll be giving you a call for some advice for sure.

Melissa said...

I'm so glad these girls have you to augment this lesson for them. I think they're very lucky in that respect.

Niederfam said...

Agreed, your girls are lucky you know a little MORE about what they REALLY need to know.....Can you believe I've NEVER been in YW.....maybe it's got something to do with that fact that I have TWO boys, I dunno!!;)But you are well on your way to SUCCESS!!

holly said...

oh my goodness yes! the course 12 SS manual is the same. eeks! I like your list. When Matt was in YM he'd augment a TON while trying to teach to the one or two active YM, both from way different culture/race backgrounds.

hope the lesson went well!