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?