Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chapter 4

Hello my dear friends,

Today the topic comes from chapter 4.

(If you are new please scroll down and read the beginning posts to see where I am coming from)

We will be focusing on equality in marriage. Our generation from the 1940’s or so until now has been given the most freedom in this realm. First of all what is equality in marriage? I think it means that there is not a ruler and a subordinate in the marriage but it is more like a team of two. After all when you are married who else is better suited to be on your “team”? There are so many facets to this topic, I hope to cover a few, in meaningful ways.

I am of the opinion that marriage was never meant to be a sorrow factory, that the ideal role marriage played in the life of those who engaged in it, was to offer security, love, warmth, opportunity, friendship, and many other valuable and needed aspects of successful human life.

Here is the quote that I like a lot from chapter 4 (the title of the chapter is Equal Partnership between Men and Women in Families)

                “The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony.”       - quoted from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

I love the imagery this quote summons up. If you really think about it, would you ever go to a symphony expecting it to be only French Horns? Even if it were all French Horn players, the notes they often play only appear from time to time and there would be a remarkable and confusing void in between.

Similarly as humans we can fill the void created by others weakness or they can help us with ours.
So what does this have to do with marital equality? Everything! One spouse can not dominate and expect beautiful music to flow in their life.

Marriage by nature allows room for the other’s weakness to be strengthened by the talents and abilities of the other. However when two people get married that have very similar weaknesses that can lead to their demise. So it is important to remember that as you select a mate, or begin to see that in your own marriage.

I love that my husband is wonderful with music, that he is smart, kind, and witty. I have strengths that help him progress, and his strengths help me. Though we are not perfect it is about doing your best to progress at a rate the two of you are comfortable with, based off of clearly stated goals and hopes.

For many thousands of years in many cultures one spouse was dominate and overpowering, while the other was basically forced to just go with it. I do want to say that I do not know if some people simply preferred that way or not. I do not want to be guilty of judging the past through presentism’s eyes.  People lived as they knew depending on their culture and time period, and after all isn't that what we are doing anyway?

I suppose my point here is that it is nice and exciting that equality is showing up more often in marriages, however we need to realize that this is a seemingly new way to handle things. I do think there is much value in treating your spouse as an equal and allowing for roles to be met by the most suited individual.

What is your opinion?

Which way seems healthier?

What have you seen happen in either an equal partnership, or in a higher/lower marriage?

Thank you again for your time and thoughts.

I strongly believe the more we talk about important topics and educate ourselves the better equipped and able we are to improve our situation and the situations of those in our circle of influence. 


  1. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church." How did/does Christ love the church? "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come unto you." "If ye, being [imperfect], know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Christ loves us, considers our needs, grants our good requests, values our feelings, alleviates our sorrows. In the same vein, husbands are supposed to do all these things for their wives. That does not sound to me like an unequal or subservient relationship. It is a compassionate and giving one.
    I see here a syllogism: (Christ is giving) + (we should be like Christ) = (flowers on a regular basis)

  2. I adore that Wirthlin quote. The idea that we're all pieces in of an immense orchestra with our own parts to play gives me an excellent reminder of how to love and cherish those who... well, basically aren't me. Their music is different than mine, but they're still an important part of the song. I've seen that very literally in the oratorio I'm in. I sat directly behind the percussionists during the last performance and I realized how MUCH they do and how subtle some of their parts are where you don't even really notice if you're just listening, but to know that if that one chime weren't there, or that drum roll, the music wouldn't be as complete.

    I was struck many years ago by a friend telling me of a relative of hers, when someone asked how they knew their spouse was the right one, they said "The bumps in her head matched the holes in mine." I had never thought about it that way. I think it's a really beautiful, healthy way to make a pairing, finding your complement.