The other one that Bret and I are not allowed to speak- divorce.
Okay, so we can say it, but we decided long before we were married that divorce would never be an option for us. Bret tries to be gallant and tell me that if he ever turns into an axe murderer that I should leave him. Harhar:/ In the unlikely event that THAT ever happens, I think I would have bigger things to worry about. And divorce would still not be an option.
That's how important I know marriage is. Here is what else I think-
Marriage is not just about mutual support and companionship. It's about building a family; an eternal family. Should something as awesome and special as an eternal family be easy to get??
This is a quote I use often, but only because it fits so often. Thomas Paine wrote, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods..."
Marriage is a proving ground. Can we stick through it, the thick AND the thin, and become more like Christ? Capable of having an eternal family? Marriage is a fantastic place to learn, practice, and live Christlike qualities like forgiveness, humility, patience, altruism, LOVE, generosity, service, sacrifice, etc. Why throw that opportunity away on silly little things like, "We fell out of love" or "I need to find out who I am" (side note: you'll do better finding yourself if you stay married and work on your relationship with your spouse!). Or even huge things like, "He/she cheated on me." Working through trials to marriage makes us into better, stronger souls and gives an even greater understanding of Christ's atonement.
Sure, there are times when divorce is necessary. I'm not going to recommend to anyone that they stay in a marriage where they're being beaten nightly. That said, marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. I've seen a couple of (and if I've seen them in my little world it means there are probably lots more) instances where a person has tried to justify their divorce to me when it is glaringly obvious that those two should not have married in the first place. And in both instances, I believe they could have worked things out, even as bad as it was.
I have also seen a couple instances where in the eyes of the world the wife would have had every right to leave her husband without any guilt or regret. But she didn't. And both marriages became something enviable, beautiful, and awesome. To think of what they would have missed out on is sad, to say the least. How joyful to know that they didn't:)
Don't even get me started on what divorce does to children.
But back to the good stuff:) What does taking the divorce option out do for a marriage?
It gives it MAJOR security!
I don't have to worry that Bret's going to skip out on me when the going gets rough just because it would be easier to pay child support and alimony than live with me and three wild monkeys-I-mean-boys. Bret doesn't have to worry that I'm going to throw in the towel one day and leave for a simpler-instant-gratification kind of life. When a couple knows that they're going to have to work through the rough times it takes a huge stress out of each struggle. At the very least you know there will be light at the end of the tunnel, not questions about whether or not your marriage will survive on top of everything else.
It increases love, love, love!
How can you not love someone who is going to stick by you even when you've not been the nicest person in the world? After you've made it through a trench, how can you not turn around and be so grateful to your spouse for the support? For being your faithful companion? The potential for love to grow between husband and wife is boundless! Don't limit it with the option of divorce!
Some may say (and have), "Well that's all fine for you. You and Bret are fantastic together." To which I say, "Yes we are;) But it's not because we're just lucky that way. We found some awesome keys to success that we use to our advantage." Divorce has never and will never be an option. That has been so freeing in our marriage. Which sounds slightly counter-intuitive, but it seems like the best things are.
We also take this passage of The Family: A Proclamation to the World very seriously:
"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other..."
A solemn responsibility. Not "a passing fancy" or "when it's convenient." Solemn. Responsibility.
This is serious business.
But I tell you what. When a couple takes marriage seriously, puts in the effort to think more of the other than themselves: how the fantastic-ness flows! The love abounds like nothing I could ever have imagined. Marriage. Is. Awesome.
(We are not good self portrait takers which turned to our advantage here as we had to keep trying for the right shot:))
So I say, "Just say NO to divorce."
But I think my dad says it best when he simply says, "If the grass looks greener on the other side...water your grass."