We are living in a day when mothers are aggressively pushed to leave their children with a baby sitter or in day care and go to work out of their homes. I suppose we should have been prepared for this, when feminists began crying so loudly that women who stayed at home to care for and rear their family were in "modern slavery."
Young Sisters, I want to tell you as strongly as I know how that the push to get you to abandon your children and your husband is from Satan. He knows that children who grow up without their mother in their home are much more likely not only to leave the Church, but, further, to indulge in a myriad of self-destructive behaviors.
This dangerous problem is exacerbated by the changes that have taken place, and are continuing to take place, in our culture. We no longer have mostly intact homes. And too many of these broken homes are in the Church.
How do we keep our marriages healthy in today’s world? Beyond being at home while our children are growing up, which is essential, it is equally essential that we treat each other kindly and with respect. That means even when the baby cried all night with colic and the garage roof caved in. Yes, these are extremes, but they happen in marriages, and those are the times when we must remember to speak kindly and respectfully.
The manner of speech between married couples that is modeled on TV and in movies is almost always destructive. It tends to be coarse and vulgar. Oftentimes, it is spiteful, and cleverly nasty. Yes, I mean precisely that: cleverly nasty. These things are said to evoke a laugh at the expense of the actor or actress who is on the receiving end of this clever nastiness.
We are being trained by such speech, not only to laugh, but to use it in our own homes, on our own spouse. After all, it is clever. It made us laugh, so why should we not use it?
We LDS must be better than this. Our number one task in this respect is to carefully avoid movies and TV shows that model such behavior. Satan knows what he is doing. That’s why we are actually being taught this behavior in our own homes, because once we see it, we are inclined to copy it.
If we learn to behave in this manner, our marriage will be harmed; it may be destroyed. If we either harm or destroy our marriage, our children will bear the scars of that harm or destruction for the rest of their lives. Worse, it will affect their journey into, and possibly, throughout eternity. If we had a way to move our culture back to about 1940, we would see the difference intact homes - where mother and father work as a team, she at home and he at work - make in the lives of children. Unfortunately, that is not possible. We are stuck in a time when our homes are under attack as they have never been in our country’s history.
There are then, these few things that are essential to a healthy marriage and home:
- The gospel is your strength and support, don’t become lackadaisical in your level of devotion.
- Be in your home while your children are growing up.
- Speak respectfully and kindly to your mate.
- Watch your money with extreme care, spending only where you must.
- Avoid watching TV shows or movies that teach bad behavior.
Follow the Brethren: That means having family home evening and family prayer. It means regular attendance at all meetings. Most important of all, it means always speaking of the Brethren with respect. Our children will follow our lead in their attitude toward life, the Church and the General Authorities. Let us not lead them carefully down to Hell.
Return to the Neighborhood!