No one can say that he or she has learned enough from the scriptures. The more one reads, the more one learns. Not only can a diligent reader learn about gospel principles and truths, they can also discover subtle tips about life and relationships that even the best self-help books out there can’t give. If one takes the time to read scriptural love stories, they can learn so much. Here are some examples of love and marriage from the scriptures that we can take inspiration from.
1.) Adam and Eve: Learning Together with the Lord
Part of every marriage is the opportunity to learn something new together. It was on a much different level for Adam and Eve. Both were new on the Earth, enjoyed the blessings of the garden of Eden, and consequently had to learn their way in the lone and dreary world. Needless to say, without other people to turn to, the couple relied on the Lord and His instructions.
In new relationships, learning together with the help of the Lord is important. There will be times when challenges will arise. There will be moments of uncertainty. There will be stages where a new couple could feel helpless. Like Adam and Eve, they should learn how to navigate through life with the Lord’s guidance and help.
2.) Jacob and Rachel: Service and Sacrifice
” And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.” (Gen 29:18)
For Jacob, it was love at first sight. In the scriptures, Rachel was described as “beautiful” and Jacob was willing to serve a long time for Rachel. Despite Jacob’s service, Laban, Rachel’s father was not true to his word. So Jacob had to serve another seven years. However, those years were described as “they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her…” (Genesis 29: 20)
Service and sacrifice are important in nurturing relationships, especially the relationship between a husband and a wife. When selfless service is done for a spouse, the love increases and feelings become tender. President Ezra Taft Benson spilled the beans on happy marriages. He said “The secret of a happy marriage is to serve God and each other.” Think of the moments when a spouse’s service helped bring tender feelings to your relationship.
3.) Joseph and Mary: Accepting the Lord’s Will
No one exactly knows what was in Joseph’s mind before the angel told him about Mary conceiving a Son. Perhaps he had other plans in mind. Despite of that, the Savior’s earthly father wholeheartedly accepted the Lord’s will and plan for both of them.
There will come a time in every couple’s life when the Lord’s will is different from what they have planned. One of the most essential attributes a husband and wife must have is the ability to accept and follow the will of the Lord no matter how difficult and different it is.
4.) Nephi and his Wife: Standing Strong in Afflictions
The journey of Lehi’s family to the Promised Land came with all kinds of challenges and trials. One of these trials was the rebellion of Laman and Lemuel. On one occasion, while on the ship leading to the Land of Promise, the two elder sons of Lehi tied Nephi up. Nephi’s wife together with her children prayed to the Lord and wept to Laman and Lemuel to free Nephi. It’s safe to assume that she stayed with her husband during that terrible ordeal.
Husbands and wives are each other’s strength. In times of great affliction — health problems, rebellious children, financial woes — men and women should be the anchor of one another, both relying on each other’s strength and testimony. Problems may not easily be solved but they can be less painful when shared with each other.
5.) Joseph and Emma Smith: Seeing True Potential
Joseph Smith’s educational attainment was humble compared to Emma’s. She was learned while he was just a plain worker. Despite the differences, Emma Hale married the future Prophet. Even after many years and heartbreaking trials, Emma stayed by the Prophet’s side.
Elder Robert D. Hales said “We don’t marry perfection, we marry potential.” Husband and wife must learn to see each other’s divine potential. It is inevitable that weaknesses will be brought in a marriage, however, when both see the potential innate in their eternal companion, improvement follows.
Isn’t it wonderful that the scriptures also address topics like marriages and eternal companionships? Learning from the examples of these couples can also help us as we strive to achieve happy marriages and families.