My husband and I have decided to participate in the “Marriage and Family Relations” class in our ward.  It is the third and final session for 2008 and will go for 16 weeks.  The Bishop wants each married couple to participate in the 16 week class at least once.  Because of our crazy schedule we have been unable to take the class until now.  The class is going to be good and gives us a lot to think about.

Today the topic was “Unity in Marriage.”  Toward the end of the discussion a question was asked that I found interesting.  The instructor asked us, “which is more important in marriage, love or commitment?”  

I didn’t speak my thoughts, but my initial thought was, love, of course.  A marriage won’t work if love isn’t there.  Then others from the class offered their thoughts.  It was suggested that love grows because of the commitment and that if commitment isn’t there the love will die.

It made me think about our blended family.  Marriage is work, hard work sometimes.  And blending a family can make it even harder, or at least more challenging.  Because Hub and I each experienced a painful divorce before we met each other we are very committed to making this marriage work.  The love is there, of course, but I think the commitment to make this second marriage work is what keeps us going.  If the commitment is there you look for the good in the other person instead of dwelling on perceived faults and you try harder to keep the relationship strong. 

I’ve noticed that my commitment to the marriage is what has helped my love for my step children grow.  If I wasn’t committed to the marriage it would be easy to write them off simply as extra baggage belonging to the person I happen to be married to.  And if the commitment weren’t there it would be easy to give up and move on when challenging times come.   

It is my commitment to their father that has helped me work extra hard in developing a positive relationship with each of my step kids.  And developing those relationships is what has made my love for them grow.  The commitment to the marriage is making the love stronger, as a couple and as a family.

It was an interesting question, one that I am still thinking about.  

I would love to read the thoughts of others on this topic (hint), please feel free to comment.