Written by Aaron Jacob
About two weeks ago I received the tragic news that a friend and colleague had passed away suddenly in his sleep from what medics believe to have been a heart attack. He was young – still in his thirties – and his passing was completely unexpected. He was a devoted father to three beautiful little kids, had an incredible sense of humor that brightened everyone’s day, and was a simply brilliant individual. I’m still processing his sudden passing and my heart has ached for his wife and family. He will be deeply missed by so many.
My friend was an individual who could smile and crack a joke even during the most stressful times. He was always willing and eager to pause what he was doing and take time to teach or mentor others. Even though his brilliant mind could run circles around just about anyone, he was never arrogant, but rather a humble giant at his craft. He was often more concerned with people than he was with problems. He didn’t judge others for their differences, but instead genuinely cared. As a result, he’s left a great legacy of friendship with so many.
Over the past two and half years since starting Nurturing Marriage, April and I have stayed relatively quiet about our personal lives and beliefs. We’ve never wanted it to be about us. Rather, we’ve wanted the emphasis to be on promoting practical tips to help us all strengthen and nurture the relationships we so treasure. So I apologize in advance, and thank you, for indulging me for a moment as I share some personal reflections in the wake of this tragedy. I do this in hopes that it might provide some comfort to others who may be dealing with their own personal trials, and that it might be a small reminder to us all of what truly matters.
Tragedy has a unique way of helping us refocus, or recalibrate, on what really matters. Regardless of your background, life circumstances, religion, family situation, political views, or anything else, you and I share at least one thing in common – a belief that relationships matter and a drive to make our most treasured relationships lasting and meaningful. If that weren’t the case, you never would have signed up to receive this lovely weekly email about nurturing those relationships. Marriage can (and should) be one of the most rewarding and meaningful relationships we experience in life.
A great religious leader I admire once said this, “Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families – our parents and children and siblings [and spouse] – for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families! What matters most is what lasts longest, and our families are for eternity.” (M. Russell Ballard)
Our Personal Beliefs
April and I believe that relationships are intended to last. In fact, we believe that families can be together forever! Isn’t that a hope-filled and wonderful concept?! These relationships that we invest so deeply in, and that become so significant to us, don’t simply end at death. Rather, they perpetuate beyond this life and will be the greatest source of joy and happiness in the life to come.
April and I are Christian and know that this incredible reality of eternal families is possible through Jesus Christ. We are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e. Mormons) and know that the fullness of Christ’s church has been restored to the earth. Perhaps the most wonderful blessing we enjoy in our lives is the fact that we (and our children) have been sealed together in a temple for time and eternity. This means that our marriage and family will last beyond this life and we’ll have each other FOREVER! This is possible because Christ has restored his church and his priesthood authority to the earth. If you want to learn more about our beliefs, feel free to shoot us an email. Or, you can go here.
Cherish Your Spouse and Loved Ones
If you’ve made it this far, then thanks for listening (or rather reading) and putting up with these personal musings. We’ve made an exception to our normal rhythm here by sharing a few of the beliefs we hold dear. While these beliefs may differ to some degree from your own, we most certainly can agree that relationships matter. They make life meaningful and joyful and are worthy of every effort and investment in time that we can give them.
Nurturing Marriage is meaningful to us because of what we believe about marriage - that it was meant to last forever. We share practical tips and suggestions in hopes that you and your spouse can create a beautiful and meaningful relationship that will last forever, your own "happily ever after."
So go home today and give your spouse and family an extra hug. Hold them tight and tell them, “I love you.” Don’t put off until tomorrow the most important work of loving those around you – because you never know how many tomorrows you have.
Photo Credit top photo: Ashley Swenson Photo
We've included a few of our favorite clips about marriage below. Enjoy!
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
You Know You Want to Read
Everybody Loves These