Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Family of One?

The First Presidency message in April 2007 was by President Faust and was titled "Enriching Your Marriage." Why do I remember this four years later?

In 2007 I was single. I was living alone. I wasn't really dating anyone. And I was also in a really rough spot in my life. When the calendar switched over from 2006 to 2007 I actually broke down in tears because I was terrified of what would happen in 2007, and it was a killer of a year. I had read the message before my home teachers came that month and I was looking forward to discussing it with them. However, when they came, they shared with me an article in Wired magazine about happiness. Wired? Really? As someone seriously struggling with depression at that moment, that was not what I needed to talk about.

So why would my home teachers choose to share something from Wired rather than the message from someone we sustain as a prophet? I can only conclude that they felt extremely uncomfortable talking about strengthening a marriage with someone that wasn't married. (I was not in a single's ward at the time, my home teachers were married. I think that's important to realize.) And why would that make them uncomfortable? Because single people don't have any family.



That is something I have heard so many times I couldn't begin to count. You're single. You don't have any family. And it couldn't be more wrong.

Even when I was single, even when I lived all alone, I had family. I have parents. I have siblings. I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, so much family. And I had the promise from God of more family after me, a husband and children. I don't know anyone who doesn't have room to strengthen their relationships with their family. The more I knew about having a strong marriage before I got married, the stronger foundation my marriage would have.

Single people don't have family? The people I know who have the BEST relationship with their families are often single people. My dad's cousin never married, but she knows our family better than anyone. If you want to know anything about my genealogy on that side, ask her. When she leaves this world there will be SOOO many family members to welcome her, and she KNOWS them. She has a very strong relationship with her family.

I even had family home evening when I was single (it often involved a bubble bath). The more strength I had with my family at that time would be strength I could take with me into my expanding family. Habits do not change at a wedding. Habits that enrich and strengthen a family start long before a wedding.

Family of one? Such a thing just doesn't exist.


Laura@livingabigstory said...

Another fabulous post! I wish I would have gained a better testimony of this idea when I was frustratingly single!

Shawnie said...

I really applaud what you are doing here. I was divorced and a single mom to six kids for three years. Single parenthood is a tough road too. These issues need to be up front and out there for so many of us at some point in our lives.