When I got married to my wife, she gave me a tungsten wedding ring. If you do not know much about tungsten, it is a pretty cool metal. Tungsten rings are made from the toughest metal in the world. They resist scratching better than any other metal out there. Because tungsten is the toughest metal in the world, many people think this means the wedding rings are indestructible. However, as a hardness of metal increases so does the brittleness of metal. When a tungsten ring is dropped on a hard surface, it can break or crack.
Marriage is a lot like my tungsten wedding ring. We are taught that if we are worthy, a temple marriage is eternal and lasts throughout the eternities. Marriage is the strongest bond we can have with anyone. If we make it to the celestial kingdom, we get to be with our eternal companion forever as we create eternal families.
Marriage is also the most brittle of relationships. As divorce rates continue to climb, people look at marriages as starter marriages, and Satan is tearing apart the family, marriage is also becoming the most brittle of relationships. Because tungsten does not bend, when enough force is applied to a tungsten ring it shatters. Similarly with marriage, when enough internal and external forces are applied to marriage, that eternal bond may shatter. When that bond shatters, much like a shattered wedding ring, it is nearly impossible to put back together.
To keep our marriage from becoming brittle and shattering, we need to reduce the internal and external forces that are being applied to it. The best way my wife and I have found to reduce the forces that cause our marriage to become brittle is one simple word, TIME. Yes, I know this sounds contrite and simplistic, but for us, this really makes the biggest difference in our marriage. We dedicate each Friday night as date night. For us, this is usually movie night as we are huge movie lovers. We also go for walks after dinner each night as a family, where our kids ride their bikes up ahead while we get a chance to talk about our day. We have picked a TV show to watch each Sunday night after we have put the kids to bed (in case you are wondering, we love to watch Shark Tank).
This is just what works for us. The point is that there are many forces being placed on our marriage and the more we are actively and intentionally strengthening our marriage to keep it from becoming brittle, the stronger our eternal relationship becomes.
Here is a great Mormon message by the LDS church about building our marriages:
As Satan and the world continue to apply force to our marriages, let's make sure we do all we can to keep our marriages from shattering.