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(from Happily Forever After, by Kim A. Nelson)

May I suggest ten commandments for building a celestial marriage? They are simple, not spectacular. But they’re helpful in evaluating your level of commitment.

There’s a sermon for yourself in every one. If you take the time to review and ponder them, they will provide a benchmark for measuring the current condition of your relationship. They might also give you some areas to consider for future growth.

• Spend time together.
• Speak kindly.
• Laugh often.
• Touch gently.
• Be patient.
• Sustain each other.
• Play together.
• Be committed.
• Listen respectfully.
• Be interested.

With your spouse, separately list the ten commandments for building a celestial marriage in order of their importance to you. Then discuss your lists together. You may find that although you both recognize the value in all the statements, how you value each one may be a little different. This exercise will help you discover what each of you consider to be important, and why. Knowing what your mate values most from the list will help you be more effective in building your relationship.

During your discussion, talk about what each commandment means to you and how you do or could apply them. For example:

• How can I show you I’m committed to you in a way you’ll recognize and feel good about? .
• What time am I spending with you that lets you know you’re important to me? .
• What time do we spend together that we find enjoyable? .
• How can I sustain and support you in doing what you enjoy or feel is important? .
• What could we do to have more fun together? .
• How could I better demonstrate my interest in you?

Take time to learn by listening to each other about how to build your marriage. Invest the effort to find out not only what you can do to demonstrate your commitment to your spouse but also to trust our spouse enough to share what he or she can do to help you feel appreciated. The rewards will be worth the effort.

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