We were created so that we might have joy (see 2 Nephi 2:22–25). Marriage is one place we can learn how to love, serve, and receive a fullness of joy as sons and daughters of God. Joy must be discovered. It requires persistent effort and work, sacrifice and service, repentance and grace. There is no joy without the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see John 15:11; Doctrine and Covenants 101:36). Death, sorrow, and pain are all swallowed up in Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:52–58). Jesus is joy!
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace” (Galatians 5:22). It is through the Spirit that joy is conveyed. The Lord said, “I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 11:13). When we seek to always have the Spirit in our marriage, we will feel faith, hope, charity, and joy. Seeking for and receiving the Spirit in our relationship is one of the most important ways to find joy.
To have the Spirit, there can be no contention, because any form of contention or anger is of the devil (see 3 Nephi 11:29). Kindness is a fruit of the spirit and a reflection of the pure love of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:22; Doctrine and Covenants 4:6). The Spirit enhances our relationships with patience, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned (see Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–42). It helps us speak softly, respectfully, and with kindness to each other. The fruits of the Spirit enliven, magnify, and expand joy in marriage.
The following are some ways to seek for and receive the Spirit more in our marriages:
- Look where you are living and remove anything (such as movies, music, pictures, or clutter) that does not invite the Spirit to be welcome. Strive to make your home an extension of the temple.
- Talk about any areas of your marriage where you feel frustrated or have had the spirit of contention. Prayerfully counsel about how to not let anger or contention drive the Spirit away in your relationship. Make a plan and practice together to always communicate with kindness and respect. If you feel you need help, visit with your bishop.
- All blessings from God are predicated on obedience to His divine laws and commandments. Choose to always follow and keep the commandments of God.
- Reflect upon your temple covenants and the priesthood. Choose to always be faithful to your temple covenants. Study and learn the sacred roles of men and women in the priesthood.
- Talk about things that make you feel the spirit of true joy. Talk about Satan’s deceptions and distractions to keep us from true joy. Review your choices of music, media, and any worldly influences that may impact the spirit in your relationship.
- We can find the true meaning of joy as we think about Jesus Christ, others, and ourselves. How does this help you in your relationship as husband and wife?
- How do trust and joy connect with each other?
- What is the difference between happiness and joy?