“The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. ” (Successful Marriages and Families) The parts of an orchestra or not equal. Some parts are harder, some have more parts than others but when put all together it is a masterpiece. Marriage is the same way. Every task will not be equal, one may have more parts than others but together it is a masterpiece.
So many people today get caught up on the word “equal” and focus only on one meaning. Equal is “having the ability or resources to meet (a challenge)…Capable of, fit for, up, good enough for, strong enough for, suitable for, suited to, appropriate for” and on and on. “Equal partnership in marriage does not mean that husband and wife are identical, but it does mean that in a very real and meaningful sense they must stand as equal before each other to find the joy that is their heritage in marriage.” (Successful Marriage and Families)
Couples are equal to the task. The workload may not be equal but couples goals will be and they can support and love each other when trying to accomplish them. Bruce Hafen says, “husbands and wives are interdependent with each other. They are equal. They are partners. And in an equal-partner marriage both also bring a spiritual maturity to their partnership, without regard to gender. Both have a conscience and the Holy Ghost to guide them.” (Successful Marriages and Families)
There was a time in my marriage I felt like I was doing it all with the family. I remember wondering besides providing what was it my husband was doing. One day I remember his saying I think we both feel like we are doing it all. I was shocked and put off at first. How could he possibly feel like he was doing it all….but when he shared his mental stresses that a father and provider goes through I began to see how he could feel that way. The Proclamation says, “Fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” Just like the orchestra we each were playing our part. We had to come together and understand how each was functioning in order to make it beautiful. After that day of coming to understand that we were equal to the task, and perhaps not the workload, I realized that our focus and goal was the same. When we heeded to the council of the Proclamation our marriage become stronger, our family become stronger, and our task became lighter.
Bruce Hafen’s uses this analogy, “In the little kingdom of a family, each spouse freely gives something the other does not have and without which neither can be complete and return to God’s presence. Spouses are not a soloist with an accompanist, nor are they two solos. They are the interdependent parts of a duet, singing together in harmony at a level where no solo can go.” When couples focus on the bigger picture instead of the individual parts they can go where no solo can go, they will have something beautiful.
Image: Couple hand in hand