“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” (Ps. 127:1.)
Respect for One Another
Companionship in marriage is prone to become commonplace and even dull. I know of no more certain way to keep it on a lofty and inspiring plane than for a man occasionally to reflect upon the fact that the help-meet who stands at his side is a daughter of God, engaged with Him in the great creative process of bringing to pass His eternal purposes. I know of no more effective way for a woman to keep ever radiant the love for her husband than for her to look for and emphasize the godly qualities that are a part of every son of our Father and that can be evoked when there is respect and admiration and encouragement. The very processes of such actions will cultivate a constantly rewarding appreciation for one another.
The Soft Answer
- It was said of old that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” (Prov. 15:1.)
- The voice of heaven is a still small voice; likewise, the voice of domestic peace is a quiet voice.
- There is need for a vast amount of discipline in marriage, not of one’s companion, but of one’s self.
- “A father can do no greater thing for his children than to let them feel that he loves their mother.” (President David O. McKay)
- How much greater the peace in the homes of the people, how much greater the security in the lives of the children, how much less divorce and separation and misery, how much more gladness and joy and love there would be if husbands and wives would cultivate the discipline of speaking softly one to another, and if both would so speak to their children.
Honesty with God and with One Another
I am convinced that there is no better discipline nor one more fruitful of blessings than for those who establish homes and families to follow the commandment given to ancient Israel through the prophet Malachi: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal. 3:10.)
As you discipline yourselves in the expenditure of your means, beginning with your obligations to your Father in heaven [tithing], the cankering selfishness that leads to so much strain in domestic affairs will go out of your lives, for if you will share with the Lord whom you do not see, you will deal more graciously, more honestly, and more generously with those whom you do see. As you live honestly with God, you will be inclined to live honestly with one another. (emphasis added)
God then will be your partner, and your daily conversations with him will bring peace into your hearts and a joy into your lives that can come from no other source.
A summary of a talk by Gordon B. Hinckley entitled, “‘Except the Lord Build the House …’,” from the Ensign, June 1971.