I’m married. I’ve been married for eight months now. Here at Snow College the married students are under the “multi-cultural department.” I thought that was entertaining when I found out about it. Marriage... well that makes me a husband, and that’s what I am, a husband. One word that I clearly and definitely do define myself as. It’s one that I claim and live up to. The word husband is more than a title, it embodies my whole purpose in life, before, now and surely ever after I put that ring on my finger.
How was I a husband before I was married? I found out the answer when I learned the origins of the word husband. In the past the old Norse word “husbondi” meant “master of a house.” A little further into the word reveals more as “hus” meant “house” and “bondi” meant “occupier and tiller of the soil.” I occupied the soil a lot growing up. I remember when I lived in the Ozarks. I must have been at least twelve by that time. We had a house with a yard then, my family and I. We dug up the yard and made a garden, wood slats separated the lawn and garden. I remember that the garden exploded with vegetables, but as any occupier of the soil finds out he cannot neglect his soil. Weeds began to grow and they soon got out of hand. I remember getting a lawn mower and mowing the garden down because there were too many weeds. I saw rats and snakes run out of the garden as I mowed it. How could we have let it get so out of hand? How could we let the fruit of our labors get under handed by the weeds? The following years I continued to occupy and till the soil. When we moved to Utah I remember asking my mom if I could dig up some grass in the backyard to make a garden. She said I could and I dug up the grass and added soil and such to the new bare earth. I planted peas, beans, tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. That year I kept the weeds back, that year I had prepared more thoroughly to be a husband. “Indeed, the responsibilities associated with creating, developing, and managing either a family or an agricultural enterprise are in many ways similar. It is easy to see how the husband’s role and title would be adopted to describe those who tilled the ground,” Neil J. Flinders said.
Is there any question that I am a husband now? Presently there are many definitions of a husband, and presently I am working to achieve the fundamentals of being a good husband to my wife. Here I am a married student at Snow College. I take it my responsibility to love and cherish my wife. I love her. According to The Family: A Proclamation to the World,written by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, husbands “are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” Within that statement are three very important roles of the husband: Preside, Provide and Protect. So, I preside. Presiding as husband in our little family literally means “ to sit before.” I watch the family and make sure everything is functioning well and right. Presiding is not dominance or dictatorship. Presiding is not unrighteous dominion. Being in charge of certain affairs does not give me undue privileges. My wife and I budget together, but ultimately it becomes my responsibility to make sure no weeds grow in our finances. She nurtures the fruitful plants while I keep the weeds from ruining the garden. We both contribute to the garden with our complimentary responsibilities. My task is to make sure everything is in good order to preserve the family’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness - both collectively and individually within the family. So, I provide. Providing as husband in our little family literally means “to see before.” I make sure, before hand, everyone has what they need. Providing is not neglect. I make sure Kylie has all the water and sun she needs for the plants, and then I help her. Our purposes are intimately intertwined. Providing is not indulgence either. Any extreme, in either direction, of a virtue becomes a vice - that goes for neglect and indulgence in regard to providing. I provide by working and bringing in an income. I provide by planning a budget months in advance. I provide emotional support with hugs, kisses, notes, time and other manifestations of love. I provide spiritual help by praying, acting in righteousness and serving others, all of this plays a role in providing for the family. So, I protect. Protecting as husband in our little family literally means “to cover before.” I watch the family and make sure everything is safe and right. Protecting is not locking everyone up so nothing bad can happen. Protecting in not being a wild danger to the family. Rather, we establish rules. No pornography. No alcohol. Avoid debt. Eat healthy and sleep well. I pluck the weeds before they get any root in the family garden. Part of this protection includes teaching and educating one another and eventually our children. Truly there is a connection and purpose to each of these roles of presiding, providing and protecting.
So, what does the future hold for me as a husband? Neil J. Flinders said “If a husband really desires a wife who will delight in his soul, if he wants to live in the joy of a delicious relationship such as young husbands in ancient Israel were encouraged to cultivate during their first year of marriage and then maintain forever through a continuing courtship, it is possible.” As Latter-day Saints we believe that marriage is ordained of God. I know by the burning power of the Holy Spirit that I can live in sacred felicity with my wife Kylie for time and all eternity. The clear hope that this gives me is humbling. If she will take me in the eternities then I can continue to love and cherish her forever. This transcendent relationship I have with my wife will ever grow, brighter and brighter with each day until it becomes a whole and perfect relationship. God intends for marriage to last for more than this life. I feel it a magnificent responsibility to cherish and respect my wife, and am sure that I will have to account to God, above all else, concerning that responsibility. My potential as a husband can be reached through the heartfelt directions of a loving Father in Heaven. I certainly feel that he loves me beyond comprehension and that he wants me to be a successful husband. If I continue under the love and direction of God I can become all that I am and hope to be. “It it possible.”
I never realized how much of a husband I am. There was a time when I didn’t feel like looking my self in the eyes. But as I’ve written this paper I’ve been able to mirror my life in words by reflection and retrospection. All over the view of myself as a husband in the past, presently and in the offing is quite remarkable. I can have confidence. I can become more than I am now because I am more than I was then. I prepared well to be a husband. I am a good husband presently, and I can progressively be a promising husband to live happily ever after with my wife, and I, her husband.