Marriage is a divine institution that brings together two souls who vow to support and uplift each other.
While the journey is inherently rewarding, it also presents its fair share of challenges. It’s here that we can lean into our faith and draw upon God’s wisdom for guidance.
We can conceptualize this process using a striking analogy: think of God as the blacksmith and the husband and wife as two apprentices, learning separately under the blacksmith’s expert guidance to create a wagon – a symbol of their shared life journey.
The blacksmith has a clear vision of the final product.
When the first apprentice arrives for the morning shift, the blacksmith instructs and aids in developing specific skills necessary to contribute to the creation of the wagon.
This process is replicated with the second apprentice who comes for the evening shift. Even though they work separately, both are contributing to a common goal.
The blacksmith, having an overarching view of the project, ensures that their individual contributions come together cohesively.
This analogy, a departure from conventional psychological models of marriage counseling, aligns closely with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), embedding faith and divine guidance at its core.
Traditional psychological models of marriage therapy often emphasize direct communication and mutual understanding, aiming to bridge perceived gaps in understanding.
However, according to the self-determination theory in psychology, intrinsic motivation—doing things for their inherent satisfaction—fosters more meaningful and lasting change than extrinsic motivation. In the context of our analogy, each apprentice is motivated by the desire to learn and improve, rather than trying to adjust according to the other’s working style or expectations.
The premise of this divine blacksmith analogy is predicated on individual growth and spiritual maturity, with God as the guiding force.
Each partner, or apprentice, should focus on developing their personal relationship with God, understand His will for them, and make necessary changes to their behavior and perspective.
It reinforces the idea of independent personal growth under divine guidance, which ultimately aligns with the mutual goal of a stronger, more fulfilling marriage.
Though the apprentices work separately, they work under the same divine guidance, and their combined efforts result in a beautiful, functional wagon—their life together.
Through their individual interactions with the divine blacksmith, their personal growth aligns harmoniously with their joint goal, without any necessity for them to negotiate or compromise their individuality.
In conclusion, the blacksmith and apprentices analogy presents a unique perspective on marriage repair.
This approach emphasizes the importance of individual spiritual growth under divine guidance, which contributes to a healthier, more fulfilling marital relationship. It reminds us that we can lean on our faith and God’s wisdom to navigate the forge of marriage, and in doing so, we forge a stronger, more enduring bond.