whatever reason, Josh came home from work in a "bad mood." His wife,
Cindy, explained to me on the phone recently that for some reason, after
he had groused around the house for an hour or so, she consciously
realized that she had a decision to make. She could chide him for
snapping at her and the children or she could keep her mouth closed and
simply go about the business of managing her family and all that needed
to be done that evening. As she mulled over what to do, she remembered
times she was cranky but was hard-pressed to recall Josh criticizing
her for any outbursts of temper. She chose to be upbeat and to pay no
heed to his behavior.
tired after a long, hectic day and she supposed Josh was tired, too.
Josh went to bed at 9:30 p.m., early for him. She climbed into bed at
about 10 p.m. The next morning there was the usual hustle and bustle as
Cindy and Josh helped get lunches ready for school, oversee piano
practice, get homework into backpacks and hurry the children out the
door to catch the bus. Shortly afterward, Josh hurried off to work.
Cindy received a text message from her husband. "Sorry I was in such a
bad mood last night. Thanks for putting up with me. Can I take you out
to lunch today?" Cindy told me how much the message meant to her. More
importantly she was profoundly grateful that she had maintained her
composure the night before.
Prophet Joseph Smith frequently, in word and deed, taught the
importance of lending support rather than criticism to one another. On
one occasion, when speaking to the Nauvoo Relief Society, he counseled
wives to treat their "husbands with mildness and affection. When a man
is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and
difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a
murmur — if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and
soothe his feelings; when the mind is going to despair, it needs a
solace of affection and kindness."
another occasion he addressed the men, "It is the duty of a husband to
love, cherish, and nourish his wife, and cleave unto her and none else;
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