Last Tuesday was a dance assembly -- basically an hour of performances by various BYU student dance groups. There were some great numbers, but my favorite (and I'm not alone in this) was a contemporary dance to Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up, covered by 3 BYU students.
The routine features a man and a woman, taking on the roles (for the performance at least) of committed romantic partners -- husband and wife. In the middle of the stage is a door frame. As the performance progresses, we see the couple's relationship progressing as well. They are together, they struggle, they separate, and they end up together again. Coupled with the lyrics of the song, it is truly moving:
I won't give up on usMarriages are strong when couples commit to each other and to staying married. This takes sacrifice: we have to learn how to prioritize the relationship! Sometimes we have to do things we would rather not, or give up things we would like, for the benefit of our spouse and our marriage. I think this song -- and the dance I saw last week -- illustrate this very well.
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find
'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No: I won't give up
I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily...
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, we got a lot at stake...
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am
How do you cleave to your spouse? You put their needs ahead of your own, and the good of the relationship ahead of your own selfish desires. You don't give up! You work to solve problems and you learn to communicate effectively, even if it is hard. [Obviously, in cases of abuse, care should be taken to ensure your own safety and the safety of any children involved. I do believe abusers can repent and change, but they need help to do so.]
A video of the dance, called Love Unbroken (Overcoming Addiction), is embedded below. Learning the title of the dance added additional meaning to the performance for me: this couple's problems are exacerbated by addiction. If you or someone you know needs help overcoming addiction or the problems it causes for families, you can find helpful information on the LDS Addiction Recovery Program website.
The take-away message? Marriage can be for eternity, but it requires effort and sacrifice on the part of husband and wife. Cleave to your spouse by putting your relationship ahead of yourself. You will grow and your relationship can become stronger and better!