A 2016 study by LifeWay Research found 59 percent of U.S. adults would rather talk about politics than spirituality with their spouses, but BYU-Hawaii couples say spirituality and marriage are inseparably connected.
Religious compatibility is one of the most important factors in selecting a marriage partner for a successful and happy relationship, according to a Deseret News article titled “Why religious compatibility matters in relationships” by Kelsey Dallas.
BYUH students said their religious compatibility is one of the main reasons they chose to get married.
Seniors Kyle and Racheal Jarvis, business management and psychology majors from Arizona, said they pray every night together and talk about religious matters four to six times a week. They said making sure they are always on the same page spiritually is one of the reasons why they have a happy marriage.
“We attend church every week and work in the nursery. We do Family Home Evening together, and we try to read our scriptures regularly. [Sharing beliefs] gives the couple another commonality and gives them something to strive for,” said Kyle in an email response.
“For us, marriage means so much more because it is for eternity and our salvation depends on how we treat each other.”
Dallas wrote that couples with similar religious views are able to achieve lasting happiness in their marriages by better sharing the same values, praying together, and sharing a sense of purpose in their lives. However, she also said couples can feel uncomfortable talking about their spirituality or avoid talking about it altogether, and they would rather talk about their political preferences instead.
The Jarvis family said knowledge of the gospel helps them realign their views with God’s views. Kyle said, “We view our marriage as being much more important than the world views it. Knowing that we can be together forever makes it easier to forgive and easier to agree to disagree. It also makes the trials we go through seem insignificant, and we are much more confident that we can overcome them.”
The second couple, Manny and Ayla Swart, studying biology and psychology from the Philippines and Utah, respectively, said marriage and the gospel go hand-in-hand, more specifically when it comes to their beliefs of “life after death.” Ayla said knowledge is solidified when they try to “attend the temple at least once a week and read the scriptures together every day.”
Ayla said their common understanding of religious beliefs enabled them to go through hardships “in an eternal perspective” by understanding that difficulties arise temporally. However, she said the problems get resolved because their relationship carries on into the eternities.
Shirley Tovey, a coordinator for Student Leadership Activities and Service and a special instructor, said her husband works in sync with her when it comes to the gospel. She said they talk about religion every day. “We always have our family prayers first thing in the morning and do our family scriptures. We talk about it with our families and friends a lot on Sundays over lunch or dinner.”
Tovey added, “It’s very important that we both have the same beliefs and values. The biggest key is communication and trust. We tell each other things, good or bad. Even though sometimes our feelings get hurt, at least we understand and know each other better.”