Relationships are in every aspect of our lives whether that be through families, friends, professional life or school.

As social beings, our survival requires social connections. It is part of our physical and spiritual nature to build and keep relationships. Just as we rely on our parents to care for us when we are young, we continue to seek companionship and support as we go through life’s stages.

But just because we have relationships doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them are good.

A type of relationship that can be especially hard is marriage. Although marriage is one of the most important relationships we will have in our lives, it can be extremely difficult if not nurtured in the right way. Many things are required in order to have a covenant relationship.

Shawn and Melanie Anderson are Rexburg locals. Before their marriage to each other, they both had previous relationships with spouses that prevented them from making those covenants with God and each other.

When Shawn and Melanie began to date the both strived towards a common goal: joining their family together through the sealing power of covenants. Through thick and thin, they decided to endure together.

“The more we kept taking the kids to church and doing what we were supposed to do, things seem to fall in line better,” said Melanie.

Although they have had a very unique story of coming together as a couple, they strive to uphold their covenant relationship everyday. They have now been married for 25 years and have sealed their five kids to them for time and all eternity.

“A covenant is a promise but it takes promise to the next step,” said Shawn. “When we make our covenants with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, we’re really putting ourselves out there and really going the extra effort and saying this is really important. It really takes a standard relationship and just amplifies it.”

Now looking back, the Andersons have seen many times where the hand of the Lord has been in their covenant relationship.

“The Lord has a plan and has his hands in everything that happens, and so a lot of times you don’t see all that until the whole storm is through. You look back and say, wow, how that even worked out is beyond me,” said Shawn.

BYU-Idaho students Eden and Jaron Rowe have been married now for a year and have strived to uphold the same goal as the Andersons in their marriage. Having both served missions, both choose to continue to involve Christ in their marriage and everyday lives.

Jaron Rowe is a sophmore at BYU-Idaho studying biomedical sciences and his wife Eden Rowe is a juinor studying communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Jaron Rowe is a sophmore at BYU-Idaho studying biomedical sciences and his wife Eden Rowe is a juinor studying communications with an emphasis in public relations. Photo credit: Bailee Edwards-Kevin

Jaron Rowe is a sophomore studying biomedical science.

“One of the most important things is always making time for Christ and for God,” Jaron Rowe said. “Make sure you have your own personal time for Christ as well. It’s really important to have a good relationship with Him because then you’re able to have a good relationship with your spouse.”

In a similar light, Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman said, “We must remember: it’s not the course alone that will exalt us; it’s the companion—our Savior. And this is the why of covenant relationship.”

Covenant relationships may require a lot of work but according to these two eternal families, it’s all worth it to have that eternal companionship with the one we love and He who loves us all.

For marriage and dating advice, attend BYU-Idaho’s free dating and marriage workshops weekly at 7 p.m. and sign up here.