"True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well-being of one's companion."
— Gordon B. Hinckley (Stand a Little Taller: Counsel and Inspiration for Each Day of the Year)
I love breakfast. I like it for lunch, and even, sometimes, for dinner. Every now and then, I still make it after work. My children are sometimes shocked at my need to have pancakes or eggs for a meal. However, it has been a long standing tradition in our family and one of the things I need when I have had a really bad day. There is just something comforting about breakfast!
I remember one time, shortly after John and I were married, when I made breakfast for dinner after an especially long, hard day at work. On that evening many years ago, I placed a plate of eggs, bacon, and extremely burned toast in front of my husband. I remember feeling slightly rebellious, and at the same time, cringing inside while I waited to see if he would say something about it. Yet, all he did was reach for his toast, smile at me, and ask me how my day had been. I don't remember what I told him that night, I don't remember what we discussed at the table, or even what happened that was so overwhelming at work, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and smiling at me as he ate every bite!
When we finally got up from the table, I apologized to my sweet new husband for burning the toast. I'll never forget how looked at me and what he said. With a soft voice and love in his eyes, he simply stated: "Honey, I love burnt toast."
Later that night, as we were laying in bed, I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He laughed and wrapped me in his arms and said, "a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"
You know, life is full of imperfect things, and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. I tend to be way too busy helping others and not busy enough helping those who matter most. I seem to manage to forget things that I need to remember (like the toast in the toaster!). But, what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults and choosing to celebrate each other's differences is one of the most important keys to creating a wonderful, loving and lasting relationship.
When we truly learn what it means to love someone else as our Savior does, than we are on the path to becoming what our Heavenly Father wants and needs us to be.
The New Testament tells us in John 13:34,35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
My sweet husband continues to teach me of the importance of this great message. The more we love, the more like Him we will become, and the more like Him we become, the more we love each other and forgive each other.
So many things in life are like this little bit of burnt toast. It might seem to matter now, but in the eternal scheme of things, it really is pretty minor. Lets not trade the things that matter most for the things we might want right now. I am sure that each one of us would love to have perfection in those around us, or even in ourselves.
It would have been so easy for John to have made an issue about my mistake. It would have been so easy to condemn me for my fault. He chose the higher road and it has made and continues to make all the difference in our relationship.
Today, John will still eat burnt toast, or the heels of the bread without complaint and always manages to love me anyway. He has helped me to know what it means to be loved and accepted in spite of the occasional piece of burnt toast.
"Imagine how our own families, let alone the world, would change if we vowed to keep faith with one another, strengthen one another, look for and accentuate the virtues in one another, and speak graciously concerning one another. Imagine the cumulative effect if we treated each other with respect and acceptance, if we willingly provided support. Such interactions practiced on a small scale would surely have a rippling effect throughout our homes and communities and, eventually, society at large."
— Gordon B. Hinckley (Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes)