Music and the Spoken Word: What it takes to build a real relationship

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Feb. 10, 2019.

To be human is to love. We become our best and truest selves only when we stop focusing on ourselves and start loving others. Love gives richness and beauty to life. People who love are able to keep going forward during difficulties and experience authentic joy.

True love, real love, is always selfless and centered on others. While healthy self-esteem can be good for us, self-centeredness can be as empty as no love at all. Love always turns us outward, not inward.

Of the many types of love, romantic love is perhaps the most talked about. Countless songs, poems and movies depict wistful, starry-eyed couples falling in love. But there’s so much more to a successful, loving relationship.

It may help to learn from those who know what it takes to build such a relationship. When couples who have been married more than 50 years were asked what it was that kept them together, they said it wasn’t romance. It was “a deep, caring friendship.” It was “the ability to enjoy each other’s company” and share one another’s interests. It sounds simple, but this kind of love takes time and effort. In some ways, relationships are like a garden, a car or a home. They need constant care, periodic tune-ups and occasional repairs.

We know what it means to maintain a house, a car or a flowerbed. But what does that kind of careful maintenance look like in a relationship? It means being thoughtful and caring. It means doing things together. It means sacrificing for and serving one another. Anything that shows we value and care about the relationship can nourish love — and, when necessary, revive it.

One man writes a love poem to his wife every year on her birthday. A woman sends a weekly email to her grown children letting them know they’re loved. Siblings gather twice a year to help their sister in need of home and yard care. In every case, love is the reason. Love is what gives meaning to life — but only when we are willing to offer a bit of our lives to give meaning to our love.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM,, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143) and on the Tabernacle Choir's website and YouTube channel. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at