Monday, June 23, 2008

Sticking It Out

Within the last three days I've been told about several troubled marriages. Two couples are very close to separation (if they didn't go through with it over the weekend) and one decided to "take a break" already.

What bothers me is that in all of the cases, the couples are Christian. They undoubtedly know what scripture says and how God feels about marriage, but the Biblical facts aren't making any impact. It's more about how they feel (or don't feel) about each other and what they expect of their husband or wife.

My reason for blogging about such an unpleasant subject today stems from the fact that I think I can say a few things about marriage with confidence. First, God hates divorce. He loves divorced people, but the separation of what He joined together is tragic. Yes, there are Biblically allowable grounds for divorce, but is it possible that in most cases it's just a matter of giving up and throwing in the towel because the going got tough or the feelings changed? Sadly, I think so.

Having been married once and to the same man for 29 years, I know there are times of testing. I'm pretty sure there have been a few occasions when George may have wondered why he said, "I do," and maybe even a time or three that he wished he hadn't. But here's the truth--we decided that divorce would not be an option and that our vows to each other and to God mattered. We made a choice to work THROUGH the difficult times--together.

I realize that when one party is unwilling, that leaves the other with very little in the way of options and my heart grieves for those who find themselves in that situation. For others who are just tired of the work required in order to stick it out--I have four words for you-- It Is Worth It.

Every couple I know who persevered, came out of the troubled times with renewed love and a blessing that can only be described as supernatural. On the flip side, I know SO many who regret that they didn't work harder to save their marriages.

This weekend, the speaker at church shared that an elderly woman spoke to his Sunday School class about how she and her husband managed to stay together for 60 years. She said they'd stayed married because they never fell out of love at the same time.

Life's stresses and struggles can prompt a sense of longing for something different, better, more exciting, etc., but in reality, our marriages are really what WE make them--for better or worse. Walking away from marriage with the notion that another will be better is a mistake because inevitably we take our own flaws and baggage with us wherever we go.

Finally, I fear there are two insidious forces that contribute to the notion that things might be better elsewhere. First, the garbage that enters our homes via television--you know--Soap Operas, Desperate Housewives, etc., and second, the Hollywood glamorization of romance and acceptance of divorce.

If you take your cues from either, and/or frequently tune in to and accept the messages of the fantasy world of movies and TV, then you can trust that you'll be in for a battle. Don't be fooled, marriage has a real enemy masquerading as the seemingly harmless things we watch and read.

If you are a Christ-follower, please heed this warning--Satan hates your marriage and your family, but no weapon that he aims at you will succeed if you dig in your heels, walk in God's Word, and remember that LOVE is a verb. It's not about how you feel, it's about WHO He is--and He will supply ALL of your needs and heal all your hurts if you are continually walking by faith in Christ alone. ©

1 comment:

  1. Absolutly beautiful. Thank you so much for being there for me when I wanted to throw in the towel. It is SO worth it.