Marriage is a pill with the same label to everyone who swallows it, but to some it’s life giving and to some it’s a bitter poison. I am 13 and ½ years into the best marriage I have ever had. Ok, the only marriage I have ever had but it is the best!
Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vainlife that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.”
Marriage is supposed to be enjoyed!
I’m at the age where many of the people I went to High School and College with are going through the Facebook change.
You know what I mean. You see it.
One day you see a picture on their profile and it’s just them. Their spouse is no longer in the picture. I mean literally they are out of the picture. They’ve been scrubbed out of the profile and out of their life.
As the world of social media goes, these are people whom I’m friends with but I don’t see on a regular basis. Many of them I haven’t seen for years. I look a little deeper into their profiles and I find out that their marriage ended.
…and I grieve for them.
…They didn’t ask me to.
…They may not be grieving…
But I am
You may be one of these friends of mine who has gone through a divorce. Maybe you are doing well and things are going well after the divorce, for that I’m thankful.
But for me to see marriages end hurts me to the core. Many times I feel like I grieve over marriages that are lost more than the people getting a divorce. I know that no one gets married with the hope to someday be divorced.
I’ve been trying to pinpoint in my on heart why I’m so hurt when people I have little connection with go through divorce. I think there are a few reasons.
I impose myself into their story and I think about if Charyl and I were ever to divorce. This may be the root of it. Our lives are so interconnected and our love for one another is so deep that I think for me it would be worse than death. I think about the deep deep hurt that must take place between two people who were intimately joined together for years and now are split apart. I just can’t even allow myself to go there.
I think about the kids. Having just gone through the Holidays and experiencing the joy of everything together I couldn’t imagine how tough it must be for children to understand how everything has changed. How the very foundation of their security has unraveled and they are helpless to do anything about it. Many times the children blame themselves. They have to learn a new life and navigate going to different homes and having different schedules. They have to learn a new way that their parents are interacting. No longer as mom and dad but often as adversaries. I don’t want that for my kids.
I think about how my friends who are divorcing may have been cheated on or cheated in the marriage. I think about the pain of betrayal and loss of trust that must of happened. I’m sure it must have rocked them to their very core. To have the person you trust most betray you in the most intimate way must be a pain that is so deep. I grieve for them to have to go through that. I hurt that they hurt, many times through no fault of their on.
It also grieves me because I feel like the most valuable gift a person can have has been discarded. There is no greater gift than marriage. I know this may not feel true for many, for some it may feel like a curse. But marriage is a gift from God and when a married couple loves and supports each other through life there is no greater gift.
Marriage is making a life together with someone who knows you best.
Marriage is having your best friend with you through every season.
Marriage is getting past the initial butterflies of first love feelings and finding something better, something deeper called friendship.
Marriage is laughing, crying and having someone to send GIFs to all day long. Marriage is frustrating and sanctifying.
Marriage is having someone with you to take you to the hospital and sit with you.
Marriage is exploring life and the world with your true love.
Marriage is a picture of something greater, Christ and His Church. The real meaning of marriage is to show the world a picture of a relationship that matches God and His people. When a marriage fails the picture is lost.
I really grieve because I feel like my friends missed out on the greatest gift. I hate to see my friends miss out on good things. What they wanted for a good thing became a horrible thing their lives.
I would offer a little bit of hope when it comes to marriage.
If you are not married and want to be married, make sure your marry well. So many marriages end because they never should have started. Young couples are infatuated with each other and know nothing of commitment but marriage seems attractive to them so they jump in and pretty quickly jump out. Before you get married you better ask yourself a few questions.
Do our values/beliefs match?
Do we want the same things out of life?
Do we have the same ideas about children (how many we want and how we will raise them)?
Have you learned to fight fair?
Do you like their family?
Do you have the same ideas about money?
Do you enjoy their friendship? If you weren’t attracted to them physically would you still want to hang out with them?
How do they handle stress? When and if you have children the stress levels will rise.
It is surely better to wait or be single than to marry the wrong person. Never get married without going to premarital counseling first. Marriages are easy to get into but painful to get out of. Get into the right marriage. Maybe you feel like your season of youth is passing and you feel the pressure that if you don’t get married now then it probably won’t happen for you. Again, better to be single than to marry the wrong person. Wait. Pray.
If you are married and struggling there is hope!
I have been in ministry for about 18 years now and I have seen so many marriages on the brink of collapse that have been restored and are now healthy and thriving.
Go see a counselor.
Talk to your pastor.
Get involved in a couples group at your church.
Actually work on your marriage.
Be loving and respectful even when your spouse is not.
I have counseled many couples and I understand that not every marriage is going to make it. One person is not enough to make a marriage work. Too many times I have seen one spouse who will literally do anything to save their marriage and the other spouse could care less. Unfortunately, most of these marriages do not make it. It takes two people both giving a 100%.
But when two imperfect people surrender to a perfect God and allow Him to lead their marriage there is nothing sweeter!
If I can help you in some way with your marriage send me a personal message. There are so many resources out there to help with those who really want it.