If this post helps one couple it was worth the time I put into writing this message.
At many turns lately my heart is grieving for couples that have called their marriage quits… Don’t get me wrong, I know it takes two but the devil is winning people and marriages and at the end of the day your spouse is NOT the enemy. I too, have felt like my spouse was growing horns on his head but I kept reminding myself that he was not my enemy.
I started doing the math with the 6 couples I know that are facing divorce right now and I calculated how many people these divorces will actually affect. You see, it’s not just the 12 people as couples. Let’s multiple these numbers by 3 kids each, then their grandkids at 6 apiece minimum and then times friends and family members outside their immediate kids. One can see this number quickly rises from the original 12 to the hundreds of people affected quickly….
Marriage is hard, I know first hand it is. In fact, there was day’s years ago that we too thought it would be easier to walk away from each other and start over. But then, we both got our thinking outside of ourselves and focused on the kids and how this decision would affect them long–term and their relationships. We also started thinking about how walking away from each other would eventually mean starting over with someone else. Would starting over be easier in the long run when we already had 10 plus years invested in each other? No, it would have been new and exciting in those first couple of years with someone new but we would have eventually ended up at the hard times again with a different person. And again, we would be at the crossroads of staying or leaving.
In first, second, third, forth, or even fifth marriages God ALWAYS brings together 2 very imperfect people. This will NEVER change no matter whom we pick. Any marriage that has lasted through the test of time has dealt with real trials, pain, discontent, disappointments, bitterness, and resentment on both sides. But couples who have been together a long time also experience a lasting love and a love that evolves through the years with forgiveness, acceptance, peace that passes all understanding, encouragement towards each other, and unity from a commitment and bond that is sacred and understood between the two who were united as one.
I’m certainly not here “judging” marriages. And hands down, all marriages are different. But remember, the one common denominator in ALL marriages is this….Two imperfect people who came together in the beginning. Marriage is about staying committed to each other through good, bad, and really tough times. It’s an easy thing to do when times are good. Not so easy when times are bad and especially bad for a long time. But I remind myself of what Jesus said in Luke 6:32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” NIV
Love is not merely an emotion; it’s a decision even in marriage. There are lots of feelings that are experienced through marriage and there are days even now after 20 years together that I don’t like my spouse but I continue to love him. I love him because God loves me. On the days I don’t like him, I pull the love I need for him from God. I see and pray to love him the way God sees and loves him. And I realize the days I don’t like him, there are also days he doesn’t like me. But in the end we continue to love each other and build each other up for better or worse.
God Bless the marriages that struggle today. Stay strong and courageous, stay committed, and forgive each other often and sincerely for your transgressions.