Marriage is so taken lightly these days. Maybe it has always been that way and I am just now noticing it. The bible says in Mark 10:9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Yet I look around and divorce is everywhere. There are 20 people in the department I work in and to my knowledge only 3 or 4 has not been divorced or has married a wife who was previously married.
I look around in churches and find that divorce is common there too. I don't understand! Someone throw me a bone here! Did they not love their wife or husband? Did Jesus not make it clear enough? When they said, "I do" we're they just kidding?
I loved my wife so much that if she ran off I would have ran after her and would have caught her too. If we can't keep a commitment with someone that we can see how in this world can we keep one with Someone who we can't see? I don't get it.
We become one flesh when we are married. I do not see how you can change that. My wife is with Jesus now and I am half the man I use to be. I will never be the same again. I admit that a few times we had our troubles and that was when the Word of God kept us together. If every man would love their wife as much as I loved mine there would be no divorce. Did my wife love me as much as I loved her I don't think so. That tells me that a marriage does not have to be perfect to last.
I don't get it!
Every woman needs a man who will love her the way you love your wife. Sadly that is not the case. Sadly too, there are many who are just not prepared to put in work if it involves sacrifice.
You and your wife, you were Blessed beyond measure to have each other.
My husband and I are one of those "oddities" too. We met our freshman year at a Christian college in southeastern Tennessee and though our initial response to each other was (I think my sword startled him a bit, LOL), within a month or two we'd become the best of friends and a couple of months later, started dating. We got married two and a half years later, right before we started our senior year of college. It will be 32 years in August.
Together we have faced a lot of things. We've faced financial hardships, issues with our son, issues with family, job challenges, cancer, other serious health issues, and most recently unemployment. However, there is something we have NEVER faced. We have never had division. Never.
When I sat in bed one day during chemo with a blanket over my head and screamed at my husband to get out of this "nightmare" while he could and never return, he calmly pulled the blanket off my head, rubbed my bald head affectionately and said, "I'm not going to listen to a bald woman with poison running through her veins. Eat your lunch and we'll talk when you feel better."
After my brain aneurysm, when it seemed like our finances were crashing down around us, I foolishly shouted out that God should have let me die for then there would not have been this financial challenge for my husband. I was startled to hear heavy footsteps coming up the stairs and was told that I'd better never make such a silly foolish statement ever again. Didn't I know that he'd rather be out on the street with me beside him than live in luxury without me? Gulp!
Most recently, I flew to his side when he'd lost his job of more than 27 years. He'd discovered the counselor he'd been seeing for stress issues had an opening and he'd gone there, broken and reluctant to see me. I was told later by the counselor that Dave's thoughts weren't on himself. All he could say was, "What's going to happen to K? I've let her down!"
No one called me to tell me what had happened. Instead, while I was at home, God directed me to make a phone call to my husband... not on his cell phone but to his office phone and I got an automated message that he no longer worked there. That was how I found out and after frantically calling his cell phone, I learned the whole story.
Nothing could have kept me from going to where he was, Alight. When I stepped into the room where he was, I walked straight into his arms and held him tightly to keep him from falling to the ground in grief and despair. He wasn't alone! God was with Him and I was too!
This is one of the reasons God created marriage in the first place. We lift one another up and stand together in the face of adversity and sorrow as well as during the times of peace and joy. We serve to remind one another that we are loved and we are not alone. A Christian marriage should remind us of our relationship with God. For better and for worse, in sickness and in health, in riches and in poverty, etc... true love is faithful.
As Bethy says, it does involve sacrifice as well. Both parties must lay aside selfishness.
In all fairness though, I know some people who have tried and tried to salvage horrible marriages. I know of people who have been physically and mentally assaulted by a spouse to the degree that their lives and in some cases the lives of their children were in danger. I wish I could say I only knew women who faced this but unfortunately I know men who have had this happen to them as well.
The truth is, in order for a marriage to succeed, both parties must want it to succeed. Maybe not in the beginning but eventually both must want that to happen or it can't. That's sort of like our relationship with God as well. It can't be one-sided or it will not succeed.
My Dearest Alight
Coming from a woman that has been married more than once, the best answer I can give you is that God was not made apart of the marriage -in fact not even thought about by either party.
If one is not first committed to God they can never commit to a relationship let alone marriage.
This marriage has been no picnic and my husband is not saved. Six months after we got married I was ready to leave- but- for the first time I sought God's word about this and what I found was that God wanted me to stay in fact showed me in His Word that I might be his only way to finding salvation. That was 25 years ago. He's still not saved but I'm still here and still praying for him.
Poo, you make sense. That helps a little. But help me out some more. Didn't you love the first one? Didn't the two of you become one? Are you half the woman you use to be when he left? Do you still lay awake at night crying yourself to sleep? Does everything you look at remind you of him, I mean I can look at a rock and it reminds me of the time she threw a rock and it hit my car (i think i cryed then but i smile now). Every where I look I see something that reminds me of her and all the memories come flooding back.
Yes Poo you have helped me a little. I still think that if I was your first husband you and I would be sitting on the porch right now making goo goo eyes at each other! I would be telling you that you are sweeter than the iced tea we were drinking (that is 2 cups of sugar per gallon. You have to drink it within three days or it will turn to syrup).
You are so blessed to have had such a love in your life. I can't even imagine a love like that. It truly is a blessing from God.
God had to teach me what love was all about. I had no idea what real love was. It's an ongoing lesson.
I never experienced that kind of emptiness until I lost my brother and although that was many years ago and God has healed the wounds the memories are still there and sometimes I still cry because I miss him so.
For me when the marriages were over in my mind, that was it I just walked away. Sounds cold doesn't it, but back then so was I.
Ahh sweet tea - haven't had any of that in a long time.
Praying for you my beloved friend
The Hebrew for "divorce" in the passage which says "God Hates Divorce" is literally
"the word of sending away"
We do this to each other all the time. It's only a matter of consistency that we do it in marriage as well. Churches will tell you to leave. People leave their churches.
We've described the "bonding crisis" in great detail in our Spiritual Training: Community series.
People FREAK when they start to get close to other Christians.
It's my rule, in marriage counseling, that BOTH prospective partners spend at least SIX MONTHS in close, bonded, Christian community prior to getting serious. If you can't get along with others, in Christian Community, it's highly doubtful you'll stick with a partner in marriage. Even if they stay married, it will not likely be a close, effective working relationship - other than to beget poor miserable children into the hell of their lives.
I recently saw numerous couples get married, IMMEDIATELY, when they had been living in sin.
They had been "in community". It was just a cult that believed in living in sin to advance God's grace.
Those marriages will last.
For them to agree to marry, on short notice (a few broke up and stopped being near each other), they had to YIELD CONTROL
that's the sticky point
Many "get saved" without "yielding control to God". In other words, they never got saved. God cannot take control until we yield control - even if we "say the sinner's prayer" or do some other ritual.
Others "got married" ON THEIR OWN TERMS. And the option to divorce was never really off the table.
I wasn't in love when I married. It wasn't her fault, it was mine.
But I'm crazy in love with her now.
Look at the picture. OBVIOUSLY, I married UP!
I watch Indian couples walk past my apt every night. They are clearly very bonded - though most were arranged marriages.
It is our DEMAND to RETAIN CONTROL OF OUR LIVES that is the culprit.
I'm just amazed at your story. Thanks again for PUTTING IT ALL OUT THERE - a risky thing to do. Yet you do it, for our benefit, constantly.
For that you have gratitude from our hearts.
I do disagree with one statement (technically - I do get your point)
You say for a marriage to succeed both have to want it to succeed. I disagree. I see these possibilities as well:
There may be more.
Want the bad news?
I've been ALL THREE. Not often. But often enough that our marriage would not have survived if I didn't take Jesus as LORD of my life - in which case divorce is OUT OF THE QUESTION (in most circumstances)
People are not committed to obey Jesus as Lord. I don't think you can be saved and not have Jesus as Lord - at some level.
we all mess up
I'm not interested in anyone's past.
BUT I AM INTERESTED IN YOUR FUTURE BEING BLESSED AND FULL OF LOVE.
Because of our Jesus based commitment my wife and i did what i think many Christians actually do.
We looked at each other and said,
I'm "stuck with you", and thank God.
But if we learn to YIELD CONTROL to God - which is a fundamental change in the way our psyche works
then OUR HEARTS ARE RELEASED FROM PRISON
And then we can really FALL IN LOVE
and then with our spouse.
Eskimos LOVE a big fat wife. A skinny wife would make an eskimo sick to his stomach.
My wife's not a chubber. But if she was I'd just have that much more to love.
We need to start yielding to God and enjoying life.
Women need to be cherished, men need to be their wife's "hero". (a scaled down version of "adored").
When women do lots of griping (Gotta scratch that itch cause i'm seriously . . .)
they are stabbing their husband in the heart.
You don't mean to, I know (Although my mother assures me feeling "mean" isn't unusual. But what do you do with it?)
My dad ALWAYS reacted.
What a mistake.
But it was one of the rituals they engaged in to show they loved each other. Man it drove us nuts!
My mother always just wished my dad would IGNORE her.
He never did.
He always pitched a fit if she pitched a fit.
Everyone recognized them as madly in love with each other.
You wanna be a hunkin', massive, totally over the top, macho, alpha dog, strong HERO???
Get some "broad shoulders" and QUIT POUTING every time she takes a piece out of your hide.
I'm telling you that you will discover TRUE MANHOOD when you shut up and smile and say, "Everything's gonna be alright!"
Then will you PuLEEESE TAKE OUT THE TRASH!
But we don't train our daughters. Nor do we train our men to be men. Manhood, ITSELF, is public enemy #1 in this country.
In India, if your daughter's a brat, your dowry better be 10 times bigger.
This horse ain't broken, folks! She's gonna buck ya, then kick ya in the head!
The mother will tell the daughter:
"Dear sweet daughter. I love you. I will put up with anything from you. But your future husband and in laws WILL NOT. And if you grow up with these bad habits and irritating behavior, I WILL BE DISGRACED."
I think I'm going to have an army chasing me with pitchforks now. But PLEASE don't "unfriend" me jus cause I'm stoooooopid, please.
My goodness, I forgot what I was talking about! I think it was about Poo and I drinking sweet iced tea and someone threw a rock? I do remember Bethy saying something about work. When you fall in love and get married it is a pleasure to keep it together. I never found it to be work. Now my sweetheart and I have often said that God put us together. Maybe that is the difference. About the time I think that I have it all figured out another couple in church bust up. My son-in-law's parents just got a divorce and they are almost 70 years old. "What in the world"!
OK, this is starting to give me a headache. Too much thinking!
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35
Why is so hard to love someone? Surely if we can love a friend we can love our wife or husband, the mother or father of our children! The person we sleep with and spend most of our time with. My wife was the greatest cook and house keeper. I loved her for that. Now I pay a lady to come over once a week and clean up. I can't push a grocery cart so I pay her to do that too.
If men knew all the things they will have to do without their wives around they would think twice before leaving them. I guess I am saying it just doesn't make a bit of sense to not stay together.
Where are my Aspirins?
BANG on the DOT, bro!
If my wife comes home late, i start getting imaginations that she died in a car wreck.
I've been known to be in tears
Then she drives up and says she saved so much money we're broke.
And, crazy - but I feel good about it.
Kind sir, you make me cry when you talk so lovingly about your wife. To love so deeply would yield a very deep sorrow and hole in her absence.
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
-- Captain Corelli's Mandolin
I didn't know I was crazy about her until that happened.
That's probably the first time I fully realized I had GROWN TO BE IN LOVE with her.
And maybe that's a good thing. Because I never feel like we're going backwards from some absurd flame.
Love just keeps growing.
Please people - don't anyone get mad at me - but other women's voices tend to grate on my nerves.
But my wife's voice is like MUSIC.
She has an exceptionally pretty voice. But if she sounded like Janis Joplin after a concert, and the voice was hooked to her, I still think her voice would light me up like a firefly.
You can have too much of a good thing - I'll admit! But not really - in this case - unless I'm TOTALLY fried.
But my point remains this: I wasn't romantically attached when we married. It was a choice to do the right thing.
And, MAN, was it the RIGHT THING!
I married UP!
I can still here my sweetheart's voice, I have an African grey parrot who is a talker. My wife started calling me Dad years ago and the bird picked up on it and if I leave the room she will start saying, "Dad, Dad!" until I say back to her, "Birdie, what do you want?" She says many other things in my wife's voice. I treasure that bird!