I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard that the divorce rate in America is about 50%, and that this particular statistic includes Christians. For the longest time I naively thought that if both people getting married love Jesus and each other, that the marriage would last no matter what. I thought that love always conquers all. When I would hear about people getting divorced I would think to myself, “Well, they clearly didn’t trust God enough,” or “ If only people would put God first in their marriage…..”
I’ve always been a romantic. I’m a sucker for love stories and happy endings. I want to believe that people can live happily ever after, especially if we claim to believe in a God who can work miracles and make a way out of no way.
But as the years went by, and I witnessed people I loved going through some serious sh*t in their marriages, I realized that my view of love and marriage and love conquering all had been extremely filtered. I realized that if love conquers all, it requires a brutal, heartbreaking struggle to get to the other side. And the sad truth is that a lot of the people who walk away from their marriages decide they just can’t do it.
I can’t say I blame them. It’s extremely easy to get up in front of people who are cheering you on and make promises. It’s quite another to keep those promises when you feel like you don’t even recognize who your spouse is anymore. What if they become verbally abusive? What if they develop an addiction? How do you keep holding on when it feels like every day your heart is getting stomped on by an insensitive or selfish spouse? How do you patiently keep loving your spouse through a life-changing illness or injury? Keeping your vows when you feel like there’s no place or person you can turn to can feel extremely isolating and painful.
So yes, I’ll come to your wedding and cheer you on as you make your vows. I’ll hoot and holler when it’s time to kiss the bride. But inside, I’ll be praying that you guys are willing to invest the same amount of money, energy, and effort into keeping your marriage healthy. I’ll pray that even when you want to quit, that God will hold you together through the supernatural power of His love. Because even though you the words you say in the moment are coming from a place that’s sincere and means well, there’s no way on earth you can follow through on your own. There will come a day when you’ll feel like you don’t want to be married anymore to the person standing in front of you. And when that day comes, you’ll need more than memories to keep you there.
You’ll need Him.
Nope, weddings don’t impress me anymore, but I’ll tell you what does.;
Couples that are transparent with other couples about their struggles; Couples that fight to find solutions for their issues; Spouses that are willing to go to therapy to dig deep and figure out why they’re messed up, and what they can do to heal and grow;
Couples that hold on to each other through the storms in faith that there’s light on the other side.
Now that’s impressive.
Till next time,