Folks, I saw something really interesting a while back that only served to defend God’s design for marriage that a man and woman should commit to one another for the rest of their lives and STAY together.
I was standing in the line for a fax machine talking with a lady who was expressing some frustration over the way some people talk to one another. It reminded me of something a professor had said to me once; she said, “Expecting the world to be fair to you because you’re fair is like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.”
She looked at me with awe, and thanked me for sharing the quote. Then she said, “Where were you with that line 5 years ago? Had I known that, I might still be married!” She was laughing and making light of a serious situation, mind you, but it got a few other ladies in line joking and talking about their divorce experiences.
The one that really stood out to me was a lady who has since remarried that said, “Yeah, you know I was thinking about that the other day, that I should’ve just stayed with my ex-husband. At least with him, we had people to come clean our house, and do our landscaping, and I didn’t have to work. Yeah, sure I was miserable with him, but I’m no happier now AND I have to work!”
Granted, these ladies were mostly joking about the financial benefits of being married to their ex-husbands, but I realized…
The first woman divorced because she was unhappy and wanted her freedom… and not only is she still unhappy, she’s worse off.
The second had pretty much the same circumstances and divorced… and she, too, is still unhappy and is also worse off.
People are so quick to throw in the towel on their marriage, assuming the grass is going to be greener on the other side… and maybe with abusive and adulterous husbands, it is. But that’s not the majority of divorces and those aren’t the ones I’m talking about. The majority of divorces happen because people “aren’t happy” anymore – so before you get all up in arms about men who beat their wives and cheat on them, know that’s not who I’m talking about. I’m talking about the men and women who decide that their happiness is more important than the vows they made to their spouse.
Vows similar to these that follow…
“I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
Now, a vow, by definition is “a solemn promise. dedicate to someone or something, esp. a deity. Synonyms for vow feature words such as “commitment, covenant, and guarantee.”
So I won’t take too much time to explain this, first off, but in your wedding vows, you guarantee to be with someone until you die.
You commit to them for better or worse (I’m guessing that your unhappiness falls under that “worse” part), no matter how much money you have, and no matter how healthy either of you are.
And you GUARANTEE IT.
The way I see it, divorce makes a liar out of you, and in the experiences that I’ve had, it doesn’t actually put you in any better of condition than you started.
What I’m about to say is going to come out harsh, but sometimes love is that way:
Maybe your new marriage, or new-found freedom isn’t all you thought it would be because the original problem wasn’t your spouse or your marriage… it was you.
Maybe you weren’t the spouse you were supposed to be. Maybe you didn’t love and respect, have and hold your spouse like you vowed to. Maybe you weren’t holding up your end of the deal, and maybe they weren’t either – but just because someone else is doing it wrong, doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for your half. Like everyone’s mom always says, “If (insert anyone’s name here) jumped off a bridge, would you?” And given the fact that you’re divorced, you definitely didn’t honor your end of the commitment.
Maybe instead of always blaming everything on other people, we (and this is myself included, as a young woman looking forward to marriage, I’m learning here) we should take the time to evaluate OURSELVES and what is expected of us that we’re not fulfilling, rather than always talking about and focusing on what our spouse isn’t doing or giving us, and start accepting some personal responsibility for our own actions.
I’m sure we all know the saying, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
What if we really applied that to our relationships, specifically our marriages? What If we chose to really invest our time and effort into something we GUARANTEED to someone, in front of our family and friends, and God?
What if we decided that the person we believed was worth that commitment in the beginning, was still worth that commitment?
Marriage is a choice and a privilege. We need to wake up every single day and choose each other and keep the perspective of a person who is privileged to be in that position at all. In the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.
Married couples have someone to constantly lean on, love, talk to, sleep with, hug, hold, share bills and frustrations with, do everything with… That is a privilege like no other. Why don’t we care anymore about that? Why does no one see that anymore?
No one looks at a couple who’s been married 63 years and says, “Who does that? That’s stupid.” No… they are looked at with awe and admiration, and usually a little pang of jealousy. Why don’t we realize that could be us. The only difference is that those people meant what they said, took it seriously, and chose daily to put the other person’s needs before their own.
Am I married? No. Do I know all the troubles married life could bring? No.
But I look at the unhappy divorced people around me… and then I look at a couple who, after 63 years of trials (my grandparents), still loves one another, still serves one another, still cherishes one another, and on a level so deep I can’t comprehend it.. and I just have to say, I know which I prefer. I know which one I want. And I’m willing to be the wife God has called me to be someday in order to have that. Because ultimately, it’s not about me and my happiness, it’s about honoring my commitment and glorifying the Lord that gave me the opportunity to make it.