Do Christians give up on marriage too soon?
After reviewing statistics for another site writing project, I pondered the question:
“Do Christians give up on marriage too quickly?”
I did what I normally do when I want to get opinions from a vast audience, I turned to Facebook.
The conversation took off like a fuse on a fast-burning stick of dynamite. The conversation was electric, passionate, and incredibly honest.
I love strong women with opinions. It’s what makes the world go around and I got a lot of their opinions on my Facebook feed!
As you can imagine, the responses were as varied as the women that shared them.
For example, Robyn is a married mother of an adult son responded. She said, “Christians take way too much”.
Not advocating speedy separations or divorce, she believes “God doesn’t want you in an unhealthy, unloving marriage.”
What do you think? do you agree?
I, myself, am a friend, sister; cousin, and pastor’s wife and I know for a fact that countless couples are in forlorn, burdensome marriages. Sometimes I wonder if folks are “taking” too much. These distressing unions cause them to cry out Robyn’s last word on the subject: “When is enough enough?”
Christian talk show host, Joni Lamb, hosted a discussion around marital issues on her show on the Daystar Christian television network.
On it was author, Wendy Treat. She described her parent’s marriage this way: ‘they just remained married’.
Can you hear the sorrow in that statement? She went on to say their relationship motivates her in her [marriage]. She wants a more fulfilling marriage for herself and gives tips in her book.
Who wants to just “stay married?”
Some people want their cake and to eat it too in marriage.
Struggle, a natural part of life, is often an overlooked element of marriage.
Pam, married for several years, makes several valid and insightful statements in her Facebook response to my question. For one she says, “Marriage is wonderful, but we should not expect a bed of roses”.
In an interesting irony, she compared wedded life to “shacking up”.
Basically, she explained that she “stuck it out” when she wasn’t married, so she should do the same now as a married woman. In other words, it seems she had a rough relationship during her single years, but she hung in there. Philosophically, Pam thinks “people want the perks of marriage; but not the commitment”. She then compared it to folks yearning for the benefits of salvation, without the “total commitment” to pleasing God.
Let the church say…. “OUCH!”
Marriage is just…hard!
Renee, married for three years, represents a younger, more contemporary Christian woman.
She thinks many folks marry not having a clue of what it really entails. “Our first year of marriage was hard”, she said. She attributes prayer as the glue that held their union solid. Renee was honest enough to say that she, like many others, almost didn’t make it.
What was the solution? She made it plain: “I talked with God and decided to trust Him.” Confidently, she says “No turning back”.
Gayle, married for almost 8 years, doesn’t believe Christians give up too quickly on marriage. “If you are in the Word and living in the Word; then there is no way you can give up on marriage easily”.
She considers marriage a growth and enduring process and adds “if you are not able to grow in your faith, then you are not able to grow in your marriage”. I hear my grandmother’s voice in hers. By the way, she’s my cousin.
Gayle was “point on” when she made the theoretical relationship between the two covenants.
Marriage is a covenant between you and your spouse and you and your God. As Otealet says, it’s “an irrevocable covenant” to the Father.
Marriage is a very individual experience that works best with two, fully-engaged, participating parties.
God always does his part, but sometimes mates do not.
Back to the Question: “Do Christians Give Up on Marriage too soon?”
You know, in my younger days, my answer to the question would have been a resounding, determined, and adamant “YES”.
But now, I have a few more years and two marriages under my belt (this is my second) and my answer will shock some. I don’t care.
I’ve seen too much and I know too much.
Wide, sweeping statements simply do not work for this complex of a question.
Why? Because two wonderful people can be Christians, with all the privileges and power that it allows, and still be worn, mistreated, and rejected in the marriage. This happens when one part of the union has not released past pains, selfish ambition or unrealistic expectations.
Christians are no different.
Karen (my cousin also) put it well too.
Married over twenty years to her only husband, she puts it this way “Christians face the same challenges as non-Christians” But, here’s the kicker: the challenges of Christian marriages are not “always spiritual; but [they] are often given spiritual answers that don’t help with natural problems.”
Some things you can’t simply pray away.
And there it is.
My heart goes out to so many people struggling in marriage.
Marriage is a mystery – a powerful mystery.
Few things can break a spirit worse than a terrible marriage. It is worse when one party makes continued investments and effort into the marriage and the other is just taking, taking, taking.
You can’t change that other person; only God can change them. You focus on yourself. Do the right thing.
God has a plan for your life.
He loves you and sees your pain as He saw Hagar’s in the desert.
When she felt ultimately rejected, mistreated, and “thrown away”, the Lord sent an angel to call her name. I like to think He gently, lovingly called her as a good dad would when his baby girl is hurting.
If you’re in a terrible marriage waiting for redemption, peace or relief; please know that God knows your name and is calling you, too.
In His presence rests all the peace, grace, forgiveness, and strength you need.
Hang in there.
|What the Bible Says About Love, Marriage & Sex: The Song of Solomon||By David Jeremiah / FaithWordsNo other book written on the topic of love, marriage, and sex, rival the Song of Solomon from the king of Israel. With unabashed candor, he tells the world’s most beautiful story of marital courtship and consummation, the ups as well as the downs of two becoming one. In What the Bible Says about Love Marriage & Sex, Dr. David Jeremiah gives readers an eye-opening and heart-changing look at the glory of human partnership from heaven’s perspective. Paperback.|
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