By Barbara Rainey
First posted on EverThineHome.com
When you see marriages around you dissolving, it’s normal to start wondering how yours is going to make it. It might be your parents’ marriage that didn’t last, or your brother or sister’s. Maybe you know a couple who wedded the same year as you and now you’ve witnessed their dramatic nasty divorce. You might keep up with media announcements to see famous marriages broadcast their woes and affairs oh so publicly.
No doubt, right now you can name family members, friends, ministry leaders, and church leaders who are struggling or have even announced their intentions to end their “wedded nightmare.” Perhaps your marriage is the one struggling.
Sadly, there are so many stories, and the themes so familiar, that we’ve become mostly numbed over. We can only absorb so much bad news in this world, and there is a lot, so we turn the page, scroll on down to something happier and less depressing.
Collectively we ask the same question of ourselves: If this marriage couldn’t survive, what hope is there for mine?
But bad news about marriage can be a good reminder, a wake-up call to pay attention to our own. Hearing about a dissolving marriage can motivate us to look within our own and take an honest assessment. And if your marriage is shaky, know this: I have seen many marriages miraculously resurrected. As a result, I have learned some very important truths I want to share to encourage you because:
YOUR MARRIAGE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!
The enemy of our souls, Satan himself, would love nothing more than to use your fear about someone else’s divorce to suggest to you that your marriage is beyond redemption, too.
Don’t listen to the whispers, the lies the deceiver loves to tell you. Instead focus on what is true. Here are nine truths about all marriages and the common pathway to dissolution.
1.No one is exempt from marriage failure, even those in ministry. Dennis and I have felt the bullseye on our backs many times through the years. It is by perseverance, lots of hard work, repeated repentance and forgiveness, and God’s work in our hearts that we have survived and are thriving.
2. No marriage dies suddenly overnight.The only way a marriage ends instantly is when one spouse dies.
3. All marriage deaths begin as slow leaks, small compromises, little sins ignored, or forgiveness dismissed as “It’s no big deal.” The cancer that kills marriages begins almost invisibly in easy-to-overlook moments that seem harmless but gradually erode the foundation of the relationship. The decision to end may be sudden, even dramatic. But the disease was present long before the outward signs of emotional distance, empty communication, pretending to be happy, or infidelity became visible.
4. For a marriage to make it, feeding and nourishing the relationship can NEVER stop. Marriage is a living relationship. When you stop paying attention to its health … when you assume that “all is well” … your relationship begins to unravel or unwind. Just as most of us schedule annual physical checkups for our health, and undergo preventative screenings, so marriages must have regular checkups–spiritual and relational health evaluations–to detect small cellular level malignancies.
5. No spouse is perfect.It’s too easy to proclaim the faults of your spouse.
I’m not perfect and neither is my husband. We are sinful, selfish, and desperately need the gospel in our lives every single day.