When Did it Become a Bad Thing to Fight For Your Marriage?

We’ve probably all heard about yet another Christian man, a religious figure, who said and did all the right things in public while hiding a laundry list of wrong-doings.

I hope it broke your heart. I know it broke mine.

Yes, I hate what he did. I can’t stand how he’s dragging his family through the mud, providing plenty of fodder for those who want to be critical of marriage, family, Christians, Jesus.

His wife, kids, family and extended family have endured yet another devastating blow because of his choices.

And no matter how much they may try to avoid the feelings, because it was his choice, not their choice, I know that shame is very real to them.

I have shared posts about issues in marriage:
The Day I Took My Ring Off
I Stand for Redemption
To the Wife Who Wants to Stay
Pray for Reconciliation

This situation really should break your heart.

And it should make you mad.

There’s plenty of blame to be shared, and to pass around, in situations like this. I don’t want to go there.

I want to talk about the marriage.

There’s a wife out there who has kids at home, who has been unwillingly dragged into the spotlight, and who can probably barely breathe right now. It’s not her fault, and yet she now has to continue to function and care for her kids, when she would rather hide away. The weight of this situation must be so very real to her, and yet, she has to keep going on.

There are plenty who would say “leave him” and there are some who may say “stay”. That’s between God and her.

Her situation aside, this is what really gets me:

When did it become such a bad thing to fight for your marriage?

When did “for better or worse” turn into “for better or while it’s convenient”?

And, who are we to judge if someone is wrong for wanting to work on their marriage?
for wanting to stand by their spouse?
for wanting to see them get the help they so desperately need? 

We're inundated with marriages gone wrong. We're quick to say, "Leave your spouse." When did it become such a bad thing to fight for your marriage?

Maybe what the world really needs right now is for strong marriages to come alongside struggling marriages and lend a hand.

Roll up the sleeves and really get into the nitty-gritty of being supportive. Not just dropping off a meal or saying one prayer, but being there for the long haul.

The other night I shared this with some friends who are also bloggers:
(edited slightly for grammar and privacy)

Watch out…I’m back…and I’m FURIOUS.
Another friend messaged me tonight with marital issues. Let me just say, for those of you who are newer…my marriage almost ended about 4 years ago. I’m positive that the devil thought he’d succeeded in splitting us up. And God said wait. Then God said “hope.” And now God is saying “redemption.” So when I hear of marriages that are struggling and failing, I get so mad – mad at the devil for stirring up trouble.

I have an ongoing list of friends whose marriages are struggling and I’m praying through those. One is improving, another friend is going through the divorce process (though not her choice) and I hear regularly through the blog of people who summon up enough bravery to send one email to say, “Please pray for me, too. My marriage is rocky.” 

How do you encourage when everything seems stacked up AGAINST marriage in our society? How do you be the voice that says, “Keep going.”

I feel like I’m over here on the sidelines of these ladies’ lives saying, “Keep going,” but I’m being drowned out by the realities of life.

But I’m still here. Except I’m not saying, “Keep going,” I’m starting to shout it: “KEEP GOING!”

I read a post one time about a lady running a marathon. She said she saw someone with a sign that said, “Someday you won’t be able to do this again. (meaning, the marathon) But today is NOT THAT DAY.”

This infuriates me – the attacks on marriage. Please pray for your readers, your friends, your married friends, those who want to get married. Marriage is NOT for the faint of heart. It really is more about our holiness than our happiness.

I am praying for each one of you and your husbands tonight. 

Someday we won’t be able to fight for our marriages anymore.

Maybe a spouse has filed for divorce, moved out, and fighting for your marriage just isn’t an option anymore.
Maybe a spouse has passed away and you’re simply out of time to fight for that marriage.

Today, though, this particular day, if you are still legally married and your spouse is alive, you can fight for your marriage.

Or – if your marriage is strong, if you are doing well together, you could make today the day that you, as a couple, roll up your sleeves and invest in the lives of another couple.

I read this the other day (sorry I cannot remember where):

One random act of kindness per day can change 365 lives!

Maybe you can’t change 365 marriages.

What if you could change one?

Notice I’m not saying “save” a marriage. I’m saying “change” a marriage because you might not be able to save a marriage. Everyone has their own free will to make their own choices, good or bad.

But what if you could invest in one marriage in the hopes that it would turn out just a little better than the one we’re reading about in the news right now?

Wouldn’t it be worth it?

There may come a day when you can’t invest in a marriage. If you are breathing, then today is not that day. 

There may come a day when you can't fight for your marriage. Today is NOT that day! Click To Tweet

If we all start focusing on God rather than on self, if we can dare to put someone else’s needs above our own, we can make a huge difference.

Yes, we all make our own choices, right or wrong. Sin is ugly, but it looks enticing. We think that we can get away with our wrong choices. We think we can manage on our own.

We found out, from a very public figure, that it just isn’t the case.

And it should break our hearts.

Now, what will we do about it?

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

 

sharing with Susan B. Mead at Dance With Jesus, Lori Schumaker at Moments of Hope, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Kate at Women Helping Women

Comments

  1. Oh, yes, friend! These are words we need to read tonight! It’s become so unpopular in the church to be as iron sharpening iron. We’re too caught up in hiding the real us, the sinful us, so that we can keep up appearances. When we will learn that hiding sin only robs us of an opportunity to be set free?!! So happy to have you writing on this subject again.
    Jen 🙂
    Jen recently posted…How to Trust God With Your MarriageMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes – I feel like we’ve become a very two-faced society: what we’re willing to show in public, and what *really* happens. No wonder so many of us are craving community, understanding, real friendships. We’re looking for freedom – a place to express all that we’re trying to hide. Thank you, friend!

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  2. there should never be any situation even divorce where we don’t stand and fight- my husband is trying to divorce me- God says no/ I hold your family together I will redeem and restore him- we live in a culture that accepts divorce and rarely do you ever see someone stand by women (or men) teaching them to fight by standing in the gap- divorce is a spiritual battle as is every marital issue. God tells us our hope is in him- he has set his covenant of blood on marrige it is not to be taken lightly. I’m currently taking a stand for my marriage. God has given me the promise of restoration in my marriage and I hold fast to the truth of His Word, biblical hope that looks expectantly to his promise being fulfilled and daily learning how to take each step that trusts without borders and throwing aside any distractions that take my eyes off the Lord – spending hours praying, reading His Word, and most importantly sitting quietly to hear his voice speak to my heart leading me and guiding me. He has said no divorce to me- I’ve ripped the settlement agreement up and thrown it out because the Lord called me to step out in faith and choose to obey him over anything – even being in contempt of court! do I believe God is bigger than divorce? you bet I do! I will stand and I will encourage anyone going through divorce- STAND!!! don’t let satan steal and destroy ! STAND in the name of Jesus!!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Jenn, I am praying for you. I’m adding you to my list of marriages to pray for. If God has called you to stand, then stand fast. Stand firm. May God give you the desires of your heart, and may He protect your heart through all of this, whatever happens. Stay close to God and keep praying for His will. Thank you for taking time to leave a comment so I can know to pray for you!

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  3. Becky, such timely words…for me, and a thousand others. I have a friend who is struggling in marriage right now….and I mean struggling in a 30+ year marriage. I am praying like mad for them. Thank you for this wonderful post. I’m sharing it.
    Leah Adams recently posted…I’ll Be BackMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes, I’m finding that prayer does so much more than I ever could. I will be praying for your friends, trusting God to work in ways that can’t be imagined. Thank you!

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  4. Meeting you via #DanceWithJesus and glad for it!Powerful words here. It’s amazing how little marriage really is about loving another person, isn’t it? When you truly love someone, they are worth fighting for even when things get really tough. Just wrote about that this week, and wow is your point fantastic: do it today. Love it. Thanks for sharing passionately!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes – yes to ALL your thoughts here! Marriage is a lot about loving Jesus and then loving others as an outpouring of loving Him. Thank you for taking time to leave this encouragement for me! Blessings!

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  5. Indeed Rebekah! We must choose to fight for our marriage. We will celebrate 36 years on Sept 1. And STILL must remind each other how much we love and cherish each other. As the enemy would love nothing. More than to divide…
    Susan B Mead recently posted…Letting Go of What Was Mine ~ LinkupMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Congratulations on a long marriage! May God continue to bless you both as you grow in Him!

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  6. Great post. Have you read Men In Hiding by Jon Krug. Check it out.

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  7. Oops, I hit reply before I was through. Men in Hiding is written by a pastor that had his own train wreck and now councils other pastors. It’s a good read. Thank you Rebekah for sharing. There are too many marriages struggling.
    Christy Mobley recently posted…Dream On Baby, Dream OnMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Hi Christy, I haven’t even heard of that book – thank you! I’ll definitely look into it. Thanks for sharing that resource! Blessings!

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  8. Hello! I came across your blog via Faith Along The Way on Facebook, and I’m glad I clicked the link. I admittedly haven’t been keeping up with the Duggar situation, but its hard to avoid it when its in the sidelines of my Facebook news feed. Its incredibly sad. I hurt for Anna. I hurt for Josh. I hurt for both of them because I have been both of them. I have been the one who has almost destroyed my marriage with an affair after just a few months of saying “I do.” I have also been the one who was hurt a few years later when the ugly face of my husband’s hidden addiction came to light. Both times it was a struggle to keep going, but what it came down to was a choice to stay or leave. I think we both just had to hold on to the hope that marriage is bigger than being happy. It is about following through with a commitment. While I understand that indeed, both of these incidents were grounds for divorce, I will say this – the choice to work together to re-establish trust, move closer to Christ, and build a relationship over many times and many years has blessed my life with a love, support, and peace I would have never found elsewhere. I hope someone reads this who is struggling can know, even from a stranger, that there is hope on the other side and pride and beauty in picking up the pieces of a broken marriage.
    Channing Parker recently posted…LivingMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I apologize that I’m just getting back to this. I hope that others who read this post read your comment – I love what you’ve shared: Marriage is bigger than being happy. Yes!
    The rebuilding is work – no denying. And wouldn’t it be so much easier just to throw in the towel and run? But that rebuilding – that choosing, on purpose, with even more purpose than on our wedding day – grows a deeper, more godly love for our spouse. Thank you! God is a God of grace, of mercy, of hope and redemption! There IS hope and beauty to be had, there is healing and wholeness, and love! Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Rebeka Brown says:

    Hi,

    I am in a struggling marriage. I decided on a separation feeling it was my only option. But since have realized that I dont want a divorce. He has started to see someone else but says he does love me and does want to be with me. I have been praying to god for this. I have faith and hope that he will restore our marriage and make it stronger then ever. Could you pleasee keep me and my marriage in your prayers.

    Thanks,
    Rebeka

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I’ve been praying for you…trusting that God will work as only He can – whether it’s to restore, redeem or help you recover and move forward. Rest in Him, trusting that He will make the way straight for you! Continuing in prayer!

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  10. Jonatha says:

    I found your blog through pinterest, and it has been a gift. I am fighting for my marriage, even though many don’t agree. It’s so hard, but I know, worth it. God told me the same thing, wait, and now he has told me to hope. Please pray for us.

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  11. I had watched a close friend fight for her marriage earlier last year and then I was in a situation where I was fighting for my marriage. In the hardest of moments, I would think back to my friend and know that it was worth it because I had seen what she had come through. Now I am so grateful we chose to fight to stay! Thank you for your words!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    There are so many mixed feelings during the process. It’s so good to be able to see just one other person who has had a positive outcome. That can encourage us & keep us in the fight, just as you’re saying! Praying for your marriage today, glad that God has worked, and is working, as you commit to what He has for your life! Blessings!

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  12. I love how you encourage those with strong marriages to come alongside… There is such value in that!!
    Liz recently posted…Move Toward The Mess: IntroMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes, finding a couple to mentor, or to be mentored by, is extremely valuable for someone in a struggling marriage. Thank you!

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  13. Thanks for this call to prayer for the marriages in our churches and families!
    Michele Morin recently posted…God Moves Mountains When Women PrayMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Absolutely – prayer is so vital to a strong and healthy marriage.

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  14. I LOVE this: “If we all start focusing on God rather than on self, if we can dare to put someone else’s needs above our own, we can make a huge difference.” I think this statement right here is the key to a strong and healthy marriage relationship. Sadly, society has taught us to be more about self than God even in the Christian Church. I often pray for friends that I think may be hurting, believing that God is well able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine.

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