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.
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?
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.
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?
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