Let's Stop Pretending - Christian Married Couples are Struggling
It’s been a long ten months since I’ve been separated from my wife and kids. Outside of a God-sized miracle, my marriage will be over.
I could keep this a secret. Not share. Pretend that everything is alright, but there’s enough pretending in the church.
The truth is, many Christian marriages are struggling and are on the brink, like mine.
I have a friend whose marriage is on the ropes. I know of another married couple who you might have sat next to in church pre-COVID 19. Their marriage is gone. That’s just the marriages I know about in the church. My guess is, there’s dozens more, especially in a church the size of ONE&ALL.
Our church and every church in the U.S. have married couples who are struggling.
Yet, we go to church acting like everything is alright.
It is not.
When the people of God are hurting, then society is hurting. And if society is hurting, then the world is hurting. If marriage is the institution divinely inspired by God, then it holds value.
Outside of saving souls, marriage should be the top priority of the church. It should be the top priority of society. If our media promoted the family unit and the importance of keeping marriages together even a third of the time it reports on other “newsworthy” topics, our country would be radically different. I bet that our society would suffer less from brokenness, crime, hate, intolerance, and all the other stuff you see happening in our country right now.
From marriages, children are birthed. And if marriages are suffering, then children are suffering. Families like mine are broken and I am witnessing other families falling apart, so there is a big problem that needs to be addressed.
I could be easily embarrassed by sharing this part of my life openly and sweep it under the rug. But, if my story gets one married person/couple in our church to get help for their hurting marriage and they reverse the direction of divorce and destruction, it will be well worth it.
You don’t realize it now friend, but your marriage is important. It’s important to your kids, your grandchildren (or future grandchildren), your extended family, friends, the church and unbelievably, to our society.
I didn’t recognize this until now, but my marriage and its demise literally impacts several dozen other people. People I care about and who care about me and my family.
Forget about the financial costs associated with divorce. That’s just part of it. There’s a whole slew of other issues that are perpetuated involving one’s mental and emotional health, one’s ability to recover and well-being. Divorce is costly on many levels.
Let me exhort you: If your marriage is on the brink of destruction, stop. Just, stop. Get help. Yes, that might mean you have to confess some pretty grim details. It might mean that you spend some money to get counseling or forgiving some pretty unforgivable stuff or having really difficult and honest discussions. It might mean that you get into a twelve-step program. It might mean taking a break from one another with the intention of getting healed and coming back together.
All studies show that the only life event worse than divorce, is death, and believe me, divorce is a death. Death of a family. Death of hopes, dreams, and a once bright future. At least with death, there’s finality. Not with divorce. The impact is life long and unending until, well, the end.
I played a role in the deterioration of my marriage, but I want you, the reader, to play a role in getting your marriage back on track. Do whatever it takes, before it’s too late.
Sadly, there’s enough hurting married couples in the body of Christ that providing free marital counseling would actually be considered an investment that would pay dividends in the form of healthy families who can serve as conduits to God’s love and grace. When the body of Christ ceases to be a body, then God’s first institution falters.
If you have divorced, I hold absolutely no judgment. Your circumstances are more than likely different than mine, but you know the pain I speak of. I’m profoundly sorry for the loss of your dreams, hopes, and even your faith in many ways that those who haven’t gone through this trial can’t comprehend, yet He still loves you.
For those who are ready to call it quits, God forgives and can heal (Psalm 103:2-5). If there is any possible way to confess, repent, forgive and reconcile, and work through the hurt and pain, your life and the lives of your loved ones will be much better than enduring what is to come.
Lastly, the power of Christ is to redeem, and provide hope for situations like mine, which takes a leap of faith.
Right now, I’m in mid-air.