You are standing at the alter watching, waiting, anticipating. Your heart starts to pound as if it is about to burst out your chest and onto the floor. Then suddenly the music starts. Your breath becomes shallower. Your hands start to shake and your feet start feeling colder. Then all at once, there she is. Breathless. Stunning. The most beautiful woman you have ever seen.
She is being escorted down the aisle by her father. As she slowly walks up, the rush of adrenaline floods your emotions. The rush of excitement. You have never felt this way before. You can’t wait until she comes closer. She slowly continues her walk. When it seemed like forever, she arrives. Her father is asked a question, but you’re not paying attention. He places her hand in yours and you both turn to the reverend.
This is where you have to decide, is this forever or not? Is this exactly what you want to do? Do you both feel the same way? The reverend says, “Do you take her to be your wife, in health but not in sickness, for richer but divorce for poorer……?” Wait? Is that what he said?
Unfortunately, this is the reality of the way we treat marriage today. We feel that we will continue in marriage only if problems don’t arise. Some statistics say the #1 reason for divorce in our society is because of financial problems. Not because of infidelity. Not because of abuse. Financial problems.
What makes this statistic even sadder is that the evangelical church has the same percentage of divorce as everyone else. A whopping 50%! No wonder people won’t listen to the life giving message of Christ. How can a people who claim to know Christ personally, also get divorced so easily? This has been one obstacle that has been brought to me time and time again. So how do we change this perspective?
First, let me say, we Christian married couples need to stay together. No matter the rough times, no matter the bad decisions, no matter how we feel, we made a commitment before God and people to stay married until death do us part. That means until one of you dies, you need to stay married and work out the problems. It may mean seeking counseling. It will mean changing daily, but we need to stay together.
Second, we need to seek Christ for decisions. Too many times, I have heard husbands say that they are buying the latest gadgets even though their wives don’t think they need it. Most times we don’t. Most times we are just trying to impress others. The same goes for our wives. Too many times, I have heard husbands complain that their wives spend too much money on clothes but forget to help pay the bills. Do you hear the idiocy? Both are complaining about spending money without talking about it first. Instead of just buying stuff, ask Christ this question, “Lord, what do you want me to do with your money?”
His money? Yes, everything you have is because of His work in your life. Which brings me to my third point, we need to constantly remember that no matter what happens, sickness or health, richer or poorer, remember why you love her so much. Ask yourself this question, “Why did I marry her to begin with?” Most likely, you got married because you didn’t just have feelings for each other, but truly loved each other. You loved to spend time together. You loved to talk with each other. You loved her look, smell and touch. You just loved who she is and not what you expect her to be.
Christ feels the same way about us. He loved us so much He died on the cross for us. He made this promise, “I will never leave you.” No matter what bad decisions we make. No matter what we have done, He still loves us. He doesn’t think about divorce. In fact, Hosea is an Old Testament Book that portrays a man needing to buy back his wife, time and time again. No matter what she did, he went and got her back.
In the same way, Christ paid the penalty for us and continues to buy us back even though we want a divorce. Christ told His disciples, “No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hands”. Does this mean we can do what we want? Absolutely not. In fact, it should be a reminder to us of how much we first loved Christ and how much He first loved us. Just like we remember how much we love our spouses, we also need to remind ourselves of why we entered this relationship with Christ in the first place. It was because we felt His love for us and we responded back with love.
If you are thinking about divorce ask yourself this question, “Is Christ going to divorce me because I make stupid decisions?” No. If it is that bad in your marriage, do everything you can to keep it together. If it means counseling, then go and get it. We should be willing to do whatever it takes to keep our marriages together. This way the world will see what is different about us and ask “What is so different about you?”
It will give us the opportunity to share God’s Message with them and not get involved in the “I Do Dilemma”. Stay married and God bless.