I just got off of the phone with one of my closest and dearest friends. She and I grew up together and her family is like my family. I was talking to her about the hell that is going on in her family right now, both of us trying to understand why things happen. I just imagine the people that she and I both love trying to understand what it is they did wrong or what they could have done differently and all I can think to do for them is pray.
I don't really understand the thought process that goes with abandonment. I mean seriously how do you wake up one day and decide that you don't want to live with your kids? With your spouse? How do you justify throwing away your time, your memories, your love? I think of the sea of excuses that people use; money, lust, happiness, midlife crisis, addiction, career I am sure there are many more I have not thought of. Truthfully, I cannot come up with one excuse good enough to walk away from my babies. Not one.
Now understand, I get it, I do. I get that relationships end, marriages crumble, love dies. I understand that if ignored long enough, anyone can/will look for the attention they need elsewhere. I get that all relationships take work, attention, tenderness, and respect and without these things they are sure to fail. I am aware of the boundaries that must be set in order to protect my family, my marriage and how inconvenient those are at times. What I do not understand is how when you realize that your marriage is in jeopardy, why do people seem to turn away from one another rather than towards each other?
Think about it, if our best friend is in trouble, we take their hand and walk through fire with them. If our child is in danger, we risk our lives to save them if we can. If our parents are sick we put our lives one hold for weeks to tend to them. So why is it that if our marriage is in trouble, in danger, or sick, our response is to turn away from our spouse? This is the ONLY relationship that we vow too in the presence of our Lord. Should this not be the one that we work the hardest for? Sacrifice the most for? What does the Lord tell us about marriage?
Ephesians 5 tells us:
Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. In this same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, noone ever hated his own body, but he feeds it and cares for it....
I Peter 3 tells husbands:
Husbands be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect...
Titus 2:5 tells wives:
Be self controlled and pure, be busy at home, be kind and subject to their own husbands....
Has the Lord not made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
This is it friends, clearly spelled out for us in His word. He tells us exactly what we need to do to make it work. He tells us to submit, to be considerate, to respect, to have self control, to be gentle with one another, to be kind and not to break faith. Sounds to me like this is a pretty good recipe for a healthy marriage. As usual He just proves over and over again that He knew what He was doing when He created us. Marraige was His idea, not ours. He knows what it will take to make it work.
As I sit here and write I think about all of the failing marriages. I think about the ones that have been over for years, the ones that are ending now and the ones that are crumbling beneath themselves as I write. I pray and beg for them not to turn away from each other. I ask you friends to treat your marriage as you would your child, your parent, your best friend. Who quits on their best friend? I urge you to turn to your Lord and let Him remind you what it takes to make a marriage work. Yes, it will take everyday and no it will not always be easy. But my dear friends, keep in mind that He created marriage and isn't what He created awesome? ;)