This Is Real Life Marriage

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful. 
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. 
When you are tempted, he will show you a way out, 
so that you can endure. 
1Corinthians 10:13

A few weeks ago my teenage daughters said something that really surprised me. Brian and I were disagreeing about something that I don't remember now, but one of them, I think it was Daija, said, "Will you please stop arguing!" And then all three of them started a lively conversation remembering when they thought we were going to get divorced. This shocked me for a couple of reasons. I was raised in a home where my parents fought and eventually did end up getting divorced, both of them, twice. I know well what it is to be sitting on my bed with my arms wrapped around my knees, scared, hugging myself and crying, wishing that my parents would stop yelling at each other. Wishing that they would love each other. Brian and I have never argued like that. What really shocked me about the girls conversation though was how flippant they used the word divorce. Like it was the normal expected result of a marriage when things get a little difficult. I realized that they were drawing a standard from the world around them, and not the Bible. All three of my teenage girls are professing Christians. Why would they even think this was an option in our situation? I am not saying that God doesn't allow divorce ever, but the circumstances need to be extreme. It is not God's intention that we esteem the covenant of marriage so lightly. Marriage isn't always easy. After twenty years I really get that. This is what Jesus says about it;

Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him (Jesus) with this question: 
"Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?"

"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. 
"They record that from the beginning 
God made them male and female." 
And he said, 
"This explains why a man leaves his father and mother 
and is joined to his wife, 
and the two are united into one. 
Since they are no longer two but one, 
let no one split apart what God has joined together."
Matthew 19:3-6

The divorce rate among Christians is supposedly the same as for non-Christians. It is pretty clear what Jesus thinks of divorce and we are supposed to follow Christ and his teachings. Jesus says, "If you love me, you will obey my commandments." John 14:15 Whether it is convenient or not, easy or hard. If we call ourselves Christians then we have a responsibility to make every effort possible to live at peace with all men, Romans 12:18,  this includes our spouses.

Following are a few experts from my journal that I re-wrote for you;

Real life marriage when it is HARD. 

I've been reflecting a bit lately. I'm forty years old. I feel like I'm supposed to have it together by now. Yet, I am facing some of the hardest temptations of my life. I just celebrated my 20th year anniversary with my husband. You would assume that we have all of the bugs worked out by now, right? On cruise control or something like that. Yet, this is the hardest year our marriage has faced.  

I'm just wondering,

What. Is. Going. On. 

How does one walk through life like this? With the heart all mixed up and thoughts so forbidden, threatening to choke all spiritual life out of me. How do you survive this? How does a marriage last? I'm going to a party tonight, a celebration of 50 YEARS. Two people, FIFTY YEARS, together.


Doesn't age come with wisdom? Or is it the wise person that realizes how little they understand and is that the beginning of wisdom?

I know nothing.

How do you resist temptation over and over, and when does it end? Is it a sin to think something? Or does it become a sin only when your thoughts motivate you to actions? Because some of these thoughts running through my head lately make me wonder. I know that God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Never. When I'm walking in victory and when I'm crawling back to the cross for mercy, He's there. He is a witness to every thought, every action. With these thoughts rampaging through my mind, these thoughts that just might be considered sin, I am awkwardly comforted to know he isn't going to abandon me. I would probably leave me, if I could.

Marriage is sometimes just plain hard. 

My heart is stirring with emotions, my thoughts are a constant battle, and I am trying hard to hold on to Jesus. I can't see him through the storm. I can't feel his presence, the temptation is like a raging sea right in front of me, and it wants to pull me in. I am betrayed by my very own heart. I know the right thing to do, yet, I am being pulled hard into this sea of regret. Holding tight to the anchor of my soul, the winds of doubt and fear assail, I put my head down and pray and beg for mercy.

This is faith at work. Grit and determination, sometimes this is the romance of a lasting marriage. This is real life marriage. This is commitment. No back doors to escape when it gets hard.

My friends, celebrating 50 years together, give me hope. They are happy. The best of friends. I have a feeling that when I ask them tonight how they made it this far, it isn't going to be all good times that brought them to solid ground. One choice at a time..... commitment....... and Christ. Their testimony is one of three cords not easily being broken.

God's ways are not our ways. His ways, his purposes are much much higher than ours. And I can rest in this. This not knowing and not understanding, only trusting that he will work all things out. Trusting, committing myself over and over to him and to obeying his word through Christ. 

The two shall be one. What God has joined together, let no man separate. 

Marriage is a gift from God.

God, help me through these days. I am committed to this man. I am committed to you, Lord Jesus. And you are committed to me, my husband and to our marriage. If God is for us, who can be against us, right?

To better days ahead,


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