A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.     

-Maurois Andr

 

When we take a new job we get the details down about the job description, company values, pay, vacation, benefits and the like—or the lack of the aforementioned.  We then proceed to shake hands and go to work.  Sadly, oodles of deals are made to be broken or eventually amended.  One day when it’s not going as well as we had hoped, or things change—we part company.  Or at least one party starts to threaten the other, seeing as this might somehow motivate the other.

Sounds like a lot of marriages I have heard about.  

For lack of a better term, I will call them marriage deals.

Too many of us who are married, and others of us like myself who have been—don’t know the first thing about what real love looks like or how it responds when it isn’t appreciated or returned.  Television and Hollywood surely have their own warped ideas about love and the church isn’t much better often times.  Over half of the marriages here in these United States end in court and some estimates say that over seventy-five percent of second marriages ultimately fail—which ought to say something about of all of the first time divorces to begin with.  And if you think the infidelity rate among married couples is any lower than our current divorce rate, I’d say think again, as not all marriages that are victim—are aware of it—at least one side isn’t.   And then there is the much overlooked issue of reverse infidelity that ends up having ravenous effects on a marriage.  Even fewer of us like to talk about that hot potato.  

 I say this as bluntly as I can to wake you up to the stupidity of what you’re doing. Is it possible that there isn’t one levelheaded person among you who can make fair decisions when disagreements and disputes come up? I don’t believe it. And here you are taking each other to court before people who don’t even believe in God! How can they render justice if they don’t believe in the God of justice?

These court cases are an ugly blot on your community. Wouldn’t it be far better to just take it, to let yourselves be wronged and forget it? All you’re doing is providing fuel for more wrong, more injustice, bringing more hurt to the people of your own spiritual family.   (1 Corinthians 6:5-8, The Message Bible) 

When you think about it, marriage isn’t some version of a business deal in which we shake hands on and agree to such and such.  No, marriage is to be a commitment to love someone when they don’t love you very well and even when it seems like they might hate you instead. 

Maybe we ought to think a little bit more about our own approach to marriage—and divorce?  

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