Sunday, April 29, 2012

Marriage is a verb not a noun

I have heard of two separate couples recently that seem to be teetering on the edge of divorce.  For one of them it will be her second.  It has lead me to really ponder what has changed with the nation.  When I was growing up all of my friends had two parents.  Even now, the majority of my childhood friends' parents are still together.  What is so different with their vows than with the current vows?
From my perspective the world has taken a drastic shift in the last few years towards instant gratification and self centered-ness.  The news is full of people outraged about how their needs aren't being met, even if it is detrimental to the rest of the world.  The media promotes "buy it now" and "be the first to have it".  With a touch of a button we can have a movie instantly on our tv.  We can watch any show we want at any time.  24 hour stores mean we don't have to plan ahead for anything, we can just run out whenever to get what we need.
Has this effected marriage too?  I know there are times when I get caught up in what I need and lose sight of my commitment to serve my family.  Times I would rather play Slingo than have a conversation with my husband or play with my kids.  Horrible truth but a truth nonetheless.  Have people given up on putting others first or on delaying what they need or want for the good of the "big picture"?  With all the sexual material on TV are people so sure the grass is greener on the other side?
I am not suggesting that people stay in a bad marriage.  If there is abuse or chronic infidelity or incessant fighting then yes it is probably better for the parties involved to be separate.  But what if the fighting is just a bunch of petty nonsense?  What if it is just one of those rough patches and some hard work and spouse-centeredness would get you through it?  Heaven knows we have had some ugly patches.  There were some nights where I thought about it.  But as I prayed images of us dating and in the early years of our marriage came into my head.  I needed to make some changes too.  And things got better.
I don't know the whole story of my friends at this crux.  Only they know their whole history.  Only they know their hearts and their side of the story.  I just pray that they look at the other side of the story and look at themselves through their spouse's eyes before they make that final decision.  Marriage is not for the weak...I pray that they are strong.

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