My grandparents were married for almost 60 years. They were of the generation that put value on things, and worked to keep those things around. Things were not thrown away and replaced when they broke. Those things were fixed, and then they continued to be used. The same went with their marriage. When their marriage got rocky they did not cut bait and run. They did not throw it away because it was broken and useless. They fixed the problem and continued forward.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become a victim of disposable thinking. We are always looking for the next new thing, the next upgrade. When things get old, whether they still work or not, we throw them away and get the newest version. How long have you had your phone? Are you already counting the days until your next upgrade?
We throw everything away. We don’t look for ways to fix problems. We turn our backs on problems. We throw problems away rather than looking for the solution. Everything has become disposable. Cars. Houses. Friendships. Marriage! It is unheard of anymore to hear of the kind of marriages that our grandparents had. We have a fight, and rather than try to work it out . . “I am leaving you.” When our grandparents fought . . . and I can assure you that despite the magical multi-decade love story that you have always heard about, your grandparents fought . . . THEY WORKED IT OUT!
Some thoughts for you to consider as we move forward . . .
MARRIAGE IS NOT DISPOSABLE!
MARRIAGE TAKES A LOT OF WORK!
MARRIAGE IS NOT FOR QUITTERS!
Look at the words in the 5th line of the picture above . . .
“for better, for worse“
When you got married did you actually think about the words you were repeating to your soon-to-be-spouse? I’ll bet not. Most people think of marriage, and think of rainbows, family vacations, romantic dinners, smiles, and living happily-ever-after. We don’t ever think about the fact that there will be days where your spouse will piss you off so much that they are lucky to make it to the end of the day without you completely losing your mind. We don’t think about the nights where you both struggle to sleep as far apart from each other as the bed will allow because you are angry and refuse to meet in the middle to solve the problem. You never think about the days when you just KNOW you are right, and your spouse also knows THEY are right, and resentment, anger, and the urge to call a divorce lawyer is so thick in the air that nobody can breathe.
Those days WILL come. Marriage is not all rainbows, glitter, and happy days. It takes work to make a marriage successful. But you have to want to do the work.
But most people don’t want to do the work. They only want the Cinderella fairy tale. Why? Because we have become a disposable society. We don’t think that anything is worth fixing and keeping. We think that once something shows even the most microscopic crack that it is not longer pretty and presentable to others. It’s too much work to try to make it presentable again, to make it pleasing again. It’s not worth the time to repair it when it’s so easy to throw it away and get a new one.
Let me say that again . . . We, as a society, believe that marriage is not worth the time to repair when it’s too easy to throw it away and get a new one.
Take a moment to think about that, then think about the following statements . . .
MARRIAGE IS NOT DISPOSABLE!
“FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE” ARE NOT OPTIONAL!
What does the bible say about marriage . . .
“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 22:22-24, NIV)
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6, NIV)
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:18-19, NIV)
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:6-9, NIV)
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19, NIV)
“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” (Proverbs 12:4, NIV)
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.” (Proverbs 30:18-19, NIV)
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10, NIV)
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the 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 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:23-33, NIV)
“If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” (Deuteronomy 24:5, NIV)
We all want the kind of marriage that our grandparents had. But we don’t want to put the work into that our grandparents put into theirs.
We want the happily-ever=after, but I can guarantee that Cinderella and Prince Charming fought over where they would have dinner.
We all want the kind of love that we see in the movies, but movies are not a reality.
We want the marriage we dream about, and that kind of marriage is possible if you are willing to jump in with both feet, take your partner by the hand, and actually sincerely mean the words, “for better, for worse.”