My heart is breaking. A young couple with little children started walking down the road to divorce. Yesterday, they divided both worldly and eternal goods. Cars, furniture–and children. He thinks he is free now. Her heart is broken. He has no concept of the tsunami headed towards him in the form of financial and time obligations and sheer workload of raising children singlehandedly 50 per cent of the time. What happens when she finds out her ex signed the kids up for some activities she doesn’t agree with? How does he feel about paying for a pricey private school he didn’t agree to? And what about the devastation and confusion in those little hearts? “I left my permission slip at Mommy’s house.” “Wait—whose house am I sleeping at tonight?” “If I promise to be good, can we all be one family again?”
If we could help just one family not walk this road! But how?
Take the Log Out of Your Own Eye
Work on your own spiritual maturity. How many times have we heard a marriage would be better if it weren’t for the spouse. We understand it is much easier to see where your spouse needs to improve, but Jesus’ admonition to “first take the log out of your own eye and you will see more clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s (or spouse’s) eye is as powerful and helpful now as it was when He first gave it.
Use 2 Peter 1:5-7 as a guide:
“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”
Do you think the number of divorces would be reduced if couples went out of their way to be good to each other? What if they added to that by making a study of how to be more Christ-like and, based on that knowledge, controlled their fleshly impulses to blurt out unkind words or do unkind actions? What if they chose to go on a spiritual journey with their mate and they helped each other persevere through the pruning process? Perhaps mutual affection and even love would take root again.
Many other passages apply to us as individuals but are bound to improve our relationships in the process. Matthew 6:15 tells us to get rid of bitterness. That would be bitterness you hold against anyone. When you forgive the person who wronged you in the past, watch your relationship to your spouse improve. How about humbling yourself (James 4:10). We promise that will improve your marriage. It may take you a while to perfect your spiritual life. When you’re “done,” we bet your marriage will be better too.
I hate broken hearts, broken children, broken relationships. That’s not the way God designed marriage to be. He designed beauty and wholeness and life. Be vigilant. Don’t let your marriage do a “slow fade.” Work on your own spiritual wellness.