You would do something to prevent this. No one would be OK with those odds. Yet these are the current numbers for marriages ending in divorce. We have to look at relationships differently, and go beyond our culture’s way of doing things, to buck the trend.
Over the next few weeks, we’re talking about 5 commitments that we can make to upgrade, strengthen and protect relationships, here they are:
NEVER GIVE UP
Our culture lifts up romantic love as the pinnacle of happiness… and there is a lot of joy there. They say, Find the one! Meet the one! You won’t be fulfilled in life until you meet the one. And this is true. But not in the way they mean it. When it comes to marriage:
GOD IS YOUR ONE AND YOUR SPOUSE IS YOUR TWO
Matt 22:37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment
When it comes to making another person “the One”, there are two problems.
First, we make terrible gods. If we put a person as the One in our lives, we’re setting them up to fail… and we’re setting ourselves up to resent them when they fall short. Don’t ask your spouse, or friend, or coach to do something they aren’t capable of doing!
The 2nd problem is that when our idols fail, we hate them. And you know the drill – a guy dating a great girl says, "She's so organized and she's so driven and she's such a, I love the way she's so passionate about life!" And then they're married for a while and this becomes, "She's a control freak, she wants everything her way, she drives me crazy, she nags, nags, nags!"
Or from the girl’s point of view, the sense of "Well, oh, he's so laid back and he comforts me and he's just so easy going!" turns quickly into "He's a bump on a log, he doesn't do anything, he's not a leader, he just sits there watching the TV all day long!”
Psalm 10:4, 6 In his pride the wicked does not seek (HIM); in all his thoughts there is no room for God… He says to himself, "Nothing will shake me; I'll always be happy and never have trouble”
There are lots of things we can do differently, but let’s start with one thing that is a keystone habit, that will open doors to lots of goodness.
It’s hard to pray with someone you’re mad at. Because when you see them through His eyes, it changes how you think about them. It’s hard to want to divorce someone you’re praying with. It’s more difficult to have an affair when you are seeking God together!
Start small, but do your best to pray for your most important relationships every day. With spouses, send a quick text or an email. Pray for needs – pray for activity – pray for decisions. Outside of marriage, cover your friends with prayer. Pray for your boss. Pray for your teachers. Pray for The Surge. Make a list… find something that works for you and don’t worry about what it is “supposed” to look like or sound like.
And it goes even bigger. In the light of the recent shootings and tragedies around the country, let’s remind each other of what Scripture has to say, about the power of prayer in national life:
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.