Thursday, March 05, 2009


The break-up of marriages fascinates me. Does that sound morbid? Several years ago a few of the couples we knew divorced. Now we seem to be seeing the cycle repeat itself. It's not in the dishing the dirt sense this fascinates me, but in the sense that I need to know in general; what goes wrong? Our history precludes me from any form of arrogance regarding my marriage. I don't think anybody is bullet-proof. Actually everybody believes they are going to last forever at some point. So I continually ask, where do we step over the line?

You could read books and articles and watch talk shows around the clock and hear a million theories...communication, trust, sex, finances, expectations, boredom, etc. There are the couples who seem to be falling apart for the entire 60 years they remain married. The ones who are open about their frustration and you see them struggling between staying together and walking away. The ones who look like the couple you wish you were; until you hear that one of them moved out.

There are couples who seem to bicker and tease too much but they can because they know there is a solid foundation underneath it. Other ones are affectionate and sweet but only in public. Some never hold hands and some need to get a room. Some people are ugly (you know you've thought about it!) and happily married and others are beautiful and live in a loveless home. Some couples have everything in common and other couples have nothing in common. What is the secret?

I ask out of my own concern that Dean & I recognize the state of things while there is still time to fix what might be broken. And usually; something is broken. It's just a matter of how large or small the broken thing is.

You don't have to be married to chime in. Everybody has seen great marriage and those that don't make it and you have all asked the questions I'm asking.

Reading Good Housekeeping I am advised to have a scheduled date night, fill a jar with advice for the Mr. to keep me happy, learn a new hobby together, tell each other one positive and one negative thing about the other one, buy pretty lingerie (do my sock monkey shorts count?), make a meal that we eat with our hands, thank him for sex and watch how much other women are drawn to him. All in one issue of the magazine.

Maybe it's because we made such a royal mess of things; Dean & I are very purposeful in our relationship. But I think it's worth talking about in general. Marriages fall apart for one reason at the end of it all; satan attacks us at the core of our being in the attempt to destroy us and all that we touch. How do you beat him?


Mike Edwards said...

For Sherry and I, the grace of a marriage that has remained in tact, despite many hardships and sins, comes from knowing our sin, dealing with that sin by the gospel and repentence, and a renewing of our minds that sees Jesus as loving his bride regardless of how horrible she has treated him.

I think to the degree we see ourselves in desperate need of the grace of God, is the degree to which we'll fight for our spouses and the relationship that mysteriously exposes Christ's love for the church.

Margie said...

well, since I'm not married, you'd think I'd be out on this one... but let me tell you, I've seen it all and somehow I still want to be married! Which somedays even shocks me.

The one thing that I notice, is that it seems that in the best of marriages, each one cares for the other more than they care for themselves, and they are purposeful in what they do (from sex to packing lunches and everything in between). And they don't take each other for granted.

but that's just what I've seen.

Terry said...

Dear Sara.
I used to think that marriage was a 50 50 agreement but then somebody told me that no, it is a 100 per cent 100 per cent for each person to put into it.
I don't really know why the Lord would ever bless me with Bernie.
We have no children but the Lord has blessed us with many nieces and nephews.
Bernie was an orphan and never knew his parents but when he was about 35, the Lord found his two brothers, and they met for the first time.
Our marriage has had a few rocky spots but love has always endured!
Forgiveness and love!
Love Terry

Trish said...

I am blessed to be married for almost 40 years and in our marriage the word Divorce was never an option. We committed our lives before the is til death do we part. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate peacemaker.

Louise said...

My Fred & I have had some rough times .. we weren't Christians when we got married and even being a Christian is no guarantee that everything comes up roses. We've dealt with our share of thorns and thistles and we've both thought of walking away. What has held us together these 42 years? I'm not really sure, other than once the fuss is over, we determine all over again to stay the course and walk it together.

Mrs. Mac said...

Give and take without being a doormat. Don't go to bed angry. Put the other person first (just behind Jesus ;) Make a fuss over making a sack lunch for your guy. Write love notes on the inside of the wax paper sandwich wrap. Let the husband be the head of the family (that's a hard one for me ;), learn to be independent and dependent on/from each other. Flowers speak volumes (wild ones, not fussy perfect looking ones), sit through a dude movie and vise-a-versa a chick flick (dudes), keep a clean house, be a good mother or father. Embrace your family and be united to keep it together ... not giving the devil a chance to get a foothold in your home. Honor your parents. Make functional the norm not disfunctional. Just say no to divorce (unless there is abuse/abandonment.) Work out the small stuff so it doesn't become the big stuff. Hug a lot.

mags4him said...

I watched Ed Young about 2 months ago and he was sharing that marriage can be great if you are willing to work.
Col 3:23 work with all your heart like your working for the Lord
Work is Worship
Rom 12:1
My marriage should be a spiritual act of worship and should reflect the nature and character of God.
I thought to myself... I never really thought of my marriage as an act of worship, but see here how it truly should be.
This really opened my eyes to some great possibilities to continue on with my man with great expectations as to what God will do with a heart that is willing to consider her marriage as an act of worship. whew... good news.

Saija said...

leo and i were just talking about our almost 35 year marriage ... we've had some rough patches (chronic pain can do that - and also that old sin nature!) ... yet we hung on through them ... and one of the things that i appreciate now (it wasn't always been this way!) is the kindness we show to each other (when no one else is around!) ... we say thank you ... please ... kiss each other when leaving ... hug each other in the morning ... stuff like that ... it's those little things that make a difference ... and the glue - is JESUS - we have devotions together every morning, and i read a study book (right now it's john piper's "don't waste your life" ...) outloud to leo ...

blessings on you ... good post!

Jada's Gigi said...

I've been married a long time and we've seen some rough days..I never thought we would divorce..just not "be" married any more but live in the same know? But somehow, by God's grace we are still standing and loving each other..truly married. I think some of it has to do with refusing to walk away (thankfully we never had the urge at the same time)I think most of it has to do with simply paying attention...not taking the other for granted...being aware that your marriage is precious and valuable and worth your energy and time. There are NO guarantees..we are all subject to the possibility of failure...and maybe that is something, if realized, that helps to save us.