I used to think marriages that ended in divorce were the result of bad pairings, selfishness, lack of interest or unwillingness to change. Divorce was just godless people having a godless outcome. Because God was my focus, as He was with my spouse, we were immune to divorce. We loved each other, we made all the right choices before we were married, we continued making good choices inside of our marriage. We were going to love each other always, without question, for sure.
But then life got complicated. Kids were challenging. It got real. There weren’t enough resources. Because if there are always enough resources then you are living a very small life, in my opinion. But as time wore on and the lack of sufficient sleep, words, moments, fulfillment bore its fruit of disappointment, and that grew to bitterness, I discovered something new.
All marriages, every one, is destined for divorce. We can only hide our fractures or mitigate our shortfalls for so long. Even with Jesus, and his profound grace, we are still in a broken world, married to broken people. There is a moment, for some marriages, there are many of these moments, when you fully see the disappointment of yourself and your partner. In that place, you can choose to build something. It often means you have burned down everything that came before….because it wasn’t on the most honest of foundations, the barest of places. We didn’t do that on purpose, we just hadn’t met our truest selves at that point. All the plans laid upon aspirations and hopes of what your partner might be or what you could become will crumble.
It was in the place of disappointment, with clear eyes I looked around at our life, at the let down of my partner, at the terminal sin of myself, and it was there we began a new marriage. It was years into many happy adventures, several children thriving, and countless fruits of our relationship. I chose forgiveness over bitterness, present reality over dreams, and to continue a fresh start in our life with my partner that chose me back.
In the ashes of neglect and unkindness, that’s when our marriage really started. If you find yourself in the rubble of disappointment, a marital bait & switch, a stranger in your bed at night, it may just be the invitation for your real marriage to start. It is there I learned anew what hope in Jesus can do.
Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!Romans 5:3-5 TPT
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