My wife and I have been married for 17 years. In the last couple of years, we have finally started to figure out what is important. Figuring out what is important is an important key to being married. I will get to that later. I see lots of statistics about marriage when it comes to divorce. As of 2013 the divorce rate in the U.S. is up to 50%. Divorce in the United States has even been broken down by the state you live in. So I guess if you want to have a successful marriage than move to a state where the divorce rate is low because obviously that is going to give you the best chance of staying together with your spouse. (sense my sarcasm in that last statement) The stats by state stats simply do not hold water because it is based on population. Do the math and you will find that the math doesn't quite add up. So 50% of American couples have marriage figured out and 50% don't. To be fair, I am sure there are some variables in there that would break down the 50% even further. So lets say for all intense purposes that the number is 40%. I am positive that in some cases irreconcilable differences actually is the truth rather than an easy
Not working at a marriage and wanting it easy has become acceptable. In other words being lazy is okay when it comes to marriage worldly speaking of course. When the marriage is no longer easy, the worldly acceptable thing to do is walk away. Hardly anyone any more wants to put in the work a marriage takes. So hence the divorce rate we see today. People who can't commit to putting the work in for a marriage have no business getting married. Marriage is not for the weak of heart, the weak of mind, or the lazy minded people. Marriage is not for the selfish. Two selfish people should never get married because it is a disaster in the making. One selfish and one giving shouldn't get married either. Both are a time bomb in the making and will explode, implode, or vaporize the marriage. If you can't serve each other in a marriage, do us all a favor and stay single. Don't attempt to get married until you figure out what the words serve and selfless mean.
The ripple affect of divorce is ever lasting and far reaching especially if children are involved. There is a lot of evidence to that last statement. It is not hard to find. Go visit the local schools or really get to know your kids friends. You can see the "divorce affect" first hand. It is pretty wide spread these days. With good counseling kids can over come divorce and some day have a successful marriage. But keep in mind, kids mirror what they see in the home. Again I know from experience. So if your marriage is on the rocks, please don't create another human thinking it will bring your marriage back into good standing. If anything you just made it more complicated. Unless you deal with the issues at hand, I promise adding a child to the mix isn't going to stop your marriage from imploding. If anything that child out of no fault of its own will add to and complicate the issues at hand even more.
Recently Facebook turned 10 years old. A look back was a video of Facebook that reflected your most like posts and pictures since joining the site. Our most like post was when my wife requested prayer for a week she had to face. That week was our court date. The decision to divorce me was at hand. My wife desperately wanted to be in the center of Gods will. Well... we know that outcome. God had other plans for our marriage and all he wanted for us was to allow him to be the center of our lives and marriage. God came in and cleaned out the garbage and restored us to better than new. I think I can accurately guess and say that if God were the center of more marriages, than just maybe that 40% would be a lot lower. If couples would just let God have control rather than wrestling each other for it, than marriages would be closer to what God intended a marriage to be.
Let me be clear, I am in no way perfect or a perfect husband. I fail often at being the husband I should be. But the beauty of this, is my wife loves me anyways with the love of Christ. I am married to one of the most giving women. Admittedly my wife sets the bar high and I need to do a better job at reaching it. I am no marriage expert. I have seen many marriages crumble into ruins never to be rebuilt again. I have been there myself. God restored our ruins. Rome wasn't built in a day and our marriage wasn't rebuilt in a day either. It takes work, sacrifice, commitment and allowing God to do what he wants to do. It wasn't like we turned it over to God and things changed in an instant. Trust me it didn't. God took us on a journey of which we are still on. Through that journey we have learned to trust God more. We have learned a lot of things on this journey and I never want it to stop. Instead of going at each others throats when things are tough, we go to God and let him take care of it. Marriage is meant to be a wonderful life long commitment filled with many benefits. Put in the work because the reward is amazing!!
Lost in what to do about your troubled marriage? Here are some suggestions that I will leave you with.
Get on your knees and pray. Ask for Gods healing touch and guidance. Prayer is an amazing tool that is powerful and effective.
Ask God to help you see what you need to change in your own life. God revealed to my wife and I changes that he needed us to make before our marriage was successful.
PRAY PRAY PRAY for your spouse. In the first two weeks after my wife and I separated, I was not allowed to see her or the kids. I prayed often that God would speak to my wife in a way only she could hear him. I prayed that he would work in me continually. I prayed against any interference that would stop God from doing what he needed to do. I prayed that God would put people in her path so she would know that I let God have control of my life and that I changed. I prayed that God would put people in my path to help me in my journey and keep me accountable to God, my wife and myself. I was a mess. Trust me.. God answered prayer because people where praying for me, my wife had been praying for me, and I had been praying for her.
Get your nose in the word of God. There are clear guidelines on how to love your spouse, how to treat your spouse, and how to let God be the center of your life and marriage.
Find a good christian counselor. My wife and I are very blessed with a Christian counselor that helped us make huge strides in our marriage. In fact we still see her separately and together from time to time.
Take a look around you and find a couple who has been married successfully for a long time. Ask them to be your mentor or just ask them for some advice. They are a wealth of information for younger married couples to draw from.
Find other couples with similar interest that you and your spouse can relate with. I promise you are not the only ones experiencing the same challenges.
I've said it before and I will say it again. Pray together and have devotions. Nothing unites a couple like spending time with God together. Something that we are not always perfect at. But it is important to make it a priority.
Find a good church where you can serve and worship God together.
MarriageInc.org is a great resource for married couples to use for finding a counselor among other resources.