Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Marriage on "The Rock"

Big news from the entertainment world, America. Are you sitting down? Ready? 

Another celebrity marriage has failed. 

Yep, Kim Kardashian's marriage has failed after 72 days. Honestly, I have never watched her show or anything associated with her other than the commercials that sneak in between whatever program I am watching. But the "news" of her divorce is all over the media, so it's hard to miss it. Which started me thinking... 

I am not going to judge her and get all fire and brimstone... Because my mom always told me not to play with matches and I am not even sure what "brimstone" involves. But the fact that I was completely not surprised by the failed marriage actually took me by surprise. It saddened me. What has happened to us that we are no longer SHOCKED about marriages that fail? 

In 16 days from this writing, I will turn 26 years old. I can name off the top of my head at least five couples around my age-ish (many younger) that are already married... and divorced. If I actually thought about it, I bet I could name so many folks that have gotten divorced that I would run out of fingers and toes.  Every time I see a friend's status on Facebook switch from "Married" to "Single" or hear about a pending divorce, I get knots in my stomach. I have literally sat WEEPING over Facebook pages looking at the broken hearts of those getting divorced. 

I wish we were still at a place where people splitting up within marriage WAS big news... but sadly, it's not. A lot of folks get married for the wrong reasons. They are physically attracted to each other, get along with each other, are compatible, etc... These are all important to be INCLUDED, but cannot be the sole reason for walking down the aisle. Because life happens and things change. If the marriage isn't based on something stronger and deeper, they too might be another "status changing" victim. 

One of the main reasons I hear of why people get divorced is because the other person doesn't "make them happy anymore." Guess what? They aren't supposed to make you happy. Sure, it would be great if you enjoy marriage (and you will if it is based on a solid foundation) but if we were happy all the time with no changes, challenges and struggles... then that would be HEAVEN. And we aren't there yet. Life sucks sometimes... and divorce isn't the answer. 

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife."

That being said, let's take a look at the "traditional" wedding vows: 

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Note the bolded words. These "traditional" vows mean what they say... Not how people sometimes "modify" them in their head: 

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold for a little while, for the good times and rarely the challenging times, as long as we always have enough cash, whenever we feel health and morale is good, to occasionally love but reserve the right to ignore you if needed from this day forward until I get bored, unhappy or something better comes along.

Big difference huh? I would like to think you are shocked by what I wrote... but I believe the second set  of vows are heartbreakingly true for so many couples in this world. Marriage is a wonderful, sacred and blessed experience given to us by God but yet we change it to make it a potential source of pain. 

There are a few very rare and potential biblical exceptions for divorce,  such as adultery (ish), abuse, and being "yoked" (together) with an unbeliever.  This topic gets WAY sticky and would require at least another blog post (or twelve) to cover. Know that I'm not condemning those who have divorced. Not at all. God still loves ALL of us, unconditionally, no matter what. But consider what marriage truly means... Jesus doesn't divorce us from his love whenever we mess up or make him "unhappy." 

I want to encourage those who ARE married to evaluate where your marriage is built. Is it built on Christ, the solid rock? Or some other characteristic that is like sinking sand? It's not too late to get on the rock. For those of you single folks, understand the gravity and awesomeness of marriage, so that if you are called to be married, your eyes, ears and heart will be open and ready to build it on The Rock. 

Realigning the sanctity of marriage (especially in this country) seems like a tall order. It isn't going to happen tomorrow... but remember that a quick bailout in the form of divorce isn't the best immediate solution. Instead of running away from a marriage on the rocks... pray and seek to built it as a Marriage on THE ROCK. 

A "ROCK-y" marriage is a good thing, 

PS-- Please, please let me know if I can help you in any way-- via prayer, marriage resources etc... I'm not a pro by any means, but I want your marriage to succeed... not simply become a statistic! Let's celebrate our Marriages on THE ROCK! 

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