In the past years that Kerry and I have done marriage counseling, there is usually one common thread that we have encountered; it’s the lies that the individuals try to tell themselves so as to justify their dissatisfaction in their marriage. Thus building new lies to justify a divorce. The sad part is, they begin to completely believe these lies.
Currently in America, nearly 55% of all couples who make a vow to love each other “til death do us part” end up calling it quits, so some people believe that the success or failure of their marriage is just a “coin toss” left to chance and completely out of their hands. Kerry and I firmly believe that the basic steps to success in marriage are within your grasp; it’s based on your choice and action…not random chance. It begins by understanding and avoiding some of the strongest reasons why marriages fail. Or better yet, why we allow marriages to fail.
As I stated before, most divorces begin by believing a lie. Here are some of the most common lies that lead to divorce:
1. My spouse doesn’t make me happy anymore.
It may be true that you’re unhappy, but it’s a lie to think that your spouse has the power or the responsibility to make you happy. Putting the pressure on your spouse to create your happiness puts an unrealistic burden on both of you and puts more value on your unstable feelings than on your foundational commitment. You need to first and foremost seek Holiness in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Then and only then can the overflow of His love produce happiness.
2. It would be easier to start over with someone new than to try and fix our relationship.
When you’ve been through lots of difficulties and frustrations in your marriage, it may seem easier to find the Exit Door and imagine starting over with somebody new, but the truth is that you’ll be taking all the unresolved pain and selfishness you hold with you into a new relationship, so you’re going to have to deal with it either way. You’re better off fixing what you’ve got than throwing it away. Seek Godly counsel and focus on what God expects from you as a spouse. As Christians, we have the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to renew and recharge any marriage, we just must choose to submit to that power.
3. The kids will be fine.
If you have children of any age, they’ll be negatively impacted in greater ways than you can imagine. You are displaying to each of them that a commitment made first before God and second to your family, is disposable. The divorce of a child’s parents (even if those children are nearly grown or adults themselves) almost always has emotionally devastating consequences. To believe otherwise is to believe one of the most dangerous lies about divorce.
4. We’ll never be able to make it work.
I’m not saying it will be easy, but Kerry and I have seen many couples come back from terrible places of loneliness and betrayal to create amazing marriages that are centered on God. Couples who make it aren’t the ones who never have a reason to get divorced, they’re the ones who decide that their commitment to one another is always more important than their differences and flaws. Keep fighting for each other and don’t give up! Your marriage is always worth the effort. When you choose to fight for your marriage, God will bless that decision, maybe not right away, but in the generations to come.
We don’t have all the answers; however, we rely on God’s word and His Spirit to daily guide us in our marriage. We decided a long time ago that we would never have an EXIT DOOR and we choose to love each other every day and grow closer by His hand.
It’s a choice…either believe the lies and focus on yourself or believe the One who originally ordained your marriage.
Again, it’s your choice.