We hear stats all the time on the divorce rate in America, and it paints a pretty bleak picture. While I have some qualms with the accuracy of the stats, it's hard to neglect the fact that most of us know someone who is divorced–our own parents, a friend's parents, relatives, etc.
We find out that amazing couple who appeared to have it all together got a divorce due to infidelity. The husband and wife who recently became empty nesters discovered they have nothing in common anymore and decide to move on. Or maybe you personally have been through the pain of a divorce, trying to figure out where it went wrong.
I find it hard to imagine that most couples on their wedding day ever think it will end in divorce. We don't think it could happen to us and convince ourselves we aren't the people who would do that sort of thing.
Having experienced the impact of divorce via family members, Jordan and I both know the pain it can cause. By no means is this post to shame those who are divorced or point my finger at you. I'm truly sorry that you've gone through that, whether it was your decision or your former spouse's, I know it's not easy. Rather, I want to share how aware I am that I am not above these things ever happening to me or our marriage.
Not for one second have I ever thought that I am so holy or put together that my marriage is guarenteed not to end in a statistic. If you are or have been married, you are just as aware as I am that you see your own sinfulness in a whole new light.
Yet, at the same time, I have never feared that Jordan will one day file for a divorce. We don't ever say the "d" word in reference to our relationship, whether in a joking or threatening manner. Whatever may come, it's just not an option for us.
I know some of you are thinking, "Aww, she's so blissfully naive. I used to think the same thing, honey!" And that's ok. It doesn't bother me. Because I'm not out to prove to the world what an awesome wife I am or how unshakeable my marriage is. I'm out to seek God's approval alone and live my life honoring my commitment to Jesus as my Savior and Jordan as my spouse.
As I reflect on our humble three years of marriage, I quickly see why our marriage won't make it.
Our marriage won't make it because:
I try really hard.
I have it all together.
either of us is perfect.
we go to church.
we're financially well-off,
read lots of books on marriage, or
attend every marriage conference.
Our marriage will make it:
because I made a covenant rather than signed a contract.
if we continue to pray together, keeping Jesus at the center of our personal lives and our marriage.
when we commit to working through the hard times,
are accountable first to God for our sin,
are quick to ask forgiveness and
if we fight–in the sense of confronting one another and fighting for our marriage.
But ultimately, our marriage will make it by the grace of God alone.
I could write a list of 30 things to make your marriage rock, and they'd likely be helpful and practical. But marriage isn't just applying good principles, it's a heart transformation from the inside out because of what Jesus has first done for you in dying on the cross and raising to life, offering you a personal relationship with Himself. Because of God's great love, you can love your spouse, and the other people in your life for that matter.
Marrying Jordan is the second greatest decision I have made in my life. Following Jesus is the first. I look at my life and marriage and feel grateful, humbled by God's goodness in spite of my poor life decisions at a younger age. The Lord is faithful and sovereign.
And I'm confident that by following God first, clinging to Christ alone and remaining faithful to my covenant to love and serve Jordan for as long as we both shall live, our marriage will not be a statistic.