Wednesday, March 2, 2016

breaking the vows

Read this aloud with me:
I love myself.

I love making time for myself, spoiling myself, catering to myself, putting myself first.

I love making myself feel good and look good. I love keeping myself comfortable and safe and happy.

I love myself, and because I love myself marriage is hard and divorce is appealing.

Marriage is hard because it's not about me.
Divorce is appealing because it's all about me.

And when I'm vulnerable, if I'm not mindful, I would trade my spouse for myself.

I am capable of ultimate self-deception1.
A friend once said that divorce is generally caused by selfishness. She put it kindly. If you ask me, divorce is almost always selfishness at its finest2.
Divorce is almost always selfishness at its finest. [tweet]

A selfishness that says marriage is about me.

A selfishness that says I care about myself more than you.

A selfishness that says I want what's best for me.

A selfishness that says I'm not happy with you.

A selfishness that says I don't care about the promise I made with these rings.

A selfishness that says I would rather be comfortable than made more like Jesus.

Selfishness at its finest.

Marriage is hard. I've had two natural births, and marriage is still the hardest thing I've ever done. Marriage is two becoming one--which means yes, you are losing yourself. You are fading away. You are becoming less--so that two might become one.
You are becoming less--so that two might become one. [tweet]

We get caught up in the romantic appeal of two-becoming-one yet refuse to let two become one. Refuse to put me behind. Refuse to put us first. Refuse to replace me with us.

Two becoming one is painful. It takes work, commitment, and sacrifice. Two becoming one takes a lifetime, and half of the married people in America won't give it the time it takes3.

Over the course of years, pain, miscommunication, silent treatments, arguments, and belittling pile up and we forget that we once exchanged the sweetest vows with the man of our dreams, with no doubt we would love him forever.

In our darkest moments, the thief sneaks into our hearts and after stealing our joy, sets out to steal our marriages. And half of us let him.

Your marriage is more than just a relationship.
It's more than just a promise.
Marriage isn't about making your spouse happy.
It isn't about keeping you happy, either.
Marriage is about making God known.

   steadfast endurance,
   ridiculous patience,
   long suffering,
   unparalleled grace,
   humbling mercy and
   crazy love.
Marriage is about making God known. [tweet]

...to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you.

in this together,

1 Glenn Myers, Ph.D., Professor of Church History and Theological Studies, Crown College
2 The only condition, in my opinion, under which divorce should be an option is one in which emotional or physical abuse is present. When life itself is in jeopardy, then I believe we are permitted to consider divorce as an option.
3 32 Shocking Divorce Statistics, McKinley Irvin Family Law