I was going to try and do a reference to the priest from "The Princess Bride" in the title to this post, but I couldn't figure out how to spell the quote to where all of you people would understand me. So if you've seen the movie, go back and read the title like the priest would've said it. Maybe it would've looked something like this: "Mawage ish wot bwings us togedder tooode" Classic movie. Love it.
Anyways, if you don't get it yet, this is going to be a rant er, post about marriage. Apparently some other bloggers must be on the same drift as me because I've already read two other posts from my "favorites" on this same topic just this morning.
Roman and I found out yet another Christian couple is getting a divorce last night. Another one. Another couple that made a vow before God to love each other until death. Another couple with young children. Another couple that is very active in their church. Another CHRISTIAN couple.
(Now, let me do a quick disclaimer: Roman and I are not particularly close to this couple. They're really just an acquaintance. We didn't even know them well enough to develop an opinion on whether they were "rock solid" or not. So perhaps they had Biblical grounds for a divorce. But this isn't exactly posted for them anyways.)
Here's where I'm getting at guys. I read in one of my favorite blogs, Mission Husband, that Christian couples have a higher statistic of divorce than non-Christians. That is a very real, very big problem! We are supposed to be an example to the world in every area of our lives, including our marriages.
The number one reason I hear from others going through a divorce as to why they left their spouse is this one: "I am not happy." And a lot of times that statement gets topped off with something like "I deserve to be happy" or "God wants me to be happy". I am so very tired of that last one...."God wants me to be happy." Can someone please whip out their Bibles and show me a Scripture verse that says "Thou shalt be happy" or "You can do what you want as long as you are happy"? Anyone?? No. You can't. Why? Because it isn't there. Sure, God cares about us. But He cares more about our obedience to Him than our happiness. And at the end of the day, whether or not we are happy really is not important!!
I see a selfish people when I look at America. I see a nation that ruthlessly aborts children because they are not wanted. I see a nation that indulges itself in alcohol, drugs, and terrible foods to make itself feel better. I see a nation that is engulfed in pornography. I see a nation that doesn't really care all that much about the widows or the orphans or the poor. I see a nation that will marry and divorce all it wants to, so long as its happy. I see a nation that gorges itself on what it can buy and how it can make itself look better. And you know what? Most of these things are done based off this one simple lie: "I deserve to be happy."
I deserve to be happy, so I'm going to abort this child because it will interfere with my life. I deserve to be happy, so I am going to get drunk because it's fun. I deserve to be happy, so I'm going to watch this porn or read that nasty book in order to bring pleasure to myself. I deserve to be happy, so I'm not going to spend any time with the poor and needy. I deserve to be happy, so I'm going to divorce my husband because that new man at work is my true "soul mate". I deserve to be happy, so I'm going to get myself into debt so I can buy that new car, that pretty house, and that nice boat. Am I right, or am I right?
And you know what? I expect that out of a sinful, wicked nation. But you know who should be different? US! The church! We are called to a different way of thinking! We are called to rise above this world and deny ourselves and follow Christ. And in my honest opinion, we are doing a terrible job of it.
Church of America, I beg you, wake up. Deny yourself and follow Christ. Quit being so selfish by pursuing what pleases you. Pursue what will please God instead. And if you aren't sure what will please God, let me give you a hint: read the Bible and take on a life of prayer.
Getting back to the marriage thing....unless your spouse has had an affair or your life is in danger, you have no Biblical grounds for a divorce. It's that simple. I'm sorry if that's harsh, but it's the truth.
There's a very popular statement I see floating around on the Internet right now: "The grass isn't greener on the other side, it's greener where you water it." Oh how very true that is. If we could only take that truth and run with it. If we could only understand that marriage really is a lot of hard work, that it requires hard work up until the day we die. And if we leave our spouse for someone else, guess what? It will eventually get just as hard with that other person and we'll probably wind up leaving them too in pursuit of greener pastures. Can you see the vicious cycle?
I know that this is a hard thing to swallow. I know it is not popular. But let's face it: marriage can be stinkin' hard some days. And if we don't fight for our marriages, if we don't decide that we are in this no matter what, then those hard days can turn into a hard week, and that hard week can turn into a hard month, and then that hard month can turn into a hard year, and then before we know it, that "divorce" word starts running around in our minds. And then Satan brings that nice, attractive man or woman to your attention and you start wondering how much easier your life could be if you just left your dead marriage and started fresh.
Two years ago, on June 5th, 2010, at around 3 in the afternoon, I made a vow. I made a vow to my husband in front of over 200 people and in front of God Himself, that I would marry Roman Shaler Casterline. I vowed to stay with him until death. I vowed to stay faithful to him. I vowed to give my heart to him and only him. I vowed to "do life" with him. He has my heart. He shares my dreams. We are building a legacy together that will hopefully be passed onto our (future) children. We are doing our best to make His name famous and to shine a light. I take those vows seriously. Roman takes his vows seriously. Has it been easy? Some days, yes! Some days it is easy to be in love and have all of those romantic feelings. But other days, it is hard. Other days we annoy the ever-loving snot out of each other. We have arguments. We don't see eye to eye all of the time. But at the end of the day, he is my husband and I am his wife and we will make up and go to bed together and wake up married the next day. And we will continue on through the mountains and valleys of this life. Together.
All I'm asking is that we try a little harder to just stay together. Let's get it in our heads that marriage is truly a life-long commitment. Let's take our vows seriously and understand that God does not take it lightly when we break a vow we've made to Him. God will never ever ever want you to get a divorce just so you can "be happy". If you feel like He's telling you that, then you're listening to the wrong voice, because breaking a vow to pursue your selfish desires is sinful, and God never commands us to sin. He wants us to stay married, through the good times and the bad. Because we are His children, and we are called to live a pure and holy life.
And I'm sure there might be someone that reads this and thinks "well you don't know my situation." You know what? You're right, I don't. Which is why I'm encouraging you to dig deep into the Word of God. I encourage to fall on your knees in prayer and truly seek after God's will for your marriage. And definitely seek out some counseling if things really are that bad. But please, please don't just walk away from your marriage. Think back to those days when you were newlywed and smitten, dig your heels in and put up a good fight for your marriage. Because we are the light of the world. And if we can't show the world what true love and commitment looks like, then who will? No one.
Climbing off my box now......
"But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." ~Matthew 5:32