In Part 1, I gave a bit of the back story that led to my wife and I getting married. I also tried to explain why if it wasn’t for God, we probably wouldn’t be at this point. This is where we pick up.
The last point I made was that some people feel like when it comes to certain marriages, not even God himself can keep it together. Well again, that’s bull. Outside of adultery, abuse, and abandonment, there’s nothing that is allowable by God for divorce. Folks feel like, “if I’m not happy, then that is grounds for divorce”. No, it’s not.
God ain’t the slightest bit concerned about how we feel about something, if we’re out of his will. We make allotments for our emotions. There is a saying that basically states “don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.” Well if this statement is true, why do people do it? I gotta say again, I believe in the God of the Bible, and that includes what He says about marriage. If God is eternal, and He says marriage is too, then men really shouldn’t tear asunder what He blessed. All of this is to frame the context of the feelings my wife and I were having.
A few years ago, we were sitting on the cusp of letting go. Aside from my oldest daughter, we had no kids, no community property, and aside from a tax bill, nothing together. It would’ve been easy to “toss up the deuces” and roll out. Except, it wouldn’t have been. I know I contradicted myself, but here me out.
There was already four years of us “doing life” together. Four years of birthdays, family functions, memories, sleeping together, laughing, taking care of each other when we were sick, and much more. To basically be giving that up, on top of the financial implications, and disobeying God? Nah, it was not worth it. Yes God could still bless us even if we had divorced, but why even go through it? The reasons sound flimsy to some, and I’ll grant them that.
But, the people who aren’t married may feel they’re valid. This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road though. I’ve said once and I’ll say again, being married and being in a monogamous relationship are two very different things. It’s like growing up poor versus growing up wealthy; one can imagine the other, but it has to be experienced to truly understand the difference. My wife and I knew the difference.
Our turning point was the bane of many marriages: communication. We had stopped communicating effectively. Besides small talk, I wasn’t hearing her, and she wasn’t hearing me, so there was much that wasn’t being said. Not having, or choosing to not have anything to say will kill any relationship. It will kill a marriage at its roots. When the roots start to die, everything they feed will as well. Only a skilled gardener can bring a dying plant back to life. First what is killing the plant has to be identified, then the proper measures have to be taken to start the healing process. In our case, God showed us what was killing us, and guided us to a place where the healing could begin.
It wasn’t like we just arbitrarily jumped right back into being a blissful married couple. The same way it took time for our bond to crumble, it took time for us to fill in the cracks and begin to rebuild what was damaged. The more we worked at it, the easier it became. We both had to make adjustments, not just for our marriage to survive, but also as people. I think we had to grow up more and realize that it’s not always about what I wanted or what she wanted, but what was going to be good for the both of us and our bond. When we began to understand that is when the “change we can believe in” really occurred.
Even a little over a year and a half later, we still have challenges in our marriage. However, these issues are nothing like what we used to have to deal with. Somedays we still don’t speak much, but not because we don’t want to; it’s the cares of life. We now have another daughter to look after, and that is a job in itself. If disagreements come up, we try to talk things out, and not let them fester. I know I make it a point to ask my wife how her day went, even when I’m tired, I know she needs that. She knows I need at least 20-30 minutes of time to wind down from my work day before my 2nd shift of husband and daddy starts. It’s these changes that make a world of difference in our marriage, and I’m sure others as well.
Each day has its own issues that need tending to. But I know if home isn’t taken care of, the rest of life can feel out of whack. So I committed myself to doing what is necessary (within reason) in making sure my home life is stable, and comfortable for my wife and my girls. When a man ensures that his wife is secure, in all facets of life: mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially, he really is winning. I may not be there yet, but I think I’m further along than I used to be, and that is what matters.
What say you?