I like to write homemaking posts where I acknowledge how dirty and and cluttered our homes can be – and then inspire you by showing how I’ve cleaned and organized my home. I want to do the same with this post. Marriage is hard and definitely not as easy as organizing a closet, but there is hope for all of us!
When I read on Instagram that Josh Harris and his wife Shannon were choosing to divorce each other, I was really surprised because I haven’t followed their lives closely at all in the last 20 years. I only remember Josh from his books on dating and courtship from the 90’s. I don’t think I’ve picked up those books since then!
There must have been some weird philosophy in those books that I don’t remember. That’s why their marriage didn’t last. That’s what I thought to myself last week, so I flipped through a few pages and began to read those words that were influential in shaping my philosophy on dating and marriage as a teenager.
Here’s what I read – words like this: “He chose to love us. He chose to lay down His life for us. The danger of believing that you “fall in love” is that it also means you can “fall out of love” just as unexpectedly. Aren’t you glad that God’s love for us isn’t as unpredictable?”
There were lots more paragraphs like that one, pointing readers to the cross and to the Savior’s love as the foundation for any relationship. It is a really good book! What happened to Josh and Shannon Harris? Is it going to happen to me?
It certainly could. A good start doesn’t ensure a successful finish! It’s just as possible for that to happen to my marriage – to my life. Nobody is immune to divorce or a heart that is hardened toward God and their spouse.
Is that what happened in their minds and in their hearts? I have no idea. As I said, I haven’t followed their lives and I would never presume to know what went on in their hearts. I do know what goes on in my heart, and that’s why I know it’s just as possible for my marriage to end up in divorce.
No marriage is divorce proof. No heart is exempt from believing the lie that you’d be better off on your own, with a fresh start or a new partner.
If you’ve been tempted to go down that path, whether in your thoughts or in reality – you’re not alone. I don’t presume to have any sort of marriage advice or the ability to speak with authority on the secret to a lasting marriage.
I do know that in the 8 1/2 years I’ve been married, I’ve been tempted to let my mind ponder the possibility that we weren’t meant for each other. I’ve considered that we might never be truly happy together, only enjoying times of happiness based around circumstances. I’ve thought about the possibility that we married the wrong person, leading me to wonder what my “perfect” match would be like and how much better life would be with that imaginary husband.
Those are just thoughts, but those thoughts are dangerous. If I let those thoughts hang out in my heart, there’s a good chance they will become reality in my mind. That’s why it’s so important for me to make good choices, and most of all to fill my heart with the truth of Scripture. Here’s the one I love to quote when I’m tempted to go down that “this isn’t going to work out for me” thought trail:
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
Because I’m a Christian, the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside me. That resurrection power gives life to my marriage! This truth encourages me that there’s nothing we can’t overcome. Jesus is HOPE!
Whether you had the perfect start to your marriage with all the wise counseling, good examples and right choices or whether your marriage started out like a country song – two things are for sure:
- You will experience difficult seasons and even be tempted to bail
- You can overcome those seasons through the power of the gospel
Here’s my challenge to you – let the truth of those two realities sink into your heart. I pray it will give you HOPE!
I’ll be honest – I’ve been working on this post for two weeks and really struggled with whether or not I should post it. I am praying that it will encourage you in your marriage!
READ MORE: 14 Days To A Hopeful Marriage
If you’re looking for the High Five For Friday Linkup, it’s here! 🙂