Faith · Marriage

Thoughts On Marriage, Divorce and Hope

Thoughts on Marriage, Divorce and Hope

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! 🙂 

21 thoughts on “Thoughts On Marriage, Divorce and Hope

  1. I do love your honesty and your realistic mind set. People do believe they are immune to divorce or infidelity etc and sadly those are the people who you find out years later are divorced or battling an affair.
    My marriage counselor told my ex and I years ago that couples need to affair proof their marriage and that no marriage or relationship is immune to problems or infidelity and it’s our job to create a bubble around our relationship.
    I’m divorced, but so much smarter now and in a very healthy loving relationship. I have learned my lessons from all the pain and heartache and know I am better equipped to be in this relationship and every day I choose us. I know how important it is to do this!
    You are a very smart lady!
    http://www.aveshaempower.com

    Like

  2. Well thought out article.

    “Those are just thoughts, but those thoughts are dangerous … there’s a good chance they will become reality in my mind.”

    Very true, it is our own thoughts that drive and shape our narrative and perception. We can perceive ANYTHING negatively if we choose to.

    Things become more dangerous still when those thoughts are put into action, thats when one is definitely on the ‘slippery slope.’

    Like

  3. Whitney, this is really good. I’m glad the Lord led you to write it and post it. I will be sharing this with my adult children who are both in dating relationships. God bless you and your hubby : )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes marriage is not easy and no marriage is perfect!!! The Bible calls it a tribulation in the flesh…What helped us along the journey of marriage was applying practical bible principles. I’m sure they will benefit someone else’s union as well. At Ephesians 5:28, 29, 33 it shows how husbands and wives are to lovingly interact with each other. I hope you enjoyed reading these scriptures as much as we did. 😊 best wishes!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post!
    I can share my own parents divorced when I was 14 – they both had their issues with one another-

    10 years later they reunited and have been together again for 26 years!

    They learned that the grass isn’t so green out there and I admire their courage to get back together- it was tough facing the critics- but they both are happy now retired people 🙏💛
    And of course for myself and my sisters it is a dream come true🙏💛💛💛

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think the Josh Harris news is more than just a reminder on marriage… its a reminder about how we as Christians should not place our faith in a pastor, a denomination, or a lifestyle. Faith, hope, true love, and holiness come only from He who is holy and He who is Faith, Hope, and Love…. It is also a good warning in this day and age on the need to remember the Enemy is very much on watch to seek and devour…and in all of our churches, man cannot know the heart of even the most “wise” sounding counselor… I pray that stories like Josh’s are not finished…. that he will either repent or come to the true knowledge of God…. ironically, we just had our son read his book… it gave a good point of discussion about what is a good book versus the Good Book!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love that you shared this Whitney! Marriage is not easy and it is a constant choice to love the other person. I’m so guilty of focusing on our differences at times and having the thoughts in my mind of how did we even get together to begin with. NONE of us are perfect….no marriage will ever be perfect and for sure being on my second marriage taught me it doesn’t matter who that person is it is still hard and it still has to be a daily choice to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whitney, I’m glad you posted it. I think many people will relate! It’s so easy to get frustrated about something and let our minds wander to “imaginary” land. Praise God for his forgiveness, courage and strength! You nailed it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so well written, Whitney! The truth that we each must guard our own heart and our own thinking is where we should all land after hearing about people like Josh Harris. Letting our minds go to the “imaginary husband “is indeed a scary place to be! Praise the Lord for victory that comes through the cross!

    Liked by 2 people

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