Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Making Marriage Work
I have been thinking a lot lately about making marriage work, and is it more Godly to stay with a spouse who is not good for you, or get a divorce. In the Bible, God does make one concession for divorce, which is adultery.
In Matthew 19:9 He says,
I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
So fornication, or sex outside of marriage, is the only way that a Christian can rightfully divorce and be free to remarry.
Ok. There are many Christian teachers or preachers who exhort couples to make their marriage work, even if they are married to someone who is cheating on them. They should strive to do what they can to forgive their spouse and make their marriage even stronger.
Would it be "less Godly" to seek a divorce if your husband cheated?
People always talk about how people stayed together during our grandparents time and before them. Marriages lasted then. But, I know that many of those women endured cheating husbands, and they chose to look the other way. An older cousin of mine said, "I don't know what's wrong with these young women today. They don't know how to endure through a marriage. These days when a husband cheats, the wife divorces him. In our day we were strong women who knew how to endure."
My mother's reply was, "Do you call that strong though?"
If those generations of women divorced their husbands for cheating or physical abuse, what would their divorce rate really have been? Many people say that a cheater is a cheater, and will not change. But, sometimes these older women say that their husbands did change. . . at least to their knowledge.
I do know that divorce is a desvastating experience on all that are included, the spouses, children, and extended family. Is it more "Godly" to stay with a cheating spouse for the sake of having an intact family? Will God bless your desire to honor your marriage vows, even though your spouse did not honor his? Will God change that man and make him faithful? Is it worth it?
Former NFL player, Michael Irvin cheated on his wife numerous times throughout their marriage. She knew about his cheating, but stayed with him. After a couple of years, she gave up arguing with him about it, and just tried to be the best wife she could be, and prayed for her husband.
After abot 11 years of marriage, he finally committed to her and stopped cheating on her. That was a couple of years ago that he said this, so I don't know if he has remained faithful. But, 11 years?! Would you have the patience to wait 11 years for your husband to finally stop cheating on you? T.D. Jakes praised her for being such a God-fearing woman, and for her faith. But, should women look to that and use that as their hope that their husband may one day change?
What if it takes 20 years. Is it worth that?
This is already a long post, so I will continue more in a few days. . .