"OUR CULTURE HAS BOUGHT INTO TWO HUGE LIES. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." - Rick Warren
I didn't immediately know that I was "standing" for my marriage. Honestly, I'm not even sure what I was doing. I knew that I loved my husband and when I married him I told him that I didn't believe in divorce. I was serious about my commitment. I had grown up in a broken home. Maybe I was fearful that my children would grow up with the same insecurities and hardships that I had faced as a kid. Or perhaps I was simply embarassed that I had failed as a wife. All I knew was that God wouldn't allow me to let go of the life that I had built was this man.
My choice to forgive him was met with a lot of opposition. Friends, family, and pastors warned me that if I let him stay, that I would be condoning his behavior.
I think we are tempted to buy this lie as standers. We fear that if we stand for our marriage, it means that we condone adultery or addictions. Not so. We can stand for our marriage and what is right WITHOUT agreeing with the behavior of our spouse. It's called grace.
You see, I am not more worthy of God's grace than my beloved. My sins are counted the same and without God I live in a hopeless state of depravity. Standing for your marriage is not a license for your beloved to commit adultery or give in to an alcohol addiction. It's not permission to view pornography or break your vow. It's a compassionate extention of the same grace that has covered our own depravity.
It's called love. Real love. The unadulterated kind of love that is exclusive in the Bible. The kind of love that is patient and kind. It's the kind of love that bears all things and endures all things. Not some things. Not most things. ALL things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Love endures ALL things.
This may not be the kind of love that the world wants to give. It's not self-serving or contingent on the love of another. It's not filled with fairytale endings or romantic dinners. We'd like to think that this is God's definition. We want to insert a few words into that verse like- love endures all things, except when he/she...
But God didn't write that. He said...love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is God's kind of love. And it's forever. (v.8)
Do you find this kind of love difficult? We'd love to hear about your experiences.
Are you looking for encouragement as you stand for you marriage despite circumstances? Please join us at Intentionally Standing.