He/she walked out and here you sit in the ashes of a brokenness that words can not even describe. Advice is cheap and talk is worse. All you want to do is drown out the noise. But it's impossible. Fears, unknowns, and what-ifs taunt as if they were playground bullies. The mountain of circumstances is so high you can't even see the peak. And every moment feels alone. Oh, but friend, you are not alone. So many have walked this path and your God, HE has already gone before you.
So, what do you do with the brokenness? Do you walk away? Move on? Find a new love?
May I challenge you to fight for your marriage because...
1. Divorce and remarriage perverts the gospel.
Divorce and remarriage is a perversion of the picture of the relationship between Jesus and His bride, whom he died for and would never, ever, ever divorce. ~Voddie Bauchman
I love these words uttered by Voddie. I mean, honestly, if we refuse to fight for our beloved, why would we expect Christ to fight for us? I would urge you to listen to the Permanence of Marriage sermon by Voddie. He answers all of the tough questions regarding divorce and remarriage and what the Bible says about it all. I pray that you will be challenged, encouraged and equipped for this battle.
2. Love is how we fulfill the law.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
Don't think for a second that I read this verse and get warm fuzzies. It's been far too long for that. Far too many tears and far too many hateful words spat. But, Jesus walked this earth for one purpose only: to fulfill the law and free us from the condemnation of our sinful flesh. Once that law was fulfilled, a new law was given. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love others like yourself. (Rom. 13:8-10)
So the ONLY thing we are asked to do in exchange for the radical sacrifice of our Lord is to love our spouse the way we love ourselves...the way God loves us. When I first started walking this path, the thought that often ran through my mind was- "if I was drowning a pit of sin, would I hope that my beloved would just walk away?" We always push people away when the hurt is deep and the blinders are on. Deep down,though, it's the last thing we want. So are you really going to stand there shaking your head and watch your spouse jump off a cliff into an eternal rebellion away from God...or will you pray for his/her salvation and restoration?
3. You made a covenant, not a contract.
Covenant love is a never-stopping, never-giving up, unbreaking, always-and-forever love. ~ Jesus Storybook Bible
When you stood before the altar, even if you didn't know it, you made a covenant. A promise before God, to another person. Most people confuse this covenant with a contract. A contract is about me negotiating what will benefit me. It's an agreement that I make with nothing in mind outside of myself. For example, the purchase of a house. We go in and write a contract that benefits ourselves. If there was no benefit to ourself, we wouldn't buy the house. And if the selling party does not hold up their end of the bargain, the deal is off.
But a covenant is about the giving yourself to someone else. It's the difference between selfishness and servanthood. It is the promise you made in your wedding vows. You didn't say, I will love you as long as you take the trash out everyday. Or unless you become addicted to porn. The promise was...until DEATH do us part. It was a covenant.
The question is simple, which one has God called us to? Servanthood or selfishness?
4. This has never once been about you.
The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. ~Westminster Shorter Catechism
No, it's not fair. The injustice is heinous. Trust me when I say that I know. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to march down to the court house and demand my rights. How quickly God reminds me, "what rights?" I mean really, what has God promised in His word regarding my rights? Persecution? Suffering for His name? I still can't find the promise that I deserve to be happy. Oh, I have looked. I bet you have, too. It's not there.
But there are amazing and fulfilling promises there...if we can just wrap our minds around our purpose. This purpose ---> That we were created to glorify God. That's it. We weren't created to live a picture perfect life without a single tear. We weren't created for happiness, success, a big house, or good kids. It's the hardest part of Christianity to swallow, but the truth is... God DOES sometimes allow hard things in our lives so that His glory can be reveled. We have to trust Him with this. Are you willing to REALLY serve God or will you hang onto the notion that it's all about you?
5. Disobedience is never blessed by God
Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. Proverbs 11:21
Daily I fight the urge to give up. The pain is excruciating and it's easy to convince myself that if I "move on" everything will go away. This is a huge lie, friend. Just yesterday I got an email from someone who had given up. It had been years and she was "in love" with someone else. Her husband, ya know the one who was engaged to another woman and swore he would never come back? He called and wants to come home. Why? Because God never lets go of His children. He will not bless sin and rebellion. He continues to convict...forever. Even if you stop praying. (But PLEASE don't.) One day your beloved will realize that he/she was wrong.
We often look at the story of David and Bathsheba and think that they were blessed. I mean, David killed her hubby and they married happily ever after, right? Ha. Not so much. Go back and read 2 Samuel again. There was no fairytale ending for this sin. The baby died. (12:19) David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister (David’s daughter) Tamar. (13:14) Absalom, killed Amnon for raping his sister (13:32) and then Absalom started a civil war to overthrow David and take over the kingdom. Absalom died in the battle. (18:15) Sound like a fairytale ending? David's life hardly ends with he and Bathsheba riding off in the sunset, in fact He later takes yet another wife who ends up hating him. He might have been a man after God's own heart, but he never once got it right with marriage.
My point is this, friend, you do not need to fear the success of your beloved's adulterous relationship. It will self-destruct in due time. God will see to that. And even if you don't believe that, have you ever looked at the statistics for remarriage? They are dismal. The statistics for remarriage that starts in adultery? Even worse. They have no chance.
Ready to fight? Good. Come back here next Tuesday as we walk together through why you should stand for your marriage, what it means to stand, how to stand and much more. You will want to subscribe via email, so you don't miss a single post in the series!
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