When I look at statistics for Christian marriages lasting in the US, my heart breaks. It's no different than that of secular marriages. That simply shouldn't be the case. Of course those that call themselves Christians and those who live it is another story altogether...
Regardless, Christian marriages shouldn't be ending in divorce at the same rate as those who don't follow Christ. So why is it?
I think we become so focused on ourselves and what is not being done for us that we forget, or stop caring, about what we should be doing. Then when we decide we want to save the marriage we look horizontally instead of vertically. We try to fix things ourselves, try to please our spouse. Instead, we should turn to God, allowing Him to change us from the inside. In turn, it will change the way our spouse sees us, and God can change our spouse as well.
But that takes work, patience, and denial of our own wants. It goes against our human nature. But that's the point! Nothing is about us!
God created marriage and uses it as an example of our relationship with Him. We take it and try to make it about ourselves.
Marriage is hard, most couples at some point think they made a mistake, they married the wrong person. I know I felt that way early on in my marriage. But it doesn't matter anymore, you've already made the commitment.
I'm not saying all this because I have a perfect marriage. I'm saying this because marriage is worth fighting for. My husband and I have had our share of difficulties. Not to mention that he now has a brain injury. He went through an aggressive phase the doctors didn't think he would move past. I was facing living with an abusive spouse. And now, he's still not the same man I married.
I have wanted to walk away more than once, but I can't. No matter how bad things get, I remember the vows that I made to my husband, and more importantly to God. When times got tough, I turned to God. I told Him about my impossible situations. And He helped me get through them.
I am watching friends now go through their struggles and finding it easier to give up. I'll be honest, it is easier to give up. But God doesn't call us to do the easy thing. He calls us to do it His way. It will be harder, but the rewards are so much greater. But you have to be willing to give up your own desires.
I've grown up in a family of divorce. On one side of my family, every single person from my grandparents on down to my cousins have all been divorced at least once. I know what it does to the families, to the kids. It is not what God intended.
I'm not saying this in judgement. And I know there are a FEW exceptions. I'm saying it because it breaks my heart. There is another way, but either people don't see it, or decide that it's too hard. But just like living for Christ in everyday life, the hard times refine us, and eventually bring joy.
When we make marriage about ourselves, we detract from what it was created for...to make us more holy.