I believe with all my heart that there is an attack upon marriage today. People come together, in holy matrimony, and are ending up in a holy hell. I see it in perfect strangers — and I hear about it from friends.
Naturally, my heart hurts for the stranger I witness in a store or park whose marriage is “oh so publicly” falling apart. And if it is possible, my heart aches all the more for my dear friends who are struggling in their marriage as well. Marriage is meant to be amazing and with the right tools and support — redemption from the hard stuff a marriage faces is supposed to bring about positive life change. Yet for many, it is not. For many, their marriage is struggling and even ending.
My marriage is far from perfect, because I am far from perfect. My wife is truly amazing, for she is compassionate, merciful, faithful, fiercely loyal and tremendously loving. When communication breaks down in our marriage and we experience a conflict, she is always quick to show me grace and give me space to process what is happening.
We have always worked at not buying into the marriage lies that many today are buying into. Before our marriage even started, we made a commitment to each other that in our marriage, we will give up our right to be right — and that we are committed to be redemptive, rather than “be right.” Not buying into the marriage lies takes focus and commitment, consistently, and that’s what makes it so hard.
For those in marriages that are struggling, if you need help, tell someone. Talk to someone, now. Don’t go to a toxic person. Let them know the lies you are buying into and stop going to “people and sources” you know are just going to agree with you, and fuel the lies you’ve bought into. It’s not working, so stop it. Don’t try to fix this on your own. You need Jesus. Apart from Him, there is no hope.
God never intended your marriage to be a place of pain or isolation. And I don’t want to, for a second, ignore those in a marriage in which there is so much abuse that one sees no way out other than leaving. That situation needs help. You need to be safe. You deserve to be loved and secure.
What I am talking about, or speaking to rather, is marriages in which people are wounded and hurt and have bought into a variety of marriage lies. God never intended your marriage to be a place like this, and I hope you understand that God has no plan to leave it that way — so why should you?
Fight for your marriage, my friends. Seek redemption over your rightness. Seek healing over pain. Stop buying into the marriage lies and start living out each day — and perhaps moment by moment — the truth of what love really is supposed to be.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Nick Emery is the pastor of Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church.