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A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. ECCLESIASTES 4:12
Modern society is still suffering from the sickness of the “Me Generation,” which has contaminated the covenant of marriage. The selfish Me-Gen person says in effect, “When marriage serves my purpose, I’m on board. But when it ceases to make me happy, when it’s too much effort, when the unexpected shows up and creates additional pressure, I’m outta here.” Some leave physically; others leave emotionally and withdraw.
But those who do have forgotten three basic truths about their commitment to each other:
1. Marriage is a covenant between three, not two. On our wedding day, I entered into a covenant both with Barbara and with God. Our marriage is not a contract but a sacred cord of three strands that will not be easily broken.
2. Marriage vows require us to forgive each other. No marriage is a perpetual walk through the daisies. There will be unmet expectations, unwise decisions, troubles with schedules and finances, and other unexpected pressures that will rattle our relationship until we think it’s about to fall apart. But when hurt and disappointment come, our vows demand that we forgive one another. This is not an optional accessory. It is the
life and breath of our marriage.
3. Marriage vows are enduring. When the pressure becomes relentless and intense—when the cultural voices around us entice us to look out only for ourselves and quit—our vows shout, “DON’T!” (Or, as my kids say, “Deal with it.”)
Quitting on your marriage may temporarily reduce the pressure you feel, but I promise you that a broken marriage and family will add truckloads of new pressures over a lifetime. It takes courage to do what you know is right.
Remaining devoted to your spouse becomes your living testimony to the faithfulness of God and the strength of your marriage covenant.
Think of the marriages you’ve seen fail. To what extent did selfishness play a part in the breakup of those relationships?
Pray that you will always love as God loves, forgive as He forgives and endure as He endures.