“What right do you have to destroy my dreams?” I asked my wife. It was a question I felt very strongly about many years ago when she wanted to end our marriage. And it is a question I still feel very strongly about today.
I take the marriage vows very serious. I believe the vows are promises of commitment to see the marriage through even the toughest of times. Vows like “for better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer,” are meant to foretell our commitment to the marriage and our spouse with the presumption that there is a good chance we will face any number of trials that will test our resolve to stay committed to the marriage.
But sadly I think a lot of people are just saying these vows as a matter of poetic form that goes beautifully with the wedding ceremony. It seems as though the wedding vows are a lot like the wedding garments, they make for great beauty but they’re not real practical in everyday life. It’s like people don’t really understand what they are saying, or they’re not being completely honest with themselves or their spouse when they say them.
When I said my wedding vows I did not say my vows with any expectation of my marriage being temporary. I believed I could build my whole life, my plans, and my dreams on the basis of my partner would be with me for life. I believed the vows she said meant the same to her as they did to me. I would have never made a commitment for life if I had known the person I was committing myself to was not making the same commitment.
When my wife wanted out of our marriage it was like, I had been building my own dream house with all the hopes that go into that type of project and then after many years of putting my heart into it, the government or someone came along and said the land that I was building on no longer belonged to me. All my efforts had been for nothing, and all my hopes and dreams were taken away from me completely against my will.
I know divorce is very common today and it seems perfectly normal to a lot of people, but sometimes I just want to cry out from the top of the world that this thing is not normal. Divorce is a sickness in our society and I want to do everything I can stop it, especially when it is without just cause.
So to anyone who might be reading this and you’re wanting to quit on your marriage and you know you do not have justifiable reasons to do so, I want to ask you. When you said your marriage vows, did you really mean what you said? Because I believe your spouse believed you meant it. Do you think your spouse would have said those vows to you if they had really known how very little your words meant to you.
This is why marriage is a covenant and not a contract. It is meant to be a bond that cannot be broken, and not a contract that easily torn apart. I know it takes two to make a marriage work the way God intended, but it only takes one to quit. It only takes one to bring an end to not only what the other spouse has put their trust in, but also to what God has ordained and called holy from the beginning of time.
Maybe you’re thinking there is no way to move forward with your marriage because you have been hurt too bad. And maybe you feel like you have given it your best and yet you still feel so miserable you don’t know how to face another day. If that is you, I want you to know I understand, I really do. I feel for you and I know how you must feel because that is how my wife felt many years ago. In fact it still grieves my heart to know how much she struggled and how badly she wanted to quit because she felt so hopeless. I get it.
It is because we have been there I not only understand how the one who is hanging on feels, I also understand how the one who wants to quit must be feeling. I understand how difficult it seems when you think about rebuilding your marriage and overcoming all the hurts the two of you have suffered. I understand when the problems you face seem so big that it is like a mountain that you have no idea how to climb. But it is also because of where we are now I firmly believe you can overcome and you can also have the marriage you desire.
God did not heal our marriage because there is something special about us that others do not have. No. The Lord is there for all who will turn to Him and surrender their will to His will and allow Him to do a complete work of healing and restoration.
The Lord created marriage and He wants all who are married to experience marriage in the way He created it to be. And the Lord doesn’t think this requires you to find the perfect partner in order to experience marriage this way. The Lord knows that any marriage can be what He designed it to be if the two people who are in it will allow His work to take place in themselves and in their marriage.
So decide today that your marriage is important to you and that you will honor the vows you have made. Decide today that when you said “I do,” you meant it for life!
When you do this you will be honoring God and I know what you do to honor God will not go unnoticed.