The decision was made. I was only thirteen years old, but it turned out to be one of the biggest decisions of my life. At the time I didn’t know how important the decision was. I wasn’t aware I had made a “life decision,” but I did. I had made a decision that would set the course of my life. A “life decision” that would determine who I was and how I would live.
As I watch my mother lie in bed for two weeks overwhelmed with grief because her world had just fallen apart when my dad left, I knew right then when I married, my marriage would be for life. I knew I never wanted to hurt the way she was hurting and I knew I would never be the one to hurt someone else that way. Right then and there I made one of the most important decisions of my life, I made a “life decision.”
For the first nineteen years of marriage, I was challenged many times with that decision. There were times I wanted to quit, but I would always come back to the thought, “I want to be married for life.” There were times my marriage looked like it was finished regardless of what I wanted because my wife wanted out. Four times she said she had enough of the misery we were going through and she wanted a divorce. But I held on, even when it looked hopeless because my mind had already been made up. I wanted to be “married for life.”
The first time it happened three years into our marriage. That summer we separated three times. She wanted out, so she told me I had to leave. Reluctantly I did, only to talk her into giving us another chance a few days later. We repeated the same process a second time. Then finally, the third time she told me I had to leave, I gave up. After a few weeks I had no intention of trying to fix my marriage, I began to see my life moving in a whole new direction. But then, she came to me and she wanted us to get back together. I was faced with a dilemma. I could either move on with my life and not deal with what was wrong with my marriage, or I could take a chance and try to make it work. It didn’t take long for the decision to be made. The fact of the matter was, I had already made the decision way back when I was thirteen.
Throughout the following sixteen years of marriage, we still came close to ending it three more times, because neither one of us knew how to make a marriage work. And because Janet had also made a “life decision” when she was young. In her heart, she knew what marriage should look like and she knew what she should expect from someone who said he loved her. In her heart, she would never settle for a marriage that was less than what it could be. She had made up her mind she would not be stuck in a miserable marriage for the rest of her life. Even though she knew I wanted to be married for life, she also knew a lot of the time I acted as a husband who didn’t care about what she wanted.
Then, by God’s grace, he took my “life decision” “to be married for life” and used it to help me hang on through some impossible situations. And he took her “life decision” to “expect nothing short of what God designed marriage to be,” and he joined us together. So that now we have both made the same “life decisions.” We have decided to be “happily married for life.” We are committed to our marriage “until death do us part.” And we are committed to love, honor, cherish and nurture our marriage so that neither of us would ever feel neglected, used, and un-loved.
“Life decisions” like the ones we have made are extremely important. They have the power to shape your life in positive ways or negative. They have the power to set the course of your life in a healthy way or an unhealthy way. You can keep on living by the “life decisions” that are working for you. And you can let go of ones that are hurting you. So, choose today to make good “life decisions” about yourself, your marriage, and your family.
Thanks for reading!