Friday, April 1, 2011

Marital Suicide

This is one of those days where I really have no business talking about marriage. My own skills at being a wife today aren't looking so brilliant, but somehow I'm feeling tugged to write about the importance of marriage. This might seem trivial at first, but we're gonna go with the basics. I'm not going to say much just yet. Let this list of words speak for itself.

Marriage:
  • a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other as a husband and wife
  • the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies
Vow:
  • a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment
  • to pledge or resolve solemnly to do, make, give, observe, etc
Commitment:
  • a pledge or promise; obligation
  • engagement; involvement
 To commit: 
  • to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.
  • to entrust, especially for safekeeping;
  • to do; perform
Pledge: 
  •  a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something   
Promise:  
    • a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one
    • an express assurance on which expectation is to be based
    • to assure
     Faithful: 
    • true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
    • reliable, trusted, or believed.
    • steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant 
     Honor: 
    • honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions
    • to show a courteous regard for
     Devotion:
    • profound dedication; consecration.
    Cherish: 
    • to care for tenderly; nurture
    • to hold or treat as dear
     Submit:
    • to defer to another's judgment, opinion, decision
    • to yield oneself to the power or authority of another
     Obey: 
    • to comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, or instructions of another
     Love: 
    • affectionate concern for the well-being of others
    Death:  
    • the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism.
    • extinction; destruction
    Now on the flip side of that... 

    Divorce: 
    • the undoing or breaking of a bond, tie, union, partnership, etc.
    Dissolution:
    • a bringing or coming to an end; disintegration; decay; termination.
     Forsake: 
    • to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert
     Selfishness:
    • devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

    Irreconcilable

    • a person, especially a member of a group, who will not compromise, adjust, or submit
    • one of two or more conflicting ideas or beliefs that cannot be brought into harmony
    • a person or thing that is implacably hostile or uncompromisingly opposed
    Sin: 
    • a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle
    Suicide: 
    • destruction of one's own interests or prospects

    Seems pretty obvious in black and white doesn't it?

    I'm often torn when confronted with the issue of divorce. Is it right? Is it wrong? It's a "choice", it's a "decision" it's "unavoidable", whatever it is, it's a PROBLEM. My feelings are different than many Christian wives because I've been through a divorce. I felt shame, sadness, regret. I felt like I would never be forgiven because I must have done something wrong. I was defective. I felt like a shadow had been cast over the rest of my life, like I was worthless. Surely God could never accept all of me and all of my broken pieces, and if God couldn't, then how could another man? But I couldn't have been more wrong.

    God has accepted me. God has put peace in my heart. God helped me see through hours of studying HIS word and discussions with my mentors, that my divorce was not a divorce of convenience, or by my stubborn will. It was not a separation made by my choice nor would it be a forever stain on my heart.

    I was abandoned, I was left behind by a man who was not following Christ, I was left free. 

    Free? 


    FREE! 



    1 Corinthians 7:15-16
    But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 

    It wasn't instant. It wasn't all of the sudden, but through the years I have plainly heard the whisper of the Spirit stirring in my soul, "You can not save him. Only I can... go, and live your life. Love your children that I have blessed you with. Share your life with others. Join with another in this life, but only to glorify Me through your union. Share your story. Allow others to see your wounds, but even more importantly, allow them to see your healing.

    My heart has slowly been healed. The gaping cracks and holes left there by what I thought was love, have been stitched together with the true words of our Heavenly Father. You are free. Live in peace.

    This freedom in my heart comes from a loving God. The freedom to feel loved, to feel protected, and to feel right with my Creator. He has given me a new start.


    To those who may be contemplating a divorce, wherever you are on your journey, I urge you to go back to the top of this list. Think about the reasons why you are making your decisions. Are they based on truth, or are they based on feelings? NO WHERE in the list above does it say anything about having mushy, squishy feelings about someone as the basis for being married. And quite honestly it doesn't say anything about Jesus in there either. I kept it that way on purpose for those who would use that as an argument. It's pretty simple that everything we have chosen to do up to this point is a CHOICE, and it's the same CHOICE that can bring you back into a marriage that your FEELINGS have pulled you away from. For me, choosing to follow Jesus meant a new marriage based out of mutual respect, honesty, accountability and choosing to love. As long as we choose to take care of each other, the mushy squishy stuff happens naturally. It's when we slack off, and choose a selfish path, that we find each other disagreeable. The bad feelings grow like weeds, tripping us up along the way.

    Love is a choice, my dear ones. Honor is a choice. Devotion, faithfulness and promises. Serving the one you share a life with before you serve yourself. All are choices. I urge you not to commit marital suicide.What God has joined together, let no one separate - and that one, is you.

    2 comments:

    Katie said...

    Lexie, I love your honesty. I love your willingness to show your cracks and holes and stitches. And to share a big ole piece of your heart.

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks so much for this! I've been dragging my feet, but now I see that God wants me to move ON.