Monday, January 27, 2014

Is God the answer to a tired marriage?

One of Billy Graham's readers writes him with a serious question... Their long time marriage has become tired, so how can they fix it. Graham gives some  good advice for how to keep a marriage from getting to that point. But he offers nothing to the questioner...
Q: My husband and I have been married almost 30 years, and now that our children are grown and out of the house, I have to admit we're bored with each other. We loved each other once, but I guess those days are over. Why should we stay together?

A: One reason I wanted to print your letter is because I hope it will be a warning to younger couples who might otherwise end up on the same road.

After all, a marriage is somewhat like a vegetable garden; unless you tend it and take care of it, the weeds will overwhelm it and insects will devour its fruit. A good marriage doesn’t just happen; it takes work, and it takes commitment. Perhaps someone reading this has allowed their marriage to drift toward the rocks, and if so, I pray you won’t let it happen. The Bible says, “May you rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18).

Is it too late for you? No, of course not — not if you turn to God and seek His help for your marriage. What can He do? First, He can give you a new desire to see your marriage healed, as you open your hearts and lives to Christ and allow His love to fill you. Then He will help you find ways to move beyond your boredom and begin to love each other again. And that can happen as you seek to serve each other and make each other happy.

Don’t go down paths that may seem attractive to you right now, but will never give you the happiness you seek. Instead, put your lives and your marriage into Christ’s hands. Then seek out a church where you can grow closer to God, and to each other, as you serve Him.
Billy is correct when it comes keeping a marriage fresh. It shouldn't be left for granted and allowed to slip into monotony. You need to keep things fresh and continue to do things to show how special you are to one another. But that advice doesn't necessarily help someone who's marriage has already gone stale. What does Graham say about this particular marriage? Turn to God, the Bible and church.

This isn't really that great of advice though. Remember that research has shown that the marriages of non-believers tend to last longer than those of believes. Since Chistians (on average) get divorced more often than non-believers, then how is turning to God a solution. Okay, admittedly some of those Christian divorces are the product of people getting married because of their faith, that shouldn't have gotten married (surprise pregnancy. too young, wanted sex, etc). But it still stands that religion doesn't seem to be some magic fix to a stale marriage.

Turning to the Bible isn't a good idea either. Most Christians think that the Bible teaches the whole 'til death do we part' line of the wedding ceremony. But the truth is very different.

Take a look at Deuteronomy 24:10
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house
 I don't know about you, but saying a man can just write a woman a letter of divorce if she becomes displeasing to him doesn't sound very anti-divorce to me. Nor would it be good advice for a marriage that is on the rocks.

Biblical marriage isn't what they think it is.
What this couple needs to do is talk. Talk about what they are missing in the relationship. Talk and reminisce about  days gone by. Through communication they may realize that they have let things go by the wayside and rekindle the spark that started their partnership. Communication and work may save their marriage. But they may also find that it has run it's course. And if that's the case, that's okay too. It's better to find that out and go your ways than to stay in a loveless marriage. But do communicate. Do give it a try. See where the road takes you are rest assured that it will lead to a better place one way or another.

-Brain Hulk

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