Marriage breakups have become epidemic, and an oft-used excuse is “I just don’t love her (him) anymore.” It matters very little that a few years earlier in from of a church full of witnesses the couple pledged to live together as husband and wife “for better for worse,. . .’till death us to part.” It is only important that now the loving feelings have fled, replaced by doubts and dislike.
It is important to realize that the question “Did I marry the wrong person?” has probably crossed the mind of most people that ever been married. The idealism of dating and engagement sooner or later crashes in the reality of marriage. No matter how hard we try to be ourselves during courtship, we still play games, wear masks, and hide our real selves to a degree. Then, after the honeymoon when day-to-day work of living together begins, the pretenses fall and we begin to see each other for real. Some begin to think that they made a mistake and did not marry the person God had chosen for them.
There are at least two problems with this way of thinking.
1. It limits God. He doesn’t make mistakes, but neither does he spend his time catering to our selfish needs and whims. Analyze this statement: She’s the right person for me. Doesn’t it sound self-centered? It sounds as if I expect God and everyone else to meet my needs. It turns love into a noun–something I fall in and out of, something I receive from others and possess. Real love, however, is primarily a verb. It involves action and conscious choices to meet the other person’s needs. You do not “fall into love”, you “grow into love.” Yes, God wants the best for us, but on his terms not ours.
2. It ignores the clear teachings of Scripture. The Bible emphasizes in unequivocal terms the sanctity of marriage. The principle is clear from Genesis (2:24) to Jesus (Matthew 19:4-6) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31). The marriage commitment is a covenant that must not be broken while both members live, even if they think they may have made a mistake. Knowing God’s will may be determined by reading what He says in His Word. I should be asking, “How does my life line up with God’s will for the world?”
The bottom line for successful marriage is commitment. My wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary recently. Christ has been and is the center of our home. Don’t fall for the lie that the grass is greener elsewhere. Don’t let yourself think that your present marriage is a big mistake, and that somewhere else there is someone who is perfect for you. God has a great plan for you and your spouse, but he must be the center of it.
Dr. Adrian Rogers said, concerning marriage, “There are no problems too large to solve, just people too small to solve them.”