When “I Do” Doesn’t Last

One of the most significant events in the life of an adult is the wedding day.

We dress in clothes we’ll never wear again.  People fly from all over to attend.  Photographers, videographers, DJs, bakers, chefs, musicians, and of course an officiant to facilitate.  Family and friends to bear witness…to witness what?  The bride and groom sharing a bite of cake?  Dancing the macarena?  No.  The entire event revolves around the wedding vows.

But if and when a couple cannot keep their vows, there’s no party.  No photographers.  Only the end of something that, when it began, was meant to last.

Divorce is one of the most painful of life’s crises, and yet it’s so common that I’d bet anyone reading this knows at least one person who’s been through divorce.  It’s not the way God intended relationships to end.  In fact, Jesus is one of the harshest critics of divorce in Matthew 19:1-10.

So it’s essential to health of any marriage to attend to some of the strongest realities that can lead to divorce: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.  And rather than giving up to these forces, to faithfully, prayerfully, and humbly address each if they’ve appeared in our marriages.

And our Lord, from whom we each receive grace beyond measure, promises to be with us always, by the power of the Holy Spirit, each step of the way.

For reflection:

  1. Which of the four forces that can wreck a marriage are the most familiar to you?
  2. What is a way to begin to actively reverse those forces in your relationship?
  3. If you are experiencing these destructive forces, what are some ways your relationship with God can help? Be as specific as possible.
  4. If you have experienced divorce, what is some wisdom you’ve learned that might help those who would like to avoid divorce?

Many blessings,

MM

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