September 18, 2017

Protect marriage . . . It matters

Today I want to talk about the subject of marriage. From the beginning of time marriage has been the foundation of humanity. It all started with Adam and Eve. Marriage gives structure to what otherwise could just be a civilization full of intimate relationships without any connections or ties to each other. It is so important to have healthy marriages to make up our societies . . . but why is it so hard?

First marriage, second marriage . . . fourth marriage—whatever your marriage looks like at this point . . . you can attest, that some moments are not easy. We are different—men and woman— and all marriages take work, compromise, faith, patience, and a whole lot of love, that—some days—is very hard to remember.

And if you haven’t yet hit bumps in the road . . . I am pretty sure you are the exception. And if you think you will never hit bumps in the road . . . I am pretty sure you are in denial.

So how do we win? If statistics tell us that our relationships are more than likely going to fail, and the world tells us that if it isn’t easy—then it can’t be love. How the hell are we going to survive?

We have a constant enemy on our back—orchestrating the demise of any and all healthy relationships. He sends temptations, addictions, anxiety, insecurities, unrealistic expectations, fear, betrayal, and lies that shake us to our core. And he has created so much chaos in our world that marriage is no longer considered important. Rings mean nothing. Vows, promises, covenants . . . are all foggy. He has taken what once was important and turned it into something that sometimes seems impossible—healthy lasting relationships, the protection of our families.

Some years ago. . . I always just assumed that people would protect my marriage—my husband, being the first I always thought would have my back. He didn’t. And that hurt. A lot of times I assumed a wedding ring was all the protection anyone would need—a symbol of the promises and vows they had made. I had no idea that even when wearing a ring—or seeing another person with a symbol of their marital status clearly on their finger—people would flirt, and flaunt, and purposefully entice someone that isn’t theirs. They do, and that hurts.

We are not perfect. That is one of the hardest parts about marriage—they are made up of two imperfect people with pasts. Everyone in this world is hurting in some way—whether they acknowledge it or not, or understand the significance the past has played in who they have become—every life encounters some form of disappointment . . . some easier to forget than others.  But nonetheless, we are all individuals with pain, triggers, fears, and trials sometimes bigger than we think we are strong. So how do keep our relationships strong, if—as individuals—we are not perfect?

It’s pretty simple really—most of it we learned in preschool. Be kind. Share. Obey the rules. Live our truths. Be honest, even when we know we will disappoint. Be virtuous, even when no one is looking. Acknowledge the roles we play. Care about more than just ourselves. Be forgiving, and ask for repentance. Fight for—instead of against—each other.

It was easy to see back then, when the world seemed so simple—not so easy to see now when we get so stuck in our own ways.

Our world is hurting: calamities, addictions, secrets, lies, broken homes, broken hearts, broken children, wives, and husbands; failed marriages, broken souls who don’t seem to care if they hurt anyone—broken spirits who sometimes delight in the pain of others. And fear runs it all.

So what role are we playing? Are we protecting the marriages of our society? Are we honoring ourselves and the people around us by the way behave in public, or in the quiet of our own homes. Are we showing our children the sanctity that marriage is supposed to be? Are we honest in our vows, even when no one else is watching?

Our actions do matter, and so do our marriages. So protect them. If that cute guy has a ring . . . find another one, there are literally millions. Honor yourself and his family by saying no. Please. If you have promised yourself to someone—be true. Don’t do life half way. Be real, and don’t forget their faces in the choices that you make. Even when the world tells you “your actions won’t impact anyone else” . . . don’t buy it. Everything you do makes a difference—for bad or good.

We need homes that are strong. We need marriages that last, and we need a society that fights—fights for the unions that make up our people. Fights for strong families, strong children, and strong homes. Fights for their own dignity—protecting not just themselves, but the others in their world.

The fidelity of our society matters; the integrity of our people creates our nations. And it starts with us. Stand tall as a noble son or daughter of God. Your choices to protect cannot only save lives . . . it can change our world.

If you have secret relationships that are clouding your view of the person you always thought you would be, it is not too late. Life isn’t over until it is. Make today count. You are worth fighting for. That dark fog, that has made you think you aren’t worthy of grace . . . of real love . . . of a strong marriage. It is the lie. You don’t have to live in the fog. Change the story—for the families, for the spouses . . . and for yourself. You are enough.

Protect marriage. It matters.


Carole Parkin said...

I love your thoughts on marriage. I am on my second and though it is not easy, it is worth sacrifice and sometimes having to go to battle. I like your thoughts on respecting other people's marriages and relationships.

Laura S said...

thank you, your words gave me strength.

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