Happily Ever After
Do you believe in "Happily Ever After?"
My Pastor used to ask, “How many of you when you asked your wife to marry said, ‘I give you half my heart?’” It sounds funny, right? But, it totally resonates with me, because when we say, “for better or for worse, until death do us part,” we promise to love our spouse with “all of our heart.” That means we make a commitment to stay together, even when the going gets tough. So, what happens to cause “50% of all marriages in America to end in divorce?” Did you know that each consecutive marriage also increases your chance of divorce? This means that if you remarry a second time, your chances of divorce go up 60 to 67% and remarrying a third time means you have a 73% chance that your marriage will end in divorce (http://www.divorcestatistics.org/).
Dr. Gary Chapman, Christian counselor and author of The Four Seasons of Marriage defines marriage this way:
"The social institution of marriage is first and foremost a covenant relationship with God in which a man and a woman pledge themselves to each other for a lifetime commitment."
Dr. Chapman also tells us that “marriages are perpetually in a state of transition, continually moving from one season to another.” He describes these four seasons of our marriage as winter being a season of discouragement and dissatisfaction in one’s marriage; spring as a season of hope and anticipation; summer a time when we are comfortable and we are enjoying life and each others company; and finally the fall season as the time in our marriage when we feel uncertain and anxious about the future of our marriage. (The Four Seasons of Marriage)
How does our marriage go from, “till death do us part,” to words of anger or “we should have never got married,” and “I want a divorce?” According to smartmarriage.com, “The number one predictor of divorce is the habitual avoidance of conflict." Initially, couples avoid arguing because they are in love, however, this begins to build bitterness. It is this same fear of arguing that results in lack of communication and divorce. All couples disagree about the same basic things, but the difference between a marriage that weathers the storm and one that ends in divorce is how we handle disagreements in our marriage.
Growing up in a broken home, I can tell you from experience that, 30 years later I am still seeing the ramifications of my parent’s divorce. Divorce does not only affect the couple. Divorce affects the children, the families; uncles, aunts, grandparents, friends, and well everyone!
In my research, I've learned that mental health issues almost double for those who divorce, such as in depression, loneliness, and suicide risk. Divorce affects children's grades and their emotional well-being and they are also at a higher risk for dropping out of school. (smartmarriages.com)
What are some risk factors and ways you can safeguard your marriage?
What are your communication styles and how can you discuss each others differences without it turning into an argument?
How can you honor and respect your spouse and show him/her empathy and understanding?
When you make a vow to the Lord your God, be prompt in doing whatever you promised Him. For the Lord your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows. Deuteronomy 23:21