Click the link below to read the article by John Piper
The author of the article believes that people will fall in and out of love numerous times during their marriage. He says that staying in a marriage is about commitment and promise-keeping, being a person of character.
I remember many, many years ago…..
I lived on the Delmarva Peninsula, and I was newly married. I was probably 20 years old living in a single-wide trailer in the woods. We were so poor that we had an extension cord that connected to my husband’s sister’s adjacent trailer. This connection, although somewhat limited, allowed us to maintain electrical power in our new home. Things were not going well. We were struggling financially, I felt ignored most of the time, we both had jobs we did not like, and we were working hard to get through college. Not an easy or happy time in our marriage.
I spoke to two people about this difficult situation….
The first person was my Dad. I remember the evening before our talk clearly. As I recall, my husband made love to me after an argument. Afterward, he told me he did not love me. This, to me, was devastating. I felt used and worthless. I slept on the floor that night, sobbing the majority of the night. My Mom and my aunt Gladys came to the trailer the next morning and saw me in this horrible state. Swollen eyes and exhausted. They must have told my Dad because the next day at work, I worked for my Dad at the time, he pulled me aside. He told me I could come home anytime, and we would work this out. I can remember thinking long and hard, wanting nothing more than to run away from the emotional pain. I eventually said to my Dad, “I can’t leave; I made a commitment to God.” It was as simple and as painful as that.
The second unlikely person I spoke with was again my boss. This time, not my Dad. I was working part-time as a lifeguard at a local campground. Thinking back, I had no training as a lifeguard, but I could swim, and I guess that was the main criterion.
One sunny afternoon my boss came to the pool. There was no one there but he and I. We sat on two folding chairs talking together. The marriage came up in the conversation and I told him how difficult it had been. He said, “you will fall in and out of love in your marriage.” He said, “just hold on and see what happens.” So I held on.
I believe there are situations when a divorce is an option but that being unhappy is not one of them. I agree and have lived the truth that there are ups and downs in a marital relationship. I think the downs are periods when we need to push through. I believe although there may be times when emotionally we feel unhappy but if we take heart and continue in the relationship that the downs will eventually shift back to an up.
I believe that running away for the mere purpose of being unhappy shows a lack of courage, commitment, strength, and even ethics. Not to mention a horrible example and a sad legacy
My husband left me after nearly four decades of marriage. In a court of law, he said he was unhappy. His “unhappiness” destroyed a family, and I believe this will be felt for generations. If one of my son-in-law’s decides he is unhappy, he can just leave my daughter and say, “oh it’s fine, that is what your dad did so it must be ok”. When my grandkids get married and eventually have a bad year in that marriage they can say “I am unhappy so I will just leave”. They will just say “Papa did it so it must be ok”. In my opinion, it is a poor example of how God wants us to live our lives. This action leaves a legacy that will damage our family for years to come.
I do believe there are situations that God says it is ok to divorce. Those situations would include for sure adultery and abuse. An article called “When Does The Bible Allow Divorce” would agree with this view.
Marriage is about a promise to a person and to God. I believe we are responsible for doing our best to fulfill this promise in the good and bad times of these relationships.
I have learned a lot since my husband decided to end our marriage. In the discovery phase of the legal process and going back and talking with people who were part of our lives and ministry, I have learned that there was much I did not know. I believe there is still much to learn as far as the truth. After discovering these truths, I do know that I should have left him (although I don’t think I would have done that), God would have been fine with that.
If you are going through and unwanted separation and divorce remember God is with you.
God made a promise “I will never leave you or forsake you” and I know it to be true.
I am convinced if a spouse leaves a believer, the spouse that leaves is an unbeliever after all. People marry for so many reasons (often the wrong ones – myself included). Before getting married I did not pray day and night asking God if it was the right decision or better yet… I did not pray day and night asking God if I should even date in the first place. I prayed once and truthfully, it was more superstitious than an answer to prayer (making deals with God for lack of a better explanation). For example, if you want me to date this man, have him do “this” Lord. Voila! He did it. I accepted it as an answer to prayer. In the end though, it is exactly where God wanted me. All the hurt and pain endured has refined me and my faith has grown from seeing God come through for me in unexpected ways.