Today’s devotional is written by Lori Steinkamp Lassen. She is our only daughter, who has been married to her husband, Scott for 27 years. Lori is the mother of four children, and has worked with the ministry for many years. May her devotional deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord. – Charlyne
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33
I found myself going down a social media rabbit hole when I came across a Christian artist whom I had not heard about recently. I realized this man and his wife divorced. They are both now engaged to other people.
As I scrolled, I realized the hardship their family had faced in the last few years. They had gone through a divorce and a child who became pregnant while unmarried. I wondered about the private heartbreak that happened behind closed doors for this family in years prior.
Years ago, they were on stages and social media, looking like a happy family serving the Lord and seeking His will above all else. Today, they look like a fractured family trying to find happiness in other people.
The posts with their soon-to-be new spouses contain phrases like, “Date night with the love of my life.” Excuse me? The love of your life? You had the “love of your life,” and now you are trying to find a cheap imitation of God’s best.
One of the spouses posted a photo containing a gift her fiancé gave her. She was thrilled at a book and another small gift. I wondered if she had the same reaction when her husband gave her a gift. Then I wondered if he even gave her gifts like that.
This family will now spend every holiday trying to navigate stepmothers and stepfathers, visitation, and new extended relatives who will directly be involved. I don’t need to draw a family tree for you to understand the mess we make of marriage when we decide that our covenant spouse is no longer enough for us.
I wondered if this couple tried to fight for their marriage. On the days that patience was running thin, did they look to the Lord to supply their grace for their spouse, or did they look outside of their marriage? Did they try to salvage their marriage? Did they fight for their marriage?
Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect, says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. Malachi 2:15-16
How do we stop the pandemic of divorce?
One way we could start is by investing in the small things. Instead of finding fault with our spouse and complaining about what they aren’t doing, what if we shifted our focus? Write out three things every day that you are thankful for in your spouse. If you are in a bad place in your marriage, it may take some thought. Give it time and energy. The more you focus on the positive attributes, the more you will begin noticing those areas.
If I were honest, I would tell you that there have been days when it feels like my husband can’t breathe right. I know that I am on edge, and he is on my last nerve. On those days, I could probably come up with a list of 50 things he did that annoy me. When we are purposeful about finding something to be thankful for, it changes how we think. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but daily reminders of gratitude.
I don’t want you to think that just writing out some things you are thankful for will solve every problem in a marriage. There are some deeply wounded marriages, and if that is yours, you may benefit from counseling. However, I do think that if two people who have good character are constantly working at making a marriage better, you can have a healthy, loving marriage that strives to honor Christ with our commitments.
If my marriage fails, it will impact more than just my husband and me. It would impact generations.
Our children would be impacted.
Their future children and their spouses would be impacted.
Our parents would be impacted.
Our siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins would all be impacted.
Our church would be impacted.
Our co-workers would be impacted.
Our friends and their children would be impacted.
The ripple effect when a marriage falls apart goes far beyond two people. When you choose to stop fighting for your marriage and divorce, you are hurting many people.
Go back in your mind to a time when things were going well, and you were happy. What did you love about your spouse? What did you love about yourself at that moment? How did you spend time together? What was different?
Will you commit to investing in your marriage? It is worth it!
You will never regret taking the time and energy required to invest in your marriage! This is one investment that will see a return for generations to come.