I banned my children from the pea rows. It was just too distressing to me to see them yank heartlessly on the vines, pulling off pods that weren’t filled out, wasting my precious peas. So I made them stay out. I picked my peas all by myself, and I thought long, long thoughts, mostly uninterrupted. 🙂
After that rather cavalier quote from “Just Do Something” about marriage, I kept the cogs turning. Marriage should, after all, never be jumped into lightly. It is irreversible. You can kid yourself that divorce ends it, but it doesn’t. Not in God’s eyes. This is not a popular idea today, even in the evangelical world if the stats are any indication. Fifty percent chance of staying together. That is what they say. That is rather dismal, I say.
So I was picking peas and thinking about this. We have been married nearly 12 years, half another time as long as the average American marriage. Nobody in my or Gabe’s ancestry, not grandparents or aunts or uncles or even cousins, has ever gotten a divorce. Until our parent’s generation, they were all Amish. How is it that they all stayed together in marriage all their lives?
I thought it must be one of three things…
- They are not as sinful as the average person. Well. We know that isn’t true. Many of our ancestors didn’t even have a solid grip on salvation, and they were definitely sinners.
- They are just naturally gifted with relationships. Excuse me while I take a little time for a private guffaw.
- Divorce is simply not an option.
I think that last one is it. I am not going to delve into the intricacies of whether those marriages were all happy or not, because I don’t know. I just know that I value tremendously that heritage of working it out, sticking it out, figuring it out as we live together.
If you want to know what to look for in a marriage partner, look for someone who is born again, submitted to Jesus. Then make sure that they are firmly committed to a lifetime of marriage, no matter what. Because obviously, this doesn’t work so well if only one of the partners hold marriage to be inviolable.
Somewhere I read that a great marriage is always between two people who are great forgivers. You don’t just throw in the towel because he won’t hang up his towel, if you get what I mean.
I don’t want this to be insensitive to those who have suffered the incredible pain of a partner who was unfaithful and left them. I cannot even imagine how difficult that must be.
I am just saying, “Kids, don’t chuck this one away!”
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”