I never had the privilege of meeting my Great Grandmother, but from everything I’ve heard, she was one-of-a-kind! Without a penny of support from the government or anyone else, she had to raise 5 daughters by herself after her husband was killed in war. They were dirt poor but she raised those girls with love, faith, prayer and honest hard work.
My Great Aunt Jan was the first of her daughters to get married. She returned home a few months later with suitcases in hand. Grandmother came to the door and looked at the suitcases and said, “Well Honey it’s good to see you but what on earth are you doing here? Where’s your husband?”
Jan replied, “Mother, I am leaving him!”
Grandmother said, “Oh, no! What has happened? Is he cheating on you?”
“No, nothing like that. I just can’t stand him. I don’t love him. I don’t want to spend another minute around that man. I’m getting divorced and coming home.”
Grandmother took a deep breath and gave a response that few would have the courage or wisdom to give. She looked her daughter in the eye and with tears in her own eyes, she said, “Sweetheart. I love you too much to let you do that. You made a promise to God and to your husband that you would faithfully love him until death do you part. Now go home and work things out with him. You’re not welcome back here until you do.”
And with that, she shut the door in her daughter’s face. In disbelief, my Aunt turned around and went home where she and my Uncle John remained married for the next half century until his death a few years ago. For most of those years together, they were inseparable. He was the love of her life.
Their love story was made possible because my Great Grandmother understood what it means to love someone and she understood just how important a marriage covenant really is. In our modern world, we are so quick to quit anything that seems difficult and we’ve very wrongly believed that being a good friend or loving relative means accepting whatever decisions (no matter how destructive) our loved ones make.
Tragically, most folks would have welcomed by Great Aunt back in and said, “Get on in here, Baby! You are way too good for him. I never liked him anyways! Let’s set you up an account on eHarmony right now and find somebody better!”
The Bible is clear that Marriage is sacred and it’s always worth fighting for. The Bible is also clear that if we care about someone, we are responsible for telling them the truth even when it’s hard to say and even harder to hear. The Truth about marriage is that God designed it with no Exit Strategy and we will never embrace the fullness of Marriage if we see it as something we can quit.
Don’t just fight for your own marriage…fight for the marriages of everyone in your life.