By no means do my husband and I have a perfect relationship, let alone marriage.
We are going on four years in June, two of those spent married. It’s crazy to me how such a small amount of time can hold so many memories: both good and bad.
For a long time, I wasn’t sure we would last. We faced a lot of struggles and a lot of hurt. The word “divorce” got thrown around. Our marriage turned from a place of refuge to a place of war.
There was no miracle that saved us, we put a lot of hard work and prayer into making our marriage go on. We had reached the point where the only thing holding us together was that piece of paper, but we chose to rebuild, and with grace and a lot of support, we saw a renewal of our love and were able to offer each other forgiveness and relationship.
I took away a lot of things from this experience, but the number one decision that made a difference was to say: Divorce is not an option.
Divorce is not an option because it allows for a fallback. It means that if a marriage fails, there is still a socially acceptable alternative. It means that once there’s only a piece of paper holding you together, you might as well make it disappear.
Divorce is not an option because it allows for “what-ifs.” It asks the question “What if this marriage was the wrong decision?” “What if we should have waited?” “What if…?” Allowing the what-ifs encourages dissatisfaction and insecurities in the marriage.
Divorce is not an option because it means throwing the first stone. It means you compare your spouse’s shortcomings to your own and judge them based on the scale of your own design. It means judgement is placed higher than forgiveness in your marriage and that the faults of your partner outweigh their charms.
Divorce is not an option because marriage is a vow. The words themselves are vows, yes, but even bigger than that is the soul binding nature of marriage. You are vowing your life to another person and regardless of how cheaply marriage is portrayed in our society, that is a weighty commitment. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard or read a statement from my peers along the lines of “I’m pretty sure he’s the one, but if it doesn’t work out, there’s always divorce.”
If that’s how you see marriage, your marriage is going to be a hard, rocky road.
There are without doubt necessary reasons for a divorce. It is not up to me to say what those are. But I do know that if you allow divorce to be an option during your marriage, the hard times will be 10x harder than if you go in knowing it is not an option.
When soldiers go into battle, they go in with the expectation that they will win. If they were to go in allowing the option to lose, chances are they will.
Treat your marriage like the most important battle of your life where your only option is to win and don’t be surprised to see victory after victory as you continue on.