Giving Up on Your Marriage?

Wait on God

I started blogging (another blog) back in Feb. 2009, and have been blogging at Messy Marriage since October 2010, so it feels like quite a long journey in many ways.

For the record . . . I’ve wanted to give up on this blogging endeavor many times! I’ve felt like it’s not worth it more times than I would like to admit. I’ve struggled to see some of my blogging friends move from blogging to authoring as their main focus, while I remain chugging along in what often feels like the same spot (though I know that’s not true). #missthosefriends 😉

But I know this is a season in my ministry and writing career—a season that has it’s highs and lows and will change before I know it!

The reason I bring all this up is because I see this being the same way in marriage and life.

At one time, I wondered if my marriage would ever get any better back in the season when my marriage was very messy.

And I could’ve let the pain overwhelm me. I could’ve decided that I was tired of the hard work and looked for what would make me happy instead—ultimately giving up on my marriage. 🙁

I’ve seen, over the many years of my marriage, several of my friends throwing in the towel on their marriages. I’m not judging what their motives were/are for divorcing, but . . .

I do wonder, how would it have changed if they had persevered through that dry and difficult season?

Would they have been wise and humble enough to seek the help necessary to bring change?

Would they have learned how to avoid a victim mentality by doing what they could to feel stronger, better, more whole?

Would they have recognized that God is the Lover of their souls and quit pining after some elusive soul mate that they’ve become convinced is NOT their mate because he/she is difficult to live with?

Now before I go on, please know that I’m not talking about abusive marriages or situations here! Nor am I saying this is true of every couple that decides to divorce.

[Tweet “I’m talking about non-abusive marriages where both spouses feel hopeless to feel better. #holdon”]

Some have tried to change this, even for years, but perhaps it’s been more about trying to change their spouses than themselves. Perhaps it’s been more about persevering in ruminating daily on how hurtful their spouses act rather than “taking that captive” (2 Cor. 10:5) and replacing the bitterness with God’s truth daily, monthly, year after year.

So they buy the lie that changing their circumstances will change the way they feel in life.

If that’s true then I believe . . .

[Tweet “Many people are divorcing for all the wrong reasons.”]

And if they would decide instead to “persevere in the Lord” they would see their lives eventually moving into a season of hope and even joy.

Notice I didn’t say “see their marriages” moving there!

Sometimes it’s about finding your hope and joy in the Lord with or without your mate doing the same. You can’t force anyone to “persevere in the Lord” along with you. But I guarantee if you persevere in drawing near to the Lord, YOU will feel blessed. #Iamheretotestify

I want to unpack some practical/spiritual ways to “persevere in the Lord” in your life and marriage in the weeks to come. Also, I’m beginning a new series on Wedded Wednesday’s called, “My Failures, God’s Inroads.”  I hope you’ll join me for both!

 

What are some realities you’ve discovered after persevering through a tough season?

 

What are some signs that might indicate a person’s reason’s for divorcing are not wise?

 


Linking up with these fine blogs – Moments of HopeWeekend Whispers, Making Your Home SingMondays @ Soul Survival, Faith ‘n Friends, Word of God Speak, Spiritual Sundays, Sitting Among Friends, Give Me Grace, Family, Friendship and Faith, and DanceWithJesusFriday

  • Mary

    I love your new series ideas. I have learned a lot of realities through my challenges. God is faithful. God redeems. God never stops loving us and He extends us grace even when we make the same mistakes over and over. I also know that I will never stop learning because there will always be lessons I need to be taught. I am grateful for you and this space.

    • Yes, if we will persevere, we will learn the kinds of lessons you mentioned, Mary. I’m so glad you have a teachable heart. I suppose that’s what makes you seem so sweet. Thanks so much for your friendship and encouragement day after day, my friend!

  • Such a good and important post! Our culture has developed the mindset that we walk away from difficulty in relationships, be it marriage, family, friendship or church. We aren’t taught the value of perseverance and working through issues in our relationships. Instead we are taught to walk away if something doesn’t make us happy or bring us satisfaction. Endurance, perseverance, steadfastness, commitment, etc. have become foreign concepts, to our detriment as a society.

    • Yes, it’s truly the mantra of America–go after what makes you happy even if that causes great pain for others, Elizabeth. And yet when we chase after that elusive happiness, we end up feeling discontent most of the time! I do hope this message touches those who need to hear this and make persevering a “new pursuit” in their lives. Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!

  • Exactly Beth. We are coming up on 45 years – not all idyllic but all made us stronger and care for each other more. I agree, unless it is an abusive relationship, stick with it – through the highs and lows and you will be blessed far beyond what you think.
    Blessings,
    Janis

    • Yes, it certainly isn’t idyllic, but it is deep and meaningful when we give ourselves wholeheartedly and over the long haul. God blesses that. You and I living proof of that! Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend!

  • “…divorcing for all the wrong reasons” – That’s a phrase we all need to sit back and take notice of, Beth. We can apply it to so many things, including marrying for all the wrong reasons, doing our “good works” for all the wrong reasons, etc. You always give me more food for thought than I bargained for! 🙂 Blessings to you, friend.

    • Yes, that’s true, Lisa. Many do marry for the wrong reasons, so I suppose it makes sense that they would eventually divorce for all the wrong reasons as well. Thanks for your kind words, my friend! You are a sweetheart!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great Post, Beth!

    Only abuse or infidelity (and that, not always) justifies walking away. For the rest, the problem seems to me a sense of entitlement…marriages fail because one partner thinks he or she is entitled to ‘more’.

    I have been knee deep in a mass grave. Everything else in this world is ‘more’. I kid you not.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/04/your-dying-spouse-148-not-passing.html

    • Thank you for pushing past your pain and coming to visit me, Andrew. I do so appreciate it and you for your encouragement. Yes, those are two reasons we can walk away, and abandonment as well, I’d say. But the point is to do all you can that is within your power to make the marriage work.

      I know that you are suffering and I hate to think of what that is like for you. So I pray without ceasing for you, my friend!

  • My husband and I have mourned the “passing” of a number of marriages over the past twenty years, and it never gets easier and I never get used to it. The only good that I can see from it is that it keeps me in a perpetual posture of “But for the grace of God, there go I.”

    • It truly is difficult to watch a couple decide without persevering in positive and godly ways to divorce. It’s such a waste, Michele. I think that’s why we grieve. Yes, we must be grateful that God has led us through those valleys and into more meaningful and deep unions with our mates. Can’t get there unless you persevere in the Lord!

  • Most of us have experienced enough failures in one way, shape, or form to benefit from your series, Beth. Count me in as one who can’t wait.

    Meanwhile, I celebrate your blog, its crucial message, and the supportive friendships that have sprung into being because we online writers do life together week in, week out. And when all is said and done, I can’t help believing that the impact just might be greater than a published manuscript.

    Just sayin’ …

    ;-}

    • I’m so glad that you’ve come by, Linda! Your friendship and support mean a lot to me. Yes, those supportive friendships have been so amazing and stabilizing for me. They’ve helped me to persevere in every season–your friendship included! And yes, there is a deeper impact by all of us than we can know here on earth. I focus on that most days and that’s what keeps me going–the ministry and not the hope of money or fame. Hugs to you, my sweet friend!

  • JosephPote

    Okay…not sure I can say this well, but I’m going to try.

    Beth, you know I think very highly of you and your ministry. I think your blog is one of the few with a strong emphasis on godly marriage while also recognizing that divorce is sometimes a necessity.

    I think this may be your best post yet.

    In this one post, you have given a very strong exhortation to persevere through the trials of a difficult marriage. In that exhortation, you have pointed to the need of focusing on relationship with Christ over relationship with spouse…and have even indicated that the promised resulting hope and joy still may not be in the marriage relationship, but in one’s relationship with Christ.

    You’ve said all that, while still recognizing that in some instances (such as abuse) divorce may still be necessary…may be the best and most godly path.

    Even your statement, “Many people are divorcing for all the wrong reasons,” leaves a clear indication that some people divorce for the right reason…that there is such a thing as a right reason to divorce.

    It’s not easy giving such a strong exhortation for wholehearted commitment to covenant vows while also recognizing that sometimes covenants are broken…sometimes beyond repair…often with one party having done all they could do to honor their vows.

    Well done! 🙂 And thank you!

    • I really appreciate your high praise, Joe! I know you have a special heart for those who find themselves in these kinds of situations, since you’ve been there as well. I’m glad you feel that I covered the parameters of this issue. It’s one that I feel deeply about but know must be handled with the utmost of care! Thanks for your kind words, my friend!

  • Beth,
    “Sometimes it’s about finding your hope and joy in the Lord with or without your mate doing the same. You can’t force anyone to “persevere in the Lord” along with you. But I guarantee if you persevere in drawing near to the Lord, YOU will feel blessed. #Iamheretotestify” – Amen! I fought with my husband for years trying to get him to want to draw near to the Lord. My own joy was often riding on his actions. I finally had an aha moment and surrendered it all to God. My husband’s relationship with Him was not up to me.And it most definitely shouldn’t be an indicator of my joy – my joy must come from the Lord – in all situations. It was a huge pivotal moment because wouldn’t you know that once I got it and let go, God took over and captured my husband’s heart 🙂
    Thank you so much for your posts. I always am so encouraged here! I’m so thankful you haven’t ever decided to give it up! If you ever think that again, just ask me my opinion! 😉

    Thank you for sharing at the first Moments of Hope! I hope to see you back on Monday!!!
    Hugs,
    Lori

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