Tag Archives: Marriage

Will You and Daddy Ever Get Divorced?

“Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?” My 6-year-old’s anxious question pierced my heart. It wasn’t the first time one of my children had asked this of me. I remember asking my parents that same question around his age.

How do I want to respond his question? What does my child want me to say? “Never, sweetie! Never! Never! Never!”

I mean, my husband and I are both devoted Christians who took a vow 16 years ago to one another. We take that promise seriously, love one another very much, try to serve one another and work through conflict, and know we are accountable before God. But, is that enough? Can I really say we would never get a divorce?

(Note to my Mom: Don’t worry, this post isn’t a cry for help or warning sign. Everything’s fine!)

At age 38 and after working in ministry at The Crossing for about 16 years now, I know the reality around me. My children see the reality around them, too. Fifty percent or more of families are torn apart by divorce and far more are affected by it in some way. And Christian families certainly aren’t immune.

Perhaps even more alarming at times is intimately knowing the sin that lies within my own heart. And every human heart. We are a broken people who, despite our fervent promises and good intentions, are in a war against discontentment, selfishness, pride, lust, and so many other temptations that threaten to pull us away from our spouse. Every day.

So, how should I answer my child’s question? Three options come to mind.

One Crucial Ingredient for a Quality Marriage

pascal_dagnan-bouveret_-_blessing_of_the_young_couple_before_marriageIf you tried to come up with factors that contribute to a quality, lasting marriage, what would your list look like?

No doubt many people would list things like good communication skills or the willingness to compromise. They might also list things like the need for spouses to possess similar interests and values and compatible personalities. And then there is the question of whether or not they work well together managing their lives, home, family, etc.

I agree that these things are important—in fact, it’s a real blessing if a marriage relationship exhibits any of these traits. But as valuable as each of them is, I’m convinced there are a handful of things that are even more important and foundational in building a quality marriage. And I want to expand briefly on one of those things here:

The Power of Physical Presence

If someone were to ask me about it, I’d tell you that of course being physically present in someone’s life is important – especially my husband, my close friends, and my family. But if one were to scan my life looking for chunks of unstructured time that I just spend with people I cared about, that time would be few and far between, to my shame. It is way easier for me to schedule a meeting, an hour-long coffee date, or simply be “too busy” for a getaway.

But I read this article today and was a bit convicted by my propensity to hurry along and get to the next thing without stopping to just spend time with someone. I’m often ruled by efficiency and my to-do list and “leisure” frequently reminds me of the word “lazy.” 

The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give

It’s wedding season, and since my husband and I work with college students and know so many in their 20s, we’ve been to more than our fair share of weddings the past few months. The title of this article in the New York Times this week caught my attention because we’ve also heard more than a few wedding toasts: “The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give.”

Wedding toasts are one of my favorite parts of the wedding – you get an inside glimpse at the relationships of the bride and groom, and if the one giving the toast has a good sense of humor, it can be one of the funniest parts of the evening. I love that it’s an opportunity to share with the couple a few meaningful moments or thoughts and even some final “advice” for the marriage. But a wedding toast will never say some of the hard, needed things that anyone entering into a marriage needs to hear – all the “and yets” that one will inevitably encounter along the way. I love how this writer put it in the NYTimes:

The Myth of ‘Being Completed’

You complete me.” “Will you accept this final rose?” “I’m only me when I’m with you.” Don’t we all want to hear those words said to us? Don’t we all want to feel like we’ve found that one person in the world who makes us whole, who meets our needs and gives us the happily ever after ending to our stories? Don’t we all want to feel like we’ve been chosen, that ‘our person’ is finally permanent?

Men Can’t Have It All Either

Back in the summer of 2012, Anne-Marie Slaughter responded to a decision by Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, to severely curtail telecommuting with an article in the Atlantic entitled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” In Tuesday’s post Nathan wrestled with that issue from the perspective of Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo.

Before I leave for a long weekend visiting my mom in Minneapolis, I want to come at the same topic from another perspective…the man’s. In an article in the Times, “He Hasn’t Had It All Either,” Michael Winerip shares how he and his wife, both journalists, have each had to make difficult choices regarding work and family.

Love Starts In Passion and Ends In Carpools

Some people (too many people) get married with crazy expectations. They say things like, “Now that I’ve found my soul mate, I’m going to be truly happy” or “She’s exactly what I’ve always wanted” or “When I’m with him I feel complete and whole.” I think that all that’s silly and slightly ridiculous. These are the kind of things people say before they are married but not after they’ve been married any significant amount of time.

An old friend of mine said that before he got married he thought that it was going to be naked bliss. But he found out that when two sinful people enter into the deepest of all human relationships, it’s not always and only naked bliss but also a multiplication of sin.

Because most marriages are a mixture of great companionship and tough learning experiences, the wise person is always on the lookout for helpful marriage advice no matter where it comes from. Enter David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times and a self identified, if not especially observant, Jew.