Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tears of the Wedded

For many I love, it has been a difficult season for marriage. My father was recently divorced from his second wife. The wife of a fellow board member had an affair which ended the marriage. Our semi-adopted daughter and her husband continue to try to pull their relationship back from the brink. And another comrade of mine on our church board has divorce papers in his drawer that he hasn't turned in yet. He just takes them out and looks at them wistfully, then shuts them back away. We spent over an our talking last night... he told me of how when he goes in his house his wife cries, shouts, and throws things, so he stays in a trailer in his back yard. And he acknowledges that she has a right to be angry with him, and yet he is unwilling to change.

I told him about a dark period in my own marriage, when Mrs. Zeke wept unconsoleable for hours in the bathroom while I sat impotently on our half-empty bed, convinced that I had utterly failed as a man and had no hope of becoming a better man in time to save my marriage. These are not moments that Mrs. Zeke or I would wish on anyone else, but by the grace of God we made it through and are stronger for it.

For those that are in the eye of the hurricane in their marriage, I hope that somehow they can stick it out, be willing to take on change, and trust that the marriage that endures trial has gifts to give that can't be imagined until they arrive, unbidden. You just work hard and struggle through, and then find one day that you have a better marriage than you ever imagined. That's how it played out for Mrs. Zeke and me, and we're nothing special. We all have every reason to believe that hard work and humble service to a higher goal will have its own rewards.

Keep fighting the good fight; we are not alone.

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