One of my little gifts this week was intercepting a glance and slight smile between a married couple that obviously was communicating a special secret, something the rest of us couldn’t share. Those moments are lovely to see, since it speaks of a relationship that doesn’t always need words, that speaks spirit to spirit.
But as I remember that, it occurs to me that there are quite a few couples who I never see sharing moments like those. Sure, maybe I just don’t see them…but there are certainly couples who simply don’t have them, because their relationship is on the rocks. In fact, right now it almost seems as if marriages are crashing and burning all around me. There are at least two couples close to us who are having serious problems, a few who are weathering some rough seas, plus several others who seem to just coexist, so my heart is burdened for marriages right now. It’s hard to watch a marriage crumbling, to watch one or both people throw away something that they once thought to be indescribably precious.
One of the hardest ones for me to watch is a wife’s belittlement of her husband. Especially when you see their teenage daughters showing the same contempt for their dad that they see their mom using. It hurts to see those girls not only being disrespectful, but also learning horribly unhealthy ways to relate to men. These girls hardly have a chance at a happy marriage without some sort of intervention…do they?
And in every case of a marriage in trouble, the root problem is pride. Any problem can be overcome if the person who did wrong is willing to admit their mistake. And if the other is unwilling to forgive, then they are guilty of pride as well. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we are just as guilty of sin as anyone, and if we refuse to forgive, we are saying that our own sins are not as bad as the other person’s. That is incredibly prideful and so wrong.
Revelations 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The fearful and unbelieving and all liars are lumped right in there with the murderers and idol worshippers, and they are all equally condemned. ALL liars! Have you ever said something that wasn’t strictly true? Of course! That would almost certainly include every. single. person. alive! Have you ever been afraid? Of course, who hasn’t? And God calls that a sin! Do you ever doubt? I know I have. For sure, every person has sinned in some way, according to Romans 3:23. ANY sin, even the one that we think is teeny-tiny, is punishable by eternal death. And when we are so enveloped in the filth of our own sins, how can we possibly refuse to forgive someone else? Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are praying that God will forgive us exactly the same we forgive others. So if you’re praying that, but not forgiving someone, you are simply heaping God’s wrath on your own head.
Sorry, I may have wandered a bit, but it’s something that’s eating away at me right now. I’ve been specifically praying for several marriages today, and I keep thinking about it.