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Wifey Wednesday: Carelessness is not an Option

Does God make a difference in your marriage?

Now, before you say, "Of course He does!", and murmur all the Christian platitudes, just take a step back for a moment and let me talk.

The divorce rate among Christians in most parts of the country and in Canada is actually lower than the general population--significantly lower. Unfortunately, in the Bible belt in the U.S. it's a tad higher, which is the statistic that is often mentioned when we talk about Christians and marriage.

So for most of us, God does make a difference.

But our divorce rate is nowhere near 0. Just because it's not 30%, like the rest of the world (it's not 50%; that's a false statistic, too), doesn't mean that we should rejoice at 22% or even 18%. That's still high.

And I'm extremely troubled by that. I see so many of my friends who go to church, and who honestly do believe, but God doesn't seem to come into their lives in other ways--what movies they watch, how they spend their time, how they spend their money, how they raise their kids. They've simply blended into the culture.

I have to, in many ways. We all have. But my husband and I decided early in our marriage that we would be intentional. We would not let the culture take us over. While we're far from perfect (we sure could stand to pray a lot more than we do), we at least talk about it and wrestle with how to bring God into our marriage and our family.

I had some really bad news this week. A couple I love dearly have split up. Now there are good reasons, though I'm not fully apprised of them, and in their situation this sounds like the prudent course. I won't elaborate more than that, but let me just say that sometimes separation is necessary.

From the little I do know, though, it sounds like one partner in the marriage has let culture infiltrate too much into his/her thought processes, so much so that his/her morality has been seriously compromised. I'm sorry for being so vague, but I don't want to betray any confidences.

And this is happening all over the place! I know another marriage that split up because he had an affair. This man ran a praise team. He stood with his wife while she went through cancer treatment. And then he left her anyway, when she was already feeling ugly and unattractive. And now he's trying to get out of paying child support; this, a man who has written praise songs that are still played on our Christian radio station.

We all know stories like that, don't we? And chances are, the first thing in your mind is, "I thought they were such a great couple! What happened?"

Maybe they were a great couple. But even great couples can fall apart if the marriage isn't tended well.

Think about all the things that work against marriages today. How many marriages do we know have been destroyed by pornography? Pornography is now implicated in the majority of divorces. It is not harmless. It is not something "fun" that adds "spice" to your marriage. It is poisonous, and it ensnares people, especially men. It lowers their sex drive, eats at their soul, and consumes their time. And what are we doing about it?

All addictions--workaholism, affairs, pornography, alcohol--could be avoided if we all simply were intentional in our marriages. If we decided from the outset that we would limit the computer, that we would always have dinner together, that we would spent time each night connecting, that we would put our time with our spouse as a priority, even before our kids, maybe our marriages would last.

One partner can never completely save a marriage. The other needs to agree too, and if your spouse has deserted you or cheated on you, that is not your fault. I am not blaming you.

But at the same time, carelessness is not an option. If your marriage is going well right now, don't assume it will always be like this. Develop habits so that the things that can drive us apart don't start taking over our marriages. We need to be vigilant. Never assume that you're the one couple that this stuff will never hit. Never assume that your husband would never look at pornography, or that you will never be tempted to have an affair. Instead, take steps now to make sure that this won't happen.

Every marriage break up is like the death of a small civilization. It hurts the kids, it hurts ourselves, it hurts our families.

Please take steps to make sure it doesn't happen to you. None of us is invincible.

What do you think? How have you put hedges around your marriage? How do you deal with the pornography threat? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post, and then come back here and enter your URL in the Mr. Linky. I'd love to keep this discussion going!

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At 1:18 PM , Blogger Kaycee said…

This is a great post. Pornography is a threat and it can demolish a marriage. It's not really an issue in our home, but it's everywhere!

I know a few people who were divorced because of it.

I think that people need to realize that it starts small and escalates. As soon as you think it may be becoming a problem you need to address it and talk to your partner.

If you overlook one or two incidences the other person will think that they have your consent. It will be harder to put a stop to it later when they are completely consumed by it.

If pornography is something that bothers you be upfront about it from the beginning. Let your partner know that even a little bit is not ok.


At 6:58 PM , Blogger Megan said…

So very true. It makes me very happy that my husband is uncomfortable with even having a store catalog in the house because of the lingerie section. Both of us look away, embarrassed, if there's any kind of "intimate" scene in a movie (there are great movies that have these scenes, but I sure wish they'd leave them out).

Thanks for the reminder, as usual. I haven't done much to deliberately work on the marriage front for a few months now. I think it's time to find some time to go through "The Love Dare". It would sure be nice if I didn't have to


At 8:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Oops, I replied to the Homeschool Post Meme and added my link, and somehow it showed up on this post on your blog. ???? That must have been a slip up.

This is what I was replying to:


At 9:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Great post.

I have found that praying for our husbands is very important - praying about EVERTHING. I giggled when my husbands best friend gave me a book titled "The Power of a Praying Wife" as a gift when we became engaged. I now recognize the incredible importance of prayer in our marriages.


At 6:00 AM , Blogger Terry @ Breathing Grace said…

It just occurred to me that my post yesterday could have been a part of Wifey Wednesday.

Guess I'll add it now!

Oh, and I agree with you on all points in this post. We MUST take care of our relationships better. Particularly in the church. I think our divorce rates can kill our witness, even if it is only 20% (though among african-americans, I believe it is much greater, just as it is in secular society).


At 10:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I normally comment logged into my profile, but I'll go anonymous on this one.

My husband has an addictive personality. He has struggled with Internet p0rn in the past and I suspect he still is. It's a huge problem and I'm scared to bring up the subject again. He won't let me install any kind of filter on the computer because he claims it blocks out innocent websites such as his favorite web comics.

He is also addicted to World of Warcraft (a computer game). He claims he isn't, but it adversely affects our marriage on a regular basis. I've noticed that when he is away from the game for a few days for whatever reason (vacation, other interests), he treats me completely differently, in a much improved way.

I wish I knew how to change it...but I don't. Nothing I've tried in our almost six years of marriage has worked. I wish he would spend more time intentionally working on our marriage and building our relationship. I guess all I can do is not give up and choose to do things myself. Thanks for the post!


At 4:24 AM , Blogger Tiffany said…

We try to go to marriage seminars and classes at church every chance we get. It helps keep us focused and makes us talk about our issues~whatever they may be at the time. I agree that we need to guard our marriages vigilantly! Thanks for the reminder!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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