|Two people at the end of the road,|
Courtesy of fotosearch.com
I was thinking about something I heard at a Men’s Meeting years ago; the speaker was Edwin Louis Cole. He shared that at a couples meeting when he was speaking only to the husbands, he asked the question,
"How many husbands here would say that their marriage was failing?"
Fifty percent of the men in the room raised their hands.
A while later when he was speaking to the wives, he asked the same question,
"How many wives here would say their marriage was failing?"
Seventy-five percent of the women in the room raised their hands.
Half of the husbands who thought they had a good marriage had no idea that their wife was contemplating or planning to end the marriage.
As I thought about that, I realized that I had no idea that my wife had lost all faith in me. It’s a sobering thought when you hear the words; it's time to end things between us. The reasons for our marital failure no longer matter. In her eyes, I had drifted away some time ago and now, she too had moved on. Failure and success in marriage does not hinge on one person; still, I groped for recovery. I believed we could still salvage it but this was not a shared belief. Hearing the words, you’re still the same, I don’t need ….
I found myself reading Maximized Manhood hoping to discover some principles I could recognize from Cole:
"I was standing in front of a table at the end of a meeting when an exuberant couple greeted me….the husband told me of the miracle in their lives…’If you ever want anyone to confirm what you said about God giving love, just call us,’ he said. ‘We are a miracle marriage. For years I made my wife’s life a hell on earth. Unfaithful, inconsiderate, dictatorial, selfish, all I wanted was for her to do what was necessary for me to enjoy life.’
‘Oh, I led the choir, we went to church, and everyone saw us as a fine family—but no one knew me privately. Not even she did. I was a first rate hypocrite for years.’
‘All she knew was that she had come to the end of her rope and was leaving me. That’s when I awoke to how and what I was.’"
I began to realize that in our society, marriages come and go. Couples lose compatibility; there are irreconcilable differences, or they find themselves living separate lives.
And then I read something that rung true:
"God commands us to love."
"According to God, love is not a feeling. Sometimes it doesn't even feel good. But, real love is always good.
Love centers in the will. That is why love can be commanded and why God can command love.
The American male, to a great extent today, flees from commandments. Or rebels."
As I read this, I recognized that the reasons why men and women end their marriage should not be dismissed; people get hurt, physically, emotionally and spiritually as a result of failing marriages.. It’s hard enough to deal with that kind of pain and then come face to face with some holier than thou do gooder (or self-righteous husband) hurling a scripture in your face. Just what they need added to their pain is biblical guilt.
I’ve been insensitive and ignorant to the pain I’ve caused my wife while in my mind, I loved her. I thought because she said nothing that things were fine; they weren’t. She suffered in silence.
I’m not writing this post for my wife, I’m writing it because God commands me to love her. Being married no longer matters now. Whatever she does, wherever she goes, I will love her. And though we are no longer compatible, she remains my friend. I pray that I can be the friend she has been to me.
Father God, I don’t even know where to begin except to say how sorry I am that I have failed so completely to love my wife completely. Forgive me please for lifting up pride and arrogance and paying such a tremendous price. I commit myself fully to you in the belief that I can change; not with a hidden agenda behind it. I simply want to change and be the man you want me to be.