As I have put this blog together and compiled resources, I am amazed at the amount of help available for saving marriages.
I found some good sections in First Things First/Chattanooga and First Things First/Richmond about saving marriages even when one partner wants out. Smart Marriages, on their home page, has a section about unwanted divorce.
I struggle with knowing how to inspire people to keep trying.
Rejoice Ministries is filled with Godly practical help for people in seemingly impossible circumstances. Michelle Weiner-Davis with Divorce Busting is a bulldog for hanging on to marriages.
I am thankful that in spite of my wife continuing to say she was done with ours, I kept on searching and trying, and I am thankful that Jesus honored my efforts and we were reconciled.
It discourages me that often when there is a separation, a spouse files for divorce, or a spouse threatens divorce, that the consensus, even in the church, seems to be "It's over; they're done; get on with your life."
It is amazing how often in life people rise to the occasion when the chips are down, and if they do they are admired for it. But, in marriage it seems like so often when the chips are down, and only one has any desire to try, that the consensus is that it is over.
In what other endeavor in life do people quit so easily?
If a ball team is way behind at half time do they just concede and go home? How often has a pro sports team had several losing years and just closed up shop and disbanded? If someone has a life threatening illness, how often do they just quit and not seek medical attention, and if they do delay medical attention, how often do friends and family push them to go rather than to let them waste away? How many companies have a few losing quarters and just close up shop, sell out, and quit? Sometimes, yes, but not often.
How many parents, especially Christians, totally give up on a child who has a drug problem, an out of wedlock pregnancy, an illness, financial crises? Some do, but I don't think it is the default posture.
When it comes to marriage, it seems like even among many Christians, accepting defeat is the default posture. In spite of a plethora of help, over and over it is said about struggling couples, "I don't know what else they can do. It looks like they will get divorced."
One of the reasons I am passionate about this is that during my own separation, when my wife was unwilling to work on our marriage, and I was desperately seeking for solutions, I was subtly and not so subtly being told that it was over and there was nothing I could do.