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?”
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!

Comments

  1. >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.

  2. >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 sleep…lol.

  3. deldobuss says:

    >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:
    http://homeschoolblogawards.com/2009/03/homeschool-memoires-meme-30-get-up-and-go/

  4. Anonymous says:

    >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.

  5. Terry @ Breathing Grace says:

    >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).

  6. Anonymous says:

    >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!

    • anonymous says:

      world of warcraft, forsaken world and all major mmo role playing games are just that ensnares to take away what we love most our spouse, i’ll post on this one i’m a friend of sheila’s and rushed to her the second i got side slapped by the mmo rpg forsaken world when i found out my own husband was carring on which a 16 year old. now mind you the mmo settings are strictly for that it’s supposed to be fantasy play, however some people do not take that as such, they take it to extremes like my own husband did, he went from friendly to in game marriage to this girl, while i was standing there, then it proceeded to go as far as him completely ignoring me to the point i was called by him old, and a broken toy. because i can not have children, it even went as far as him lieing to family and friends on my side who were never around that i was cheating, however when he tried that statement with his parents they laughed in his face since i was always near them, sadly before i knew what was happening i had received a message from my own son with screen shots that his dad was indeed tired of me and leaving as well as calling me a few choice names, before he could take that walk out thankfully i stood my ground and told him i thought he should leave that second and not wait until his so called “time line” was complete. Needless to say I saw this coming, there are so many evils on the net we think that porn is just one, it’s not and you really must be careful, my marriage lasted 5 years, Thankfully someone came to sense after a divine intervention not once but twice struck him he came running towards me. What else could i do but put my foot down and refuse to let it happen again sadly everything was cleared up he admitted his lies and no ones happy about them the issue however seemed to stem from the fact he could not face the facts he is dieing of cancer and claims he chose that path instead of being truthful.

      Please be careful talk to your husband, wife, loved ones let them know that games online are not a joke and just because it is fantasy feelings to come into play no matter what the situation is and that any healthy relationship starts with speech.

  7. >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!

  8. I normally agree with most things posted here but this one I dont. Addiction is a disease, not something a spouse can prevent or change in any way. My husband is currently a recovering alcoholic. And I know for a fact that there is nothing I could ever do too prevent him from falling off the wagon should he get the notion. So setting up hedges to protect our marriage from his alcoholism isnt realistic. Maybe some most research into addiction could be done before giving such advice. If I had read this when I was first presented with my husband’s issue, this would have just made it worse. As it is, it took me yrs too figure out that I cant change him, he has to want to do it himself. A person who is not the addict cant do anything to change the addict. It just doesnt work that way. Please educate yourself a little more before advising people on matters of addiction. Its insulting to those who are living with it.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] We’re not the only ones losing out, either. According to the latest research, men’s sex drives are starting to go down, too. I think a lot of that is due to pornography and relationship issues, but regardless of the cause, it is true that for many men, they don’t always feel that hunger, either. (If your husband is using pornography, though, you really should read this.) [...]

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