Sometimes I have to laugh at myself, because I have ALL the thoughts on marriage. I shouldn’t. I know first hand how quickly a marriage can fail and all that goes with that downward spiral. Even so, I repeat, I have ALL the thoughts on marriage. I didn’t even have a long marriage. From the vows to the divorce becoming official, we only clocked about two and a half years. And to be honest, only a year of that was actually what I would call a “good marriage.” So who am I to have ANY opinions on how a marriage should work? I don’t know. But it hasn’t stopped me from voicing my perspective, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Mostly, what I thought (and still think) about marriage is that it’s a lifetime guarantee. You should be able to look at this human whom you are committing your life to and know for gosh darn certain that you are both in this thing for the long haul. Who do you want standing beside you during your greatest accomplishments? Your spouse. Who do you want to enjoy the every day little adventures of life with? Your spouse. And more importantly, who do you want fighting next to you in the trenches when the world throws a great big crap ball in your face? Your spouse. Lifetime Teammates. That’s the gig, right? The good, the bad, the ugly.
I also believe that’s how God intended marriage to play out. “Til death do you part.” Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with my theory. I know I’m not a good example. I bailed. It’s ok that I bailed and God and I are totally cool, but I still bailed. That’s my truth. I guess the big question is: How can I still believe in a lifetime guarantee when I know how fragile a marriage can be? I can certainly look around at my life and see wonderful examples of a Godly marriage. Couples who have always stood by their lifetime commitment. My parents. All my aunts and uncles. I’m even old enough to have friends who have been married for years and survived some rough ground with their spouses. Yes, it can be done. But it can also fall apart.
In researching for this blog post, I tried to find different products that would offer a person a lifetime guarantee. I feel like that used to be a thing. A huge selling point. Alas, I could’t find many. Most pieces of merchandise now offer you a guarantee with a time limit. 1 year. 2 years. 5 years. Etc. A “limited warranty.” I guess that’s just where we are now as a society. We’ve accepted the fact that our vacuum will eventually bite the dust and our washing machine will kick the bucket. There is now an expiration date on everything we buy. We aren’t supposed to get our hopes up, because this little tag lets us know how long we can expect perfection from a product. After that date, it’s anybody’s guess when said commodity will wither and die. When did the same ideal begin to apply to marriage?
I’m blessed with a hopeful heart. But I’m also blessed with a calming sense of reality. There is a caution I possess that wasn’t there before. I want to believe that marriage can still be, and should be, a lifetime guarantee. I want to know that there are still people out there who are aware that “happily ever after” doesn’t necessarily exist, but hard work and love and respect are the attributes that will help two people endure. And I desperately want to send the message that when your belief in marriage starts to slip, you can hold on to the ultimate lifetime guarantee. God loves you. God created a beautiful plan for marriage. God will never leave the covenant he made with you. His love. His promises. His plan for you. His sacrifice for you. Your salvation. Always a lifetime guarantee.
Ephesians 1:13-14 “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”