A dear friend of mine lost his cousin yesterday. Her husband shot and killed her before shooting himself (he's still alive, but in critical condition). Please pray for the family.
The last time my friend saw his cousin alive was at his sister's wedding 2 years ago. Sadly, his sister is also getting divorced. She called my friend yesterday for help in getting her things from her home. Her husband, according to her, has threatened her. He says he wants his money back for the wedding and all of the bills he paid during their marriage before she gets her stuff. My friend's sister and his now deceased cousin had both spent the last few weeks swapping stories on their troubled marriages and now one is dead and the other is fearful. All four of these people are (were) devout Christians, are educated (the deceased had a Ph.d), have professional careers and are over the age of 40. I say this because many believe that solid faith, education, maturity and stability are among the greatest ingredients for a successful marriage. Clearly, this alone isn't enough.
First, the Macy and Wes incident and now this. Marriage is in trouble, people. Deep...serious trouble. It's no wonder few want to do it these days. All of these couples were once loving, affectionate, happy people. I know this isn't the story of every marriage, but you have to admit it's a common theme. Maybe not the violence, but the emotional drama and the breakups are all around us. I'm sure you know of a few yourself. It's sad when we know more divorced people than we know married ones.
After getting the news of the death and the death of another marriage, Mr. Free and I had a little convo about how we believe that a lot of people who are "married" today are, in fact, merely shacking, but holding a contract. Society recognizes them as married and they have the paperwork to prove that, at least legally, they are, but the mindset is not too much better than people who are living together without marriage. Not too many are willing to stand for better or worse, feast or famine, till death they do part. It's more like a convenient arrangement until one or both get tired of one another and then they're out and on to the next. Beyond the wedding ceremonies, the witnesses, the contracts and the rings, I see little difference.
On a better note, I spoke with Wes this morning and he and Macy are working on reconciling. He mentioned that some family members (namely, my Aunt LaVerne) aren't going to be happy to hear this. He says he's trying to get his life right, though, and that he's living for God. I reminded him that, if this is true, our Father's plan is that marriage is honourable in all and that he can't let any man (or meddling auntie) put his marriage asunder. He also started on how Macy has to leave drugs alone in order to be with him and that if she does crack again, he's out. I told him that they were both fighting a battle with drug addiction to which he, quite indignantly, told me that he does not have a problem...he's over his addiction and this is now her issue and her issue alone. (sigh) If you recall, I blogged before on how Wes takes this attitude every time he's on a "drug break". I wasn't trying to burst his bubble, but I had to remind him that just yesterday he told me how he had been craving crack and went out to get drunk on the 4th of July holiday just to keep from getting high! For him to get on the phone with me and, in front of his wife, swear he's clean while she's still a drug addict is beyond ridiculous, but hey... He's been off for 3-4 weeks, so we'll see what happens next. I'll pray for them and continue to encourage them, but I especially hope he stops putting her down (which is a large part of their marital issues) and realizes that if one of them has a problem, they are one flesh and both have a problem. In this case, even more so since he's been on crack since before he even met her!
Mr. Free and I have had our issues and still have issues we're working to overcome (or learn to live with), but one thing I'm grateful for is that we're a team. We've raised a great son in a faith-filled, stable home environment and are looking forward to growing old together FOREVER. We've had times when we absolutely, 100% were NOT feeling each other and did NOT want to be together, but we've stuck it out and learned that, if we work at it, we can overcome those feelings and learn to enjoy each other again as we grow in our relationship. We also know that our covenant is not merely with each other, but with the Most High. Therefore, even when we don't want to, we MUST do right to honor our commitment, for to not honor it would be to dishonor the One who brought us together. It's been a few years since we've gone through anything major, but even in those times we knew that we had to deal fairly and lovingly with one another even if it was a sacrificial effort to do so. Divorce simply isn't an option. It just isn't. And, since it isn't, we're constantly having to learn new and creative ways to keep it loving, exciting and, above all, TOGETHER.
My sincere prayer is that we can be an example to others and that the world will wake up and realize what a treasure marriage really is. My heart aches every time I hear of a new divorce. Sadly, it's been aching a lot lately too.
Let's get it together, shall we???