▼8 Lies & Myths That Destroy a Marriage▼
the angels live. You know it's a long way down from there, just to call it quits, cuz that
ain't what love is...Broken hearts develop a fear of flying.” Well, it's been two years
since I first published Part 1 of this blog & since then, as divorce rates everywhere
you look rise, China — as noted in other writings — recorded 2.46 million divorces
that same year, with cities like Beijing & Shanghai registering 5,000 cases each
month. Meanwhile, for divorced men and women who believe in the sacred
institution of marriage despite being ravaged by what others realistically
perhaps occasionally call a “failed marriage”, struggling with whether
to take calls from an ex who still wants either to have you back or
or at least maintain some contact, is as hard as some of the 8
lies (or myths) you're about to read. So, as a personal self-
development project, I've set it up this way (in the true
tradition of a blog), elucidating concepts and selected
excerpts for the benefit of both gracious (Chinese)
readers & international; anyone desperate to get
this relationship thing right. Thankfully, Bill
Elliff continues right where Part 1 left off,
with the powerful words: “Every wrong
behavior begins with believing a lie.”
“Our culture”, he writes, “promotes
many deceptions that can quickly
destroy a marriage.” For those
(and you know who you are)
who text or e-mail me such
questions as: “What kind
of woman will you love
or marry?”, it's better
to understand first,
& patience works
instead of being
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Lie #1: "My happiness is the most important thing about my marriage.”
Every marriage knows unhappiness. Every marriage knows conflict. Every marriage knows difficulty. But everyone can be joyful in their marriage by focusing on God’s purposes and His glory instead of individual happiness.
As a pastor, I can’t tell you how many people have justified breaking up their marriages by saying, “I have to do this. God just wants me to be happy.”
But according to God’s Word, a spouse’s individual happiness is not the purpose for marriage.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do in word or deed,” do for the glory of God. 无 论 做 甚 麽 ， 或 说 话 或 行 事 ，都 要 奉 主 耶 稣 的 名 ， 藉 着 他 感 谢 父 神 。 While all parts of creation are to glorify God, mankind was made in God’s very image. Through marriage, husbands and wives are to reflect His character and have children who will reflect His character…all the way to the end of time.
Lie #2. “If I don’t love my spouse any longer, I should get a divorce.”
It’s a tragedy to lose love in marriage. But the loss of human love can teach us to access a deeper love—the very love of God Himself. That love is patient and kind…it never fails (I Corinthians 13). It even cares for its enemies.
When human love dies in a marriage, a couple can enter into one of the most exciting adventures they’ll ever have: learning how to love each other with God’s love. Romans 5:5 tells us that this very love “has been poured out within our hearts, through the Holy Spirit.” 盼 望 不 至 於 羞 耻 ， 因 为 所 赐 给 我 们 的 圣 灵 将 神 的 爱 浇 灌 在 我 们 心 里。
Lie #3. “My private immorality does not affect my marriage.”
If you take your emotional and sexual energy and spend it on someone else, there will be nothing left for your spouse. Those who continually view pornography or engage in sexual fantasies are isolating themselves.
Oneness in marriage is hijacked by sexual immorality. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:15, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?”...岂 不 知 你 们 的 身 子 是 基 督 的 肢 体 麽 ？ 我 可 以 将 基 督 的 肢 体 作 为 娼 妓 的 肢 体 麽 ？ 断 乎 不 可！
In the 21st century, there are many ways to join oneself with a prostitute: physically, through the pages of a magazine, on a computer’s video screen, etc. Paul’s advice is the same today as it was thousands of years ago: Flee immorality (I Corinthians 6:18)...你 们 要 逃 避 淫 行 。 人 所 犯 的 ， 无 论 甚 麽 罪 ， 都 在 身 子 以 外 ， 惟 有 行 淫 的 ， 是 得 罪 自 己 的 身 子。
Lie #4. “My sin (or my spouse’s sin) is so bad that I need to get a divorce.”
Some of the greatest life messages I know are the marriages of people who have repented from sexual sin and spouses who have forgiven them. Their lives today are living testimonies to the truth found in Joel 2:25: “… I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” 我 打 发 到 你 们 中 间 的 大 军 队 ， 就 是 蝗 虫 、 蝻 子 、 蚂 蚱 、 剪 虫 ， 那 些 年 所 吃 的 ， 我 要 补 还 你 们。
The truth is God can fix our failures—any failure. The Bible says to forgive one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven us (Colossians. 3:13). 倘 若 这 人 与 那 人 有 嫌 隙 ， 总 要 彼 此 包 容 ， 彼 此 饶 恕 ； 主 怎 样 饶 恕 了 你 们 ， 你 们 也 要 怎 样 饶 恕 人。
“But,” you ask, “Doesn’t Matthew 19:9 say that God allows divorce in the case of sexual immorality?”...我 告 诉 你 们 ， 凡 休 妻 另 娶 的 ， 若 不 是 为 淫 乱 的 缘 故 ， 就 是 犯 奸 淫 了 ； 有 人 娶 那 被 休 的 妇 人 ， 也 是 犯 奸 淫 了 。 Yes. I believe that it does—when there is an extended period of unrepentance. Yet, nowhere in that passage does God demand divorce. When there is sexual sin, we should seek to redeem the marriage and so illustrate the unfathomable forgiveness of God.
Lie #5. “I married the wrong person.”
A wrong start in marriage does not justify another wrong step. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good,” says Romans 8:28, “to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” 我 们 晓 得 万 事 都 互 相 效 力 ， 叫 爱 神 的 人 得 益 处 ， 就 是 按 他 旨 意 被 召 的 人。
Many people have told me, for example, that they are free to divorce because they married an unbeliever. “I thought he/she would become a Christian, but that didn’t happen. We need to get a divorce.” They recall that they knew it was a mistake, but they married anyway—hoping it would work out. Others claim that they just married someone who wasn’t a good match, someone who wasn’t a true “soul mate.”
Here’s the key for those who are now married: The Bible clearly says do not divorce (with the exception for extended, unrepentant sexual immorality). God can take even the worst things of life and work them together for good if we will just trust Him.
Lie #6. “My spouse and I are incompatible.”
I don’t know a lot of husbands and wives who are truly compatible when they get married. In marriage, God joins together two flawed people...
If I will respond correctly to my spouse’s weaknesses, then God can teach me forgiveness, grace, unconditional love, mercy, humility, and brokenness. The life of a person who believes in Jesus Christ is developed by responses to not only happy things, but also to difficulties. And those very difficulties include weaknesses.
That is why we are told in Colossians 3:12-13 to “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other.”所 以 ， 你 们 既 是 神 的 选 民 ， 圣 洁 蒙 爱 的 人 ， 就 要 存 （ 原 文 作 穿 ； 下 同 ） 怜 悯 、 恩 慈 、 谦 虚 、 温 柔 、 忍 耐 的 心 。 倘 若 这 人 与 那 人 有 嫌 隙 ， 总 要 彼 此 包 容 ， 彼 此 饶 恕 ； 主 怎 样 饶 恕 了 你 们 ， 你 们 也 要 怎 样 饶 恕 人 。 My spouse’s weaknesses are not hindrances. Instead, they are the doorway to spiritual growth. This is a liberating truth.
If I will respond to my spouse’s shortcomings with unconditional acceptance, my love won’t be based on performance. I won’t say, “You need to live up to these expectations.” I will be able to accept my spouse, weaknesses and all.
Lie #7. “Breaking the marriage covenant won’t hurt me or my children.”
Many consequences of divorce never go away...
When divorce enters a family, there are always scars. I know this firsthand; although I was an adult when my father committed adultery and divorced my mother, decades later there are still effects.
Blake Hudspeth, our church’s youth pastor, also understands the pain of divorce. He was 5 years old when his parents divorced, and it was hard for him to understand God as Father and to trust people. “The people I trusted the most split up.” He also found it difficult to accept love from others “because I didn’t know if they truly loved me.” And Blake developed a fear of marriage. “Am I going to follow the trend of divorce, because my parents and grandparents divorced?”
Blake’s father even wrote him and said, “This was the worst decision I made in my life. It was bad. It hurt you. It hurt our family. When I divorced your mom, I divorced our family because I broke a covenant that we were a part of.”
Lie #8. “There’s no hope for my marriage—it can’t be fixed.”
This may be the most devastating lie of all. Because in more than four decades of counseling couples, I’ve seen God do the seeming impossible thousands of times. In a dying marriage, He just needs two willing parties. God knows how to get us out of the messes we get ourselves into.
I tell these couples about people like Chuck and Ann, who were involved in drugs and alcohol before God restored their home. Or Lee and Greg, who were engaged in multiple affairs. God brought them back to Christ and to each other. Now they have six children and a marriage ministry. Or Jim and Carol who had taken off their wedding rings and were living in separate bedrooms and about to live in separate worlds when God redeemed them.
We must combat the lies about marriage. The truth will set us free (John 8:32).你 们 必 晓 得 真 理， 真 理 必 叫 你 们 得 以 自 由 。 God can fix anything!
If you begin to think, There is no hope for my marriage, realize that, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). 耶 稣 看 着 他 们 ， 说 ： 在 人 这 是 不 能 的 ， 在 神 凡 事 都 能。
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The Psychology of Men
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