During our last Love Alive Outreach, I ministered on ‘SPIRITUAL UNITY IN MARRIAGE’. As I began to enumerate the dangers of spiritual disunity in a marriage, I emphasized the idea that no marriage is unbreakable, and that to keep your marriage healthy, you will have to work on it. I also said some marriages break even when it seems they have passed the breaking point.
At this precise point in my message, one of the many precious women who were present with their husbands volunteered a rare contribution. She is a barrister, and has seen a lot of marriages disintegrate. But what she shares was ‘something else.’ Hear her:
“Right now a divorce process is going on between one of my bosses and his wife.”
That is not special, I thought to myself. But then she detonated the bomb.
“My boss is 84 years old and the wife is 81.”
Everyone of us at the programme opened our mouths and our jaws literally hit the floor!
Whatever can make a couple who has been married for more than half a century drag themselves to court for divorce? I’m not here to give reasons today, but just to let us know that long duration does not necessarily cement a relationship. No marriage is UNBREAKABLE. A pastor can marry an angel sent from heaven, and a bishop can marry an arch-bishop, if they don’t make the unity of their marriage a worthwhile project, it will eventually collapse.
I do not need to list the high profile cases of renown pastors and celebrities, (these days the words seem to have become synonyms), who break down despite all the knowledge of the word of God and the the money they have. We ordinary Christians wonder why. The truth is ALL MARRIAGES NEED THE SAME INGREDIENTS TO WORK. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, preacher or layman. My marriage will not work just because I am a pastor. In fact, being a pastor may kill my marriage if it is not handled correctly.
In 1995, I officiated in a wedding as an usher. That wedding was one of a kind. The bride’s daddy was a wealthy deacon and all parties involved were Christians. Two weeks later I was in my pastor’s house and the bride came crying, with a bandaged right hand and a swollen face. The groom had terminated the honeymoon in style: he beat the hell out of his new wife. That marriage never survived.
When a marriage fails, it is never God’s fault. When a man and a woman get married, the responsibility to make it work rests entirely on both of them. That responsibility will not reduce when they have been married for 10 years, or 50 years, or even 80 years. Your marriage may be old, but your responsibilities to it must always be kept fresh.
Let me re-phrase that: Your responsibilities to your marriage must be kept young no matter how old your marriage is….