Your Spiritual Workout
"We just fell out of love." It's a phrase that seems to be taking the place of infidelity and violence as the reason for separation and divorce in our nation. However, the term is just another weak jab at keeping "irreconcilable differences" alive; which lost it's footing in the face of strong arguments that left it helpless when confronted with sound logic, calling into account the vows that were made at the altar. So, as the enemy of marriage is known for doing in all he opposes, he simply changed the phrase, connected it to the vow which includes love, and is now justifying...
divorce on the grounds that "the love is gone. Therefore we can excuse ourselves from this vow."
That our nation believes love is something we can fall out of is tragic. It is proof that the fabric that held our families together is thinning at an astronomical rate and pinholes are appearing all over the place. What is actually happening? Do we "fall" out of love? After all, we did fall in love, right? What I've come to realize is that when we marry, we're usually in love with the idea of being in love. The person we marry just seems like the person that can bring our ideas to fruition. Then, reality kicks in. "This isn't what I thought! You're not the person I thought you were!" Don't despair! There's a reason for that!
After the honeymoon passes and we start to discover who the other person is, it can be very difficult when the not so lovely things start to surface. Bad habits, illogical rationale, conflicting ideals, and beliefs are never clearer than when we marry and then it's hard to feel like "they understand you like no one else does." It's like we marry on a mountain top and then divorce because we have to go through the valley. However, the valley is where love should take root. This is when we're challenged to keep our commitment whether our idea about marriage gets better or worse. That's when it becomes all too clear: "I didn't marry you for worse, only better!" So, in order not to be found a liar, we blame each other for being in the valley and decide to climb to the next mountain top alone. Pam and I did the same thing. It took a while for us to understand that the valley is where we should be locking arms and declaring to each other, "I won't let you go it alone!"
That's the climb that very few people are willing to take. They want the mountain top to come to the bottom and when it doesn't they blame the other person and buy into the made up excuse of falling out of love. Love- real love- follows commitment. It is an ever growing, living entity that is enjoyed as we yield to the disciplines of its dominion. When people fail to yield, they stop enjoying the "feeling". There are no two greater, more passionate friends, who love, understand, appreciate, respect, cherish, and honor than two people who have held on to each other through great suffering. Soldiers who have survived wars together could speak to this truth in volume. If only couples would embrace a war-like mentality for their marriages!
Love isn't something you fall into but something you reach after a long, rigorous, uphill climb. Now Go!
Need help? Pam and I needed a lot of help. Thankfully there are great organizations that can help marriages in various different states of distress. If Pam and I had never sought help, we'd be probably be lost. Here are a few:
A couple of organizations local to the Kankakee/Chicago area
Marriage Inc. - http://marriageinc.org/
One Heart Marriages - https://www.facebook.com/groups/mombconeheart
And a couple with great articles, videos, and blogs