Shane and I were talking today, and he mentioned how a work colleague of his is separating from her husband. We discussed how sad it was, (as you do) and then I started talking about how it amazes me that anyone can stay married, if they don't have God's help.
Now I wasn't saying it in a judgmental holier-than-thou way. But really, I just know I couldn't do it. When I was trying to explain what I meant to Shane, I said "I just don't love you enough."
There was a bit of a stunned silence, (whoops, did I just say that? It just popped out!) then we burst into laughter. But after we'd calmed down, I explained what I meant.
I love him, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I could quite happily be done, you know? I know there are things that we do, problems within our marriage, that would make other people walk away. The idea of freedom is very appealing at times (the grass is always greener and all that). I have reasons (and he does too!) that would justify an exit from our relationship, in the eyes of the world.
However, because we love God, and our relationship has been woven using a cord of three strands, God's love helps to hold our relationship firm, when our love falters. He helps me to forgive, to hold my tongue when I so badly want to use it to wound. His grace and love is more than enough for us. It's not easy, sometimes marriage is crap, to be honest. But with God, I am committed to Shane. When my love isn't enough, His is.
I have no doubt that there will still be many, many obstacles to face. But I pray and trust that with God's help, we can see them through. Without God's help though? I have no idea how I would stay married, and I have no idea how other people manage it, so hats off to them.
Also, I'm pretty sure Shane's going to make me pay for that comment one day!