I was recently taking a couple through the premarital workbook “Creating Possibilities in Marriage”. As the couple worked through their family history and began doing the exercise on their family tree, it immediately dawned on the wife that approximately 80% of her relatives were divorced. Then the husband remarked, with an astonishing look on his face, “Every one of my people, except one has been divorced!” he said. I asked them what they thought that meant for them. Humorously, they looked at one another and simultaneously said, “We are in trouble…” (lol)
Yes, it was funny, but you could tell that under our faint laughs was this silent truth – they were in trouble! They were in trouble because they both came from generations of family systems that divorced. Now let’s put it into perspective. The only real reason it was an issue for them was because they were getting married and people don’t waste their time getting married to get divorced.
The pressure of just staying married would haunt them both for the rest of their life together because they were both so ambitious about not ending up “like everybody else”. They need to be moved from a fear-based marriage to a reality-based marriage so they could genuinely face the challenges that were ahead.
1. They Needed God To Lead This Thing
Everyone will need to lean on God at some point or another. When you place God at the head of something, you give him leadership to rule and guide it. When He is at the head of your marriage, He gives you the road map to your end. You may or may not follow that map, just as you may or may not follow speed limit signs when you’re driving, but you see the things you should be doing. When you place God at the heart of your marriage, you become His desire for your life and you live as a reflection of Him and not just in response to Him. In marriage there will be times you just simply don’t want to do what you know God wants you to do. The more heart centered your relationship with God is, the more you will desire to do what He wants to do and not what you want to do.
2. They Needed A Personal Reason to Be Faithful
I’ve always believed that if you don’t have anything to live for then you will die for the wrong things. If life is going to have any meaning, you have to have a practical reason to do something. Just getting married because you love a person is not enough to keep you together or keep you faithful! You have to have a deep internal conviction as to why you need to be faithful. Often, these types of convictions come from people not wanting to repeat patterns in their life. For example, many fathers are committed to being good fathers because they never had a father themselves. Ask yourself – why should I be faithful?
3. They Needed to Realize That Anyone Can Cheat
Don’t ever think that you are so in love or so morally strong that you would never cheat on your spouse. As soon as you think you’ve got it all together, you’ll find yourself in a situation you don’t know how to get out of. So be cautious while being careful. You would be surprised how adultery can slip into your life, especially when you really honor and love your spouse. The biggest lie you could ever tell yourself is that you would never cheat. You have to treat it as though you are vulnerable to it and are recovering from it – like a person in recovery. That way you will guard yourself again
st things that could lead you to the very thing you don’t want to do.
Now there are obviously more than this, but this is a start. If you’re ever going to break a pattern in your family history – you have to take it serious enough and not minimize the severity of it – or you never break it.