Every Reason to Stay

Every Reason to Stay - Parenting Like HannahA happy marriage is one of the best gifts you can give your children. Unfortunately, marriage – even Christian marriages – involve two sinful people living together. This means even the best of marriages have disagreements and tough times. If your marriage has issues – a lot of issues, you may be tempted to walk away.

Part of being a Christian is coming to grips with the difficult teachings of God. One of which is that God hates divorce. Oh, He makes a few exceptions, but in general it is obvious He wants us to stay married. Yet what do you do when it feels like you are at the end of your marital rope? How do you hang on for one more day when you believe that is what God would want you to do? Is your relationship even worth saving?

I don’t know the answers to your questions, but maybe I can give you some hope. Vicki Rose is a woman who looked like she was living the dream. Her husband owned a popular restaurant in New York City and they were part owners of the Yankees with all of the perks. Yet their marriage was an utter disaster.

Neither Vicki nor her husband were Christians when they married and God was not a priority (or really even a factor) in their relationship. Years of infidelity, drug use and selfish behavior left their marriage in shambles. Yet learning about God and His plans for them changed everything.

I won’t kid you, this is not a step-by-step how to save your marriage book. The author does mention at the end of the book a few major things she believes helped turn things around in their marriage, but they are very general. Turning their marriage around was not a quick nor an easy process. It actually took several years. What I do love about this book though is that it is as gripping as a novel, but can also give you some perspective and possibly even hope about your own marriage.

While the book definitely gives God the credit for the changes in the Roses’s marriage, the theology is a little off at times. My biggest issue is that in spite of being an avid Bible reader, the author failed to mention the importance of baptism in becoming a Christian (it is mentioned in every conversion in Acts.) There were a couple of other very minor things, but in general her thesis idea is correct – God can change lives and marriages.

I am in no position to give you specific advice about your marriage. All I can do is suggest you pray, search the scriptures, ask for solid Christian counsel and perhaps read this book to give you some additional hope. I truly believe it is God’s desire that we have solid Christian marriages. Maybe this book will give you what you need to keep working on yours with your spouse.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)