I'm glad it's Marriage Monday again which means, it's time to reflect about my own marriage despite the busyness of Mondays. Our topic this time is about commitment.
My first decade of marriage was not all smooth sailing as many marriages are usually due to lots of adjustments. Thanks to our very good friends and family who helped us weather the storms in our journey.
Most of our couple friends who have greatly influenced us are from our church. They have served as our support group thus we are also happy sharing our experiences to the new couples because we do believe how our couple friends' support, good modeling of love and commitment, encouragement and prayers worked well for us.
All our couple friends don't believe that divorce is the ultimate solution to marital problems. One friend though whose American husband is our church elder confides that the only sin her husband would consider divorce is adultery. No matter how terrible her behavior could turn in the past when their kids were still growing, her husband would always forgive her. In my case though, when we had a somewhat serious infidelity issue at the time when I and hubby were apart from each other, I sought support and advice from a few selected friends in the church. None of them suggested divorce. Instead, they prayed hard for both of us. They asked me other strong reasons why I should leave him, or if he had been ever unfaithful when we were together, the same questions my parents who have been happy together with each other for about 50 years now asked. I answered them, "never" and told them he's been such a caring husband and a dad to our 2 kids and also very hardworking And so all of them bid me to forgive him and give him another chance the way he was also asking for. He showed true repentance and renewed commitment, although we both struggled a lot during our healing time especially if I would recall the betrayal. But let me tell you this now, especially you, e-Mom who asked, that this forgiveness I offered him consequently led to his conversion to Jesus Christ.We praise God for this bitter turned sweet experience!
Now, I feel more effective in encouraging those who have struggles in their marriage. I can minister more for all the heartaches I went through. God used those heartaches so I can deeply understand and empathize how it is to suffer so I should be more willing to reach out those who need my encouragement and prayers. Our commitment is deepened when we are willing to forgive no matter how grave the sin is as long as the spouse is willing to recognize that sin and work things out. Just like Jesus Christ forgives if we confess our sins, we too should sincerely confess our sins to one another and offer/accept pardon. It takes humility and courage, of course, to open up our guilt to someone we love and who are we not to forgive?
With this experience, I can now share to other couples that it's good to stick together no matter what, to avoid temptations. Some couples are even tempted even if they are with each other, how much more if they are separated with great distance? I Corinthians 7:5 says, "Do
not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to
refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give
yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come
together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt you because of your
lack of self-control." Because my father read this verse to me when I was plotting divorce, he instead made me realize that I shared the blame for what happened. Then, our commitment got ever strengthened since then and we keep renewing it on a daily basis. Why do we need to do it? I have my own weaknesses, he has his own imperfections so if we don't tolerate or forgive each other every now and then, how can our partnership endure?
Be more encouraged and blessed by other Marriage Monday posts over at Chrysaliscafe.com.