Have you ever had two thoughts that at first glance seemed unrelated yet as the day progressed, they came together as one? Synchronicity as it is called happened to me today… Good Friday… and on LinkedIn no less. One individual with whom I have been following for some time on the social media site quoted Reverend Dr. Peola Hicks as saying, “Good Friday is a day of hope. It is a day where we look forward to a brighter tomorrow. Many things have happened to change the course of our lives, but it has not shaken our faith.” My response … ” I truly believe in this quote. Good Friday is a day in which we have an opportunity to turn over our heavy burdens to our Lord. When we do so, we have a chance to rise above those challenges and start life anew.”
Soon after I shared that one, a new, companion thought resonated within me as I read another post on the same site. It posed the question, “Why are so many Christian Marriages falling apart? What advice, scriptures, etc. would you give to fellow believers to keep their marriages together?”That question really resonated with me because, like many nowadays, my marriage failed many years ago after 17 years for a variety of reasons in spite of truly believing marriage was designed to be a sturdy, unbreakable ‘three stranded cord’ between man, woman and God. Further, I believed then as I do now that marriage is about giving not just receiving; it’s about compromise; and most of all… it is about being able to love and accept God, our spouse, and our selves unconditionally regardless of the obstacles placed before us. So if I believe all that, what exactly happened, you ask? Reality. Sinner or Saint, Christian or not, we are after all human. As humans, our bonds are challenged from time to time… and what better way is there to challenge our bond than with our own vulnerabilities? Our vulnerabilities come in many forms… from outside influences as well as from doubts, fears, and unrealistic expectations we bring to each of our relationships, including marriage, from day one. No matter how we try, those vulnerabilities get in the way, constantly gnawing at those “strands” over time.
It is our little doubts from time to time that start to add up and get in the way of feeling loved and accepted for who we truly are until we panic because we fear rejection. Little by little, it is our fear of rejection that breeds unrealistic expectations about our selves, distorting the actual bond we share with God and our life partner. Most of all… it is all those little unrealistic expectations that isolate us as we withhold our true thoughts and our feelings not only from our Creator, but from our life partner too. One by one, it is all those thoughts and feelings that eat away at us and the cord designed to bond us.
So what causes all of this to occur among us – including Christians? In a word… communication … or lack thereof. It is the lack of communication over time that prevents us from being open with and true to God, our life partner, and our selves, thereby weakening our once sturdy strands. While designed to bond us, our three-stranded cord is still no match for our free will. Just as we are free to tough it out, we are also free to walk away from it. Unfortunately, for many, myself included at one time, walking away when things get too tough is too easy of an option; far better than staying to face the depth of our challenges … many of which are of our own making. The truth is…should we stay to save our bond, we most likely discover it is those very challenges that test and strengthen that bond. Today is Good Friday. As with Jesus, God presents us with many difficult challenges during our lifetime. Over time, those challenges weigh very heavy on our shoulders. Proving to be our wooden cross, we bear it the best we can. Still.. we will no doubt stumble and fall many times, picking ourselves up each time as we try to move more forward.
What advice do I offer others who wish to keep their relationships alive? Communicate, communicate, communicate with all of your heart, mind, and spirit until you are raw and crying out to God and your life partner in pain. It is then I learned your bond with God and your life partner becomes most real. Most of all… have faith in the love that binds you. In rising above your challenges, you are given the most precious gift … a chance for a new life.
Have a good Friday and a very blessed Easter! ~ Theresa —)-@