Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Enduring Marriage

The Joy of Giving, painted by Albertina Palau, 19th Century

(Our settings have been changed, so if you need to copy an article for your notebook, just highlight it and paste it on to your email or some other type of document, and then click print.)
Many women want to be successful in the home. Carrying out this responsibility does not always depend upon favorable circumstances, or upon the co-operation of those around you. Women whose husbands have not been interested in following the Christian way of life, have still been able to have long marriages and stable home lives.

One of the most common misunderstandings about the home is that it should not have too many trials. Certain things should just "never happen," and if they do, then the marriage must be "ending," or "over," or, the home life and the parents authority are no longer "valid."

There was a commonly held belief that was spread around a few decades ago, that marriages that were not happy were not valid marriages, and that a home life that was uncomfortable or unpleasant in any way, was worthless. This belief was accompanied by the notion that if you were not "happy," you should leave the husband or the home.

If we are to ever be truly at peace, and truly happy in the home, then we must return to the old paths, where the good walk is (see the verse beneath the header on this blog.) In those paths, or that way of life, the verse says, you will find "peace for your souls." I hope to share just one or two things that women used to do that helped their marriages remain stable in hard times.

The term "old paths" does not mean you have to stop using your car or any convenient invention. It does not mean that you cannot go to the grocery store or use a computer. The old paths means to follow the beliefs that were laid forth from the beginning of the creation; beliefs that would guide your actions.

One of the first "old paths" you can read about in the Bible, is that of caring for someone other than yourself. Eve was created to be a "help-meet" for Adam. Adam was to toil by the sweat of his brow, to earn a living for his family. Cain, the first child ever born in the world, wanted to know, "Am I my brothers' keeper?" If women would focus on the care of the family and the house, they would find that they soon lose their focus on their husband's faults. When you are unhappy with your husband, you might try listing the many things you need to do at home to make life better, including house work, studying,serving others, or home maintenance.

The old paths, where the good walk is, which teaches us to serve others, will give us peace. First Corinthians 13 gives the perfect answer to those who want to know how to show love to their husband: through patience, kindness, and unselfishness.
In a previous post, I showed how a marriage could be compared to a ship, which was built for rough seas. Although the inside of the ship is safe and sheltered, the outside would endure the rougher seas. To say that it would only be worth sailing in during calm seas and sunny weather, would be to deny its purpose as a vessel created for the sea. Some critics of marriages will be quick to point out that the couple is "not happy," or that they argue, and that therefore, the marriage does not "work." Marriage was designed to serve the needs of a husband and a wife in difficult times, as well as in good times. It is such an important design, that no matter what kind of turmoil goes on around you, you can feel peace if you are doing your part to follow the old paths.
Couples are continually maturing. If they give up on their marriage when there are disagreements and failures, they lose the chance to mature and endure, and to pass on the example to their children and others.

The family is designed so brilliantly by God that when one person is sick, and not performing their duties to their mate, they are still married. Without children, it is still a marriage. When a husband is earning a living but hardly home, it is still a marriage. When the family has no money, there can still be a marriage. Many people during the Great Depression endured harder times that we do today, yet it did not destroy their marriages. While a wife or husband may be inadequate in their marriage, it is still a marriage, because God created it, and that is the way it is.

Just because a man is not the "spiritual leader" like a wife may want him to be, does not mean he is not a husband and does not mean there is no marriage. Everyone has seen long marriages where the wife, in her later years, loses her memory and does not recognize her husband or anyone else in the family. It is still a marriage. If a man is physically injured and has to live on a disability pension, would his wife complain that he was not a good marriage partner to her, and that he was not participating in the marriage or in the raising of his children? She would probably understand that this was a difficult situation. She would, hopefully, not add to his wounds by indicating that he was no more to her than a disability pension. His value as a human being would still be felt, and there would still be a marriage, in spite of his human frailty.
Today, people attempt to define marriage in their own eyes, according to their own likes and dislikes. If women want to have enduring marriages, they must return to the old paths, where the good walk is.
There are people today who remember their own parents marriages. They recall that their fathers were in their shop, garage or barn, building something or tinkering with a tractor, while their mothers were sewing, gardening, or visiting. Though they were not always in the same room together, their marriage was solid and they served their families.

Problems occur when people start re-defining their family according to the beliefs of the prevailing culture. This culture says that if something is inconvenient, difficult, distressful, uncomfortable, lonely, or poor, you shouldn't have to endure it. They misunderstand the meaning and benefit of endurance.

James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
A young women with three little boys consulted with the elders of the church where she worshipped. Her husband had not been behaving as he should. He was not involved with her in raising the children. She was not happy in her marriage and felt that she was being neglected. The wise, elderly men, who had already raised their children, gave her some very Biblical advice from the old paths. One of them read several passages from the scriptures including Titus 2, (wives are to love their husbands and children and guide the home) Ist Timothy 5:14,(younger women are to marry and raise children and keep house) and Ist Peter 3:1-2 (wives to win their husbands by their good example). They told her several ways to carry out these things:
1. Be a keeper at home. Even though your husband is not carrying out all his responsibilities as a husband, it does not mean that you abandon your responsibilities as wife and mother and keeper of the home. You will benefit him and your children and yourself by doing what is right, no matter what the difficulties are.
2. Make sure you live your beliefs, not talk them, because he will notice more what you do that what you say. Do not neglect to attend worship services faithfully, with your children. It is tempting to give up, but it is that weekly observance that may one day win your husband and bring him in to the faith. If he does not obey the gospel, he will at least gain respect for your religion if you are faithful.
3. Keep doing the things that you are supposed to do, and give him the choice to do what is right. Most people do not respond well to others pushing them. When it is their idea and it is something they want to do, they will be more motivated.
4. Have a stable home life, so that you will build under yourself and your children some habits and beliefs that will build a good support structure for you. Eventually your husband will recognize the difference in his own home, compared to the world that beckons him.
5. Do not worry if you do not see results. Some women may never results in their husbands, but they will at least have done what is right and good and created a good reputation for their marriage. They will have developed good things in their character and they will have lived a life of service to the ones God put in their care.
This was a sensible way that women of old would handle problems at home. Though they had troubles, they were reliable and faithful to their homes and families. They did what they could. Many of them had more hardships that women today have to endure, yet you can see on the old tombstones their names and the names of their husbands, with the words "married 5o years."
The young woman that did follow this advice is still married today and her husband has been dedicated to his family. If it were not for this stablizing advice, they may not have had such good success in their home.
Some wives will not follow this plan because they want to be guaranteed that it will "work." We are not told to find something that will work. We are told to be guides and guards of the home. Women need to make sure that they are doing all they can at home, before they try to reform their husbands. When you are tempted to be discontent, just be glad that you have a husband who is providing. Practice not complaining about anything. Remember the trials of people before you and learn to patiently endure.
Many years ago, I viewed a movie called "The Trap." It was the story of a rugged frontiersman, a trapper, who was looking for a wife. He was so rough and rowdy that he could not get any wife except a young, mute woman. She went with him to his cabin in the wilderness. She endured his rude manners with patience. When he threw something on the floor, she picked it up. When something was dirty, she washed it. When it was time to eat, she cooked food. They had many hardships, and her husband grew in his admiration of her and even changed some of his habits. I think my main appreciation of the woman in the film, is the fact that, rather than adopting the crudeness and rudeness of the man, she kept her manners and refinement and created a home. It was a dramatic film with breathless scenery, but it could have been the story of an ordinary woman at home today who faithfully attends to keeping the home and guarding her family. (Warning: not for young children. The trapper is depicted getting his foot caught in a trap, and more. Unfortunately this is not available on DVD yet. If it were, you could fast forward this unpleasant part ;-) "PLAY ALL" link is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n7WAmpx7oU&feature=PlayList&p=8AA780412C141F61&index=0&playnext=1

You can also visit the YouTube Member Page at http://www.youtube.com/user/rjd0309 and play any of the eleven video segments.



Before you become unhappy with your husband, ask these questions:
*Do you always make the right financial decisions?
*Have you ever made a mistake in buying something that was too expensive, that you really could have done without?
*Have you ever missed an important opportunity because you forgot?
*Are all your papers organized?
*Is your book shelf organized?
*Is your laundry caught up?
*Do you have good organizing habits? Are you able to keep up with housework?
In reality, most women cannot possibly live up to this list, but it is designed to show you that women are not perfect. It also shows that when women have some interests at home, they will be too absorbed in them to notice the failings of their husbands, or too involved in their own business to correct their husbands. Personal freedom is precious, and to have a choice to change makes that change much more meaningful. If wives could also take up the job of praying for their husbands, they may learn to rely on God and not on themselves to change their marriages for the better.
To watch "The Trap" go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK5xq7XKs0g&feature=PlayList&p=731FBB06F0742D7D&index=0&playnext=1 The scenes do not need to be clicked each time, as utube did a great job of making them come on automatically after each segment is finished.Warning: not an entirely pleasant film, and probably more of a "guy-film" than a gal-film.

47 comments:

Emmarinda said...

You have described the secret to contentment for a wife. Like Paul, we can still be content when we "abound or are abased", i.e., for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. Don't people comprehend that they are promising these these things before Almighty God when they marry?

I think people have God confused with somebody else, do they not? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - do not vow lightly. And once you do make vows unto the Lord, you carry them out because of who HE is.

Personally, I am so glad to have a man that loves me, and is faithful. There have always been more things wrong with our marriage than right, but I have come to cherish what we do have, and to make something beautiful of it.

Thank you for encouraging women in these matters, as your blog is one of the few places they can go to learn the truth.

Linda said...

A hearty AMEN to what you've just written down there! :D

Greetings from the netherlands!

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Emmarinda,

Itis always interesting to see who will leave the first comment on a post. I am glad it was you. Critics of marriage often said that it had to be perfect or it was not worth being married. They did not understand the nature of marriage. It was designed so that two people could learn and mature while taking care of their family during their lives. There are many man made institutions that have problems and do not work like they should, yet people frequent them and continue to use them. Marriage is under attack if it doesn't "work", yet what is marriage supposed to "do" exactly? It is the means by which a family is formed, whether there are children or not. It has greater significance in its existence than any man made institution. It provides protection for the wife, in that she does not have to be subject to other men, only her own husband, who is usually a man of her own choosing. There is much more that a marriage does, that society today does not recognize.

Spruce Creek Farm said...

I enjoyed your article very much.
The movie "The trap" sounds very interesting.I'm looking forward to watching it.
Your readers can go to the following YouTube link to watch the movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK5xq7XKs0g&feature=PlayList&p=731FBB06F0742D7D&index=0&playnext=1
Brenda

Sarah in England said...

There are people today who remember their own parents marriages. They recall that their fathers were in their shop, garage or barn, building something or tinkering with a tractor, while their mothers were sewing, gardening, or visiting. Though they were not always in the same room together, their marriage was solid and they served their families.I have these sort of memories of my own childhood and they're something to cherish.

Anonymous said...

This was just a wonderful post, a rare attitude today! I wish young people heard this just once in awhile at least. So many people add to their dissatisfaction by dwelling on every bad moment I have seen in my own family ,in this generation ,that they seem to just have the inability to endure anything. A constant drive to search for happiness,always searching never finding and a wake of destroyed marriages and damaged children and even financial ruin behind them. So sad . You are a very wise lady.

Tracy said...

Such truth and wisdom spoken here.... thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

What excellent advice. Many would be spared divorce if they could here this early in their marriages.

Thank you
Anthea

~Bren~ said...

As a wife to a husband who is not saved or a Spiritual Leader, I say AMEN! 30 years married to him and God blessed our marriage because of the sanctification and obedience of his wife (me) ;)!

Anonymous said...

Lydia, this was an excellent and much needed post to encourage me today! There is so much I need to do as a wife and mom to make things better here for all of us, rather than getting discouraged about how others are responding.

Virginia

Anonymous said...

I think if you start from the premise that there is no out from your marriage, many things can be worked through with time.

I'm also intrigued with the idea of seasons of life. Having young children adds its own joys, and its stresses, but there is a sweet reward for those who persevere.

Unfortunately, both people have to believe that there is no out. But even if both don't, one can and try their hardest.

~ Ann

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Brenda, that you so much for finding that ...I have looked for it for many years and checked regularly on Amazon.

The woman made a believer out of this brute by the way she lived. Do you remember when she went home for awhile (I think loneliness and the harsh conditions drove her back home) and returned, and he had constructed a chandelier for her out of antlers? What a statement that made about her refined ways and her delicate manners. My article though, should not be taken as a means to get this sort of thing, though. It is about being personally happy and having an enduring marriage even when you dont have a believing husband or an attentive husband. The way a wife acts will draw him to the home or drive him away.

Andrea said...

I ran upon your blog while searching the internet for tea and bible reading. I was actually looking for a picture - not a private one, but a public domain image.

Your blog is so very, very lovely! Your love for the Lord shines through your writing. And I appreciate your testimony and honor of God's word.

Many blessings to you. May the Lord keep you every where you go and in all you do.

In Christ's Love,

Andrea

Michele said...

Wow, there are so many excellent nuggets of wisdom in this post. I especially liked:

This culture says that if something is inconvenient, difficult, distressful, uncomfortable, lonely, or poor, you shouldn't have to endure it. They misunderstand the meaning and benefit of endurance."
AND

Practice not complaining about anything. Remember the trials of people before you and learn to patiently endure.
Most of us don't want to have to endure anything anymore. I think many modern books and movies propagate this distorted view of marriage and relationships. Even Christian fiction is full of men who are the 'perfect' and 'ideal' husbands (which is one of the reasons I prefer to get my fiction from Keepers of the Faith.com).

Thank you for this *excellent* reminder!

S. Belle said...

Great post! My grandmother preaches the same thing to me regarding marriage.

It has been a blessing to me to heed the words this message. Life is so much more peaceful when you trust God, and tend to your business as a wife and mother.

Kalianne@theBowerbird'sNest said...

To endure builds character. Many people today divorce and remarry only to have second and third marriages dissolve. It's relatively easy to leave a marriage these days because most women can be financially independent. Women of yesteryear endured not always due to virtue, but because the consequences of divorce were harder to bear. Many women could not support themselves without a husband, they faced losing their children and the social stigma of divorce was serious in many circles. Today as in days gone by marriage should be entered into carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully; then be prepared to endure the hard times ahead (they will come, it's part of life).

Thankyou for another thoughtful article.

Blessings,
~Kalianne

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT!!!!!! This is one of the most profoundly insightful articles I have come across on marriage - ever!!

I could relate so easily to the thoughts and situations you have discussed.

In your list of points, point 5 has been especially applicable to me. My hubby isn't a Christian (hasn't been since his childhood and it is so easy to fall into the trap of almost craving to see results - results of prayer, some type of confession of faith or conversion experience. I, and others like me need to stop right here and consider that God is in charge of the conversion of one's heart back to Him; I can do little to facilitate this theologically. What I can do, though, what WE can do, is simply keep on keeping on with Faith that God has the whole thing under control and sees things we cannot and will not ever see, doing our part as wives and helpmeets - helpers that meet our husbands in the way, helping carry the load, doing our bit on the journey that is marriage.

In the meanwhile, I love him for who he is - a good, patient and forebearing man (I'm ashamed to say it, but living with me can be a trial in patience sometimes), and, the more I see, the more my husband and I jurney along the way, the more this is revealed. My hubby might not believe, but his kindness, long suffering and easy going attitude makes him, makes us a perfect combination.

I may never witness his conversion to Christ, (he might surrender to God moments before he breathes his last, long years from now). He may never give up harmful habbits to his physical health, but giving thanks day by day to God for his caring, the tender man that he is, focusing upon the good (though I become misguided at times by my own impatience) is as sunlight upon a beautiful garden. the more I push him to give up this, or give up that, the more he'll feel harried and set upon, digging in his heels.

I am priveleged in that my husband doesn't belittle my faith, that he accepts it, doesn't make me feel small for it, and listens to my ramblings, is happy for me to attend Bible study and gets up early each Sunday to drive me to Church and pick me up an hour later (I cannot drive due to vision impairment). This in and of itself is a blessing, that I can pray, study and worship God and His word in peace.

He's such a beautiful man!! A diamond in the rough? Definitely, but my diamond? Without a doubt!!

Sarah,
Sydney.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Sarah,

You once sent me a book about the 19th century Australian women. I was so impressed. Some of them married men they hardly knew and tried to tame a very harsh environment. The photographs were so "telling." Women in neat, clean, modest and tidy clothing, even some with trims and laces and such, and beautifully dressed hair, hats, etc. sitting in front of their houses, having tea. It was not a life of ease but the women made it so beautiful, even in those conditions, by the little niceties like dressing well and fixing the hair, serving food on plates and providing comfort to others. I know many of them did not marry for love, yet they had the knowledge of how to create a home life and raise children. That book really had an effect on me, as I thought of how isolated some of them must have been, and yet how they created a life around them. I am sure the men were not all perfect, and knowing the culture, had some habits that the women didn't like. Perhaps they appreciated having husbands and fathers in their lives.

There seems to be an attack on marriages now. All around me, in the last couple of weeks, I have met women who are having a terrible time. No one is sticking up for marriage, and it is difficult to find any really good material to study that will help women to have stability. I liked the words of the elders in the illustration of the post. In a sense they were saying you should keep life as normal as you can, as if all was well, like in the story called "When Queens Ride By." The story of Leslie, the woman who was forced to leave her nice home and live in a shack, is also very inspiring. "When Queens Ride By" is the story of a queen who, when faced with failure in her kingdom, would simply get dressed up and ride through her kingdom, looking as if all was well I think in difficult times it is especially important to pull yourself together and put on a party or make a pie.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Indeed. Prevailing society's view of what an 'ideal' marriage should look like is flimsy and unreliable at best. if you enjoyed the little book I sent you, search on line for the 'book of the 'golden Summers' collection which was sold during the 'Golden Summers' exhibition of 19th Century Australian art held in sydney back in 1986. You'll find more of the same. There has always existed a corps of aussie women who (especially during the 1800's) strove to bring beauty, comfort and a touch of elegance to the home. I do what I can to make our home inviting and comforting. Though our furnishings are 'mix and match', little touches such as nice placemats on the dining table, our fruitbowl as its centrepiece, ornaments (many of them also useful - a nice tea set, platters, framed photographs, table and sideboard linens etc soften the home. keeping it clean and neat also help (even though this little house at times seems to be bulging at the seems). I've a favourite room that receives the autumn and winter sun in which I love to retreat for prayer or simply to read. What my husband and I have is the type of marriage that wil endure; giving, patient, accepting, and caring. It is his kindness and goodness that is the cement which holds everything together, a marriage receptive to God's blessing, and God does bless us both.

He's so sweet; though he hates gardening, he built me a raised garden bed from scratch, spading in 1.5 metric tons of topsoil by hand!! He helps with the big work; hauling bags of 'garden improver' and seeing it is well fed; This garden allows me to easily move around and plant, water and maintain a little vegetable patch. This simple pleasure is just one thing that draws us together; he plants, and I harvest when the crop is ready - we've garlic, potatoes, carrots, corn salad and cauliflowers in; we've always got common thyme, lemon thyme and pineapple sage in.

Indeed, home is what one makes it, not the prattlings of the ill-informed 'chattering classes' who run for cover as soon as a little hard work is called for.

Thank you once again, Lydia,

Sarah,
Sydney.

Laura said...

Thank you for your wonderful post. You were writing straight to my heart.

Laura said...

Thank you for your wonderful post. You were writing straight to my heart.

Lady B said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I kept checking to see if there was a new post-Behold! Another refreshing and insightful article. Many thanks, I particularly loved the scripture...James 5:11. Am asking myself, what does it mean to endure...What is patience. I am not yet there...Praying for more patience and endurance.

Yet another beautiful post.
Blessings,
Lady Barbra

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Sarah, From what I understand, you married an older, more mature man who honored his parents by staying with them and looking after their needs. It does make things easier when the husband has a lot of reassurance and is very supportive. Not all women have this, and that was what I was trying to address: patience in the time of trouble. Give the man a chance to grow and change and don't have high expectations. Sometimes in stories or movies, the husband's character is based on a fairy tale, and fairy tales always come out just right. In real life, a man may withdraw from his marriage and act like he does not care. WHen multiple generations used to interact, you could see how they related to each other better. Many women are isolated from this, and cannot understand if it means their marriage is deteriorating, when in fact, some things might be common to marriage. One reason I mentioned the scene of the husband working in his shop with his tools, and the wife shopping for food and decorating her house, yet they were not together all the time, was to show that these people did not think there was anything unusual or destructive about that. One thing women can avoid is quizzes and comparisons, about their home life and marriages. It will reduce their contentment and undermine their confidence in their marriage. Marriage is like a big box that surrounds the family. What goes on iside the box may not always be perfect, but the box is still there to protect them. Most of the problems come from somewhere outside, chipping away and undermining the structure.

Anonymous said...

I have quickly looked over it...Now, I am going to print it out. Save it for later with a cup of tea and prayer.
Due to my bad attitude lately, I needed this!
Please Lord forgive me.
Thank you Lady Lydia.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I've been married for more than 20 years. I have learned so much from reading your posts and following some of the links. Oh, if I had listened to such spot on advice earlier, our family life would have been so much happier. May my sons have the good fortune to marry women who share your outlook. They'd be better off for it.

Anonymous said...

After 40 years of marriage I still also need to sit back and be still and learn at times. This again is a wonderful post...more than wonderful but I cannot find better words. As usual the post was excellent and the additional comments you give Lady Lydia are a very special added bonus. I Always learn something to take back to our lives. Things that will help pull us together as a couple ..and a family. Thankyou once again. Jody

Mary said...

Thank you for such a wonderful post. I am one of the young marrieds many on here spoke of. Praise the Lord we have Christ as the center of our home. We are new parents and my husband has a new job. Day by day the Lord is revealing his will for us in our marriage. Thank you to all the wonderful mentors out there who are assisting us young homemakers in our quest to be more like Christ.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you so much for all your effort encouraging us, other women. It is a truly wise post. May God bless you.
Ana

C. C. said...

Hi Lady Lydia!

Very lovely post. I feel the very basic principle is for the wife to see in her mind's eye her husband being replaced by Jesus...so she then serves the Lord "instead of" her husband. That has motivated me countless times to do the very best I can do for God, whether my husband even notices I've made another "spectacular" peanut butter sandwhich for his lunch again or not! When our husbands throw their temper tantrums, etc., we wives have to completely let that go; we must turn the control of our husbands over to God. Fighting with them and nagging at them to stop acting like that just makes it worse! They get resentful (as they naturally would; we would do the same if we were constantly being "corrected")

Our lives NEVER go as we plan. No matter how hard we try, jobs sometimes go away, we experience very low times, our parents die and we are a wreck for years. The only real reason for a marriage to fail is utter selfishness (adultry notwithstanding). I have now been married for 15 1/2 years and it has been more difficult than easy, more poorer than richer, more "worse" than "better"; but the harder it gets, the more God shines through. The stronger I have become and the more willing I am to serve God through my marriage and home and let the outcome up to Him - no matter what that outcome is!

I also really liked your post about when the children are grown. I was wondering to myself the other day if the kids would be so glad to get out of the house and on with their lives since we homeschool and are together ALL the time. I had been thinking that at least we have all this time together now so we won't have regrets later...but perhaps they won't want to leave immediately and never look back after all!

Have a good week!

C. C.

Emmarinda said...

Indeed, Lydia, a strong marriage is an affront to the enemy, and a way to stake out ground for the Kingdom.
We are so blessed, are we not?

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

I agree with you 100%. What I and my hubby have is something that, quite apart from the world's definitions, is strong and enduring. My husband did the right thing (re caring for his late mother), and God blesses him, blesses us with quiet strength. This journey teaches me patience and encourages me to remember always that god is in control, and, that He knos what I, what none of us don't, and that His time and means are His time and means. What I've been trying to say (mostl likely, I have been somewhat inneffective) is that indeed, our Heavenly Father bestows blessings in remarkable ways through remarkable means, and, even though I might be impatient at times for 'conversion', God has blessed me with so much more through my husband's abiding care, kindness, never-failing tender regard and selflessness that are in and of themselves pearls above price.

I can vouch for marriage being a reflection of Christ's love for His church and we, His children... How often am I like Peter and Thomas combined? and How often my husband's patience, care and dedication reflect Christ's loving patience, care and dedication to us - faulty, flawed, frail us... And marriage IS that strongbox that protects those within it from the outside... 'Team ELliott' I often remark - the two of us, blessed by God, standing united as one.

And its so wonderful to have his protection and understanding (rare among those who are not of the faith) - when people dis me for my faith or family come out with 'so what line of work are you aiming to enter'... I know he is not interested two hoots in me going out to work and getting that career as my family, even though I'll be 40 next year, still harp on and on about it... He understands, even when they refuse to. This is another wonderful blessing from God!!

So many of us are surrounded by family who constantly assail us like this (parents, in-laws etc) and understand the wonderful gift that is a supportive husband who, even if the entire church and family, are constantly pushing for us to entre their post-modern feminist world, will stand by us and be our comfort, our earthly rock.

Blessings,

Sarah.

Karen said...

This is a great post. There is just so little encouragement these days to stay married, if people even bother getting married in the first place. Thank you for this.

I have seen other blogs where you and / or your beliefs are criticized very rudely. I hope you know how helpful your insights are to many people like me and don't get discouraged. I am a married stay at home mother who really wants things to work out here. You might be surprised how helpful a bit of encouragement in the form of your writing can be to a homemaker who has very little encouragement in her life but plenty of discouragment.

mrs. c said...

having also been married for more than 20 years, i can relate to all of this, however, how now do i convince my daughter, who just got "engaged" to have an enduring marriage, when right out of the starting gate, he has told her he hates his job, and has no idea what he would like to pursue, and has even gone so far as to say he wouldnt mind stying home with any future children, while she goes out to pursue her career? this sounds like it never could endure, and really, since they plan on marrying without the benefit of clergy, it sounds all wrong.how can a marriage "survive" if already one person is not commited?

Ace said...

This was a GREAT post Lady Lydia. I just don't get why many people are like "hey, we have problems...we are getting a divorce". I want to scream at them "Divorce is for WIMPS! FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT for your marriage for goodness sake!"

You don't just give up because life is not a fairy tale...it is NOT a fairy tale and by standing by each other when we make mistakes we ensure compassion when it is our turn to make a mistake and be given grace.

We all need it and we all need someone to count on! It all comes down to trusting in God and I have been so wrong early on I know He had His hand on our marriage or we would have never made it. Praise His Holy Name!

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Mrs. Anna T said...

Thank you for writing this. I just finished watching "The Trap", and though it was shocking at some points (they weren't actually married, for example; he simply dragged her away to live with him), it conveyed some profound truths. I think sometimes we women would benefit a lot from turning "mute" for just ten seconds before saying any unpleasantness that pops into our head. A broken marriage ruins the lives of many people. Lord help us.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Anna, For certain, it was not a pleasant movie to watch, for all the drama and movement it provided. One had to keep glued to the picture to keep from missing something, as it was so fast paced. I also wondered how in the world an actress could manage to perform an entire role without speaking a word. I felt that the utube presentation had left out some things from the original movie. You had to figure out things yourself in the utube version, whereas, the original had scenes that explained it. The music scene seemed to be cut short (when he played the harmonica) and the chandelier scene was also shorter, as well as the motions she made when she said she was going to have a baby.

I mainly made reference to the film because of the character of this young woman. She tried to make life better for herself, and provided some civilized comforts in that cabin.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lady Lydia
You may also like the 1948 film "Rachel and the Stranger". It stars Loretta Young and WIlliam Holden and has a similar theme to the film you recommended.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Can you tell me where. I can find the Loretta Young film called "When Queens Ride By"? I have been looking for that for ages. I had seen it only once. The script is available online and the story is included in my theme articles here on the side lists

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Anna--regarding your "food for thought" comment: viewing a captive living in horrid conditions should make any woman less likely to complain. Some women are merely unhappy that their husbands are preoccupied or not as involved as they should be. Imagine having one that dragged you into a dangerous life. That certainly makes you see things nuch differently.

Anonymous said...

Our computer is back after a couple weeks of being in the "hospital"....how wonderful to be able to sit, finally, & enjoy reading this post! And what a good one it is.

When I compare my present attitude toward marriage with my attitude twenty years ago, & ponder your words, Mrs. Sherman, I must admit (rather shamefully!) that I see some of myself. Part of that is because I was simply naiive, I know that...but I must admit to being immature & frequently selfish, too. God is continuing to refine me, & my husband, in our marriage.

Thank you for such an excellent article.

sincerely, Brenda

Dulce Domum said...

Hi Lady Lydia
The "When Queens Ride By" film was part of Loretta Young's TV career, an early made for TV film, perhaps. It may have been part of "The Loretta Young Show" in the 1950s. I haven't seen it myself, but if I find it I'll let you know, as I'd like to see it too!

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

It was on the Loretta Young Show, Season 8, Episode 21,
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0631065/

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Brenda, I think after being married for awhile, that most people feel the same way. The beauty of marriage is that it was created to surround the couple while they grow and mature. Sometimes immature children will criticise their parents marriages, but they do not understand the nature of marriage. Couples go through maturing periods and get over problems. Maybe when they are younger there is conflict but as they grow older they find solutions. Too often people think that the couple's marriage has "failed" when maybe the method of communicating or the actions of one of the people has not been successful. A marriage does not "fail"--people do.

Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

My now 87-year-old mother-in-law told me that years ago, marriages weren't any "happier" than they are now. Her parents' marriage wasn't happy. She says that people stuck it out because of the stigma of divorce and also because divorces were not easy to get: you had to go to court and it cost a lot of money and the judges didn't always grant the divorce.

Remember the original tv show "Divorce Court" back in the early 60's? (Not Judge Wapner's Divorce Court -- that was later). On that Divorce Court way back then, the judge did not always grant the divorce.

I think the no-fault divorce laws that came out in the late 60's is what started this mess. It is just too easy to get a divorce.

A marriage will go through "seasons" that need to be weathered. This matures us. We are now in the empty-nest-early-retirement phase of our 39-year marriage, and there is adjustment to be made. God helps us.

I'm not saying that people should stay in marriages where the children are being abused/molested, the wife beaten, or a spouse is engaged habitual adultery or in criminal activities. If you don't believe in divorce even in these cases, separation at least should be considered it if is that bad to protect the spouse/children from harm, imo.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Mary, It is true: marriages had trials and troubles and challenges in the past. People had more belief in marriage than they did in their mates. They would hang on to a marriage because there was more dignity in that than in being divorced. We must try to understand the nature of marriage. There is nothing wrong with something God created. It is the people what must adjust. Many people find themselves married to someone they have nothing in common with, and yet they chose that person all by themselves. Still, if it is a man and a woman, they can adjust and make something out of it. Those who have been divorced will usually say that it did not clear up their problems, it made them worse and complicated things for their children and for future generations. In spite of the divorces that people have gone through, I still think it is wise to train the next generation of children to seek one mate one time for a life time. It prevents the problems that come from children having to visit their fathers or mothers. It prevents the problems that come from marrying into problems produced by divorces.

No fault divorce in California was created partly as a result of the first wife of Ronald Reagan. He did not want a divorce, but she was interested in someone else. In court, he refused to say anything about her that was negative or would put her in a bad light. He was trying to be a gentleman by not accusing her of anything, when he had legitimate reason for a divorce. In those days you had to have a reason, and so he finally agreed to say that he had been "cruel" and he took the responsibility so that he would not have to blame her. From that was invented the idea of not putting any fault on the other party, but I seriously doubt that Ronald Reagan ever intended to be part of the plot to dissolve marriages so easily.

Fruitful Vine2 said...

Hi Ms Lydia
The Lord brought this post to mind as I shared His thoughts on the scripture selection on my blog today. Just thought that I'd share this post with the readers to further strengthen them. I've linked to it.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this post. It is true about
endurance in marriage.. so many in the Christian world say with the
secular world, that if the marriage has difficulties, trouble,
trials, that it should not continue because the husband and wife are
unhappy. I thank you for this post..it is such a gem that I think it
is appropos for these times. My hubby was just laid off. This was not
the first time, although its been a long time since it happened. The
company he works for has been losing contracts. There is lack of money
all around. No clients mean less to pay employees.
This article you wrote is very useful because it tells of the
Depression when things were even harder, but marriages endured.
I was not born here and knew no one who endured the Depression , so
this article with the history in it is very, very useful.

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