Friday, April 24, 2009

For Better, For Worse

Le Dispute By Frederick Kaemmerer

(Dutch, 1839-1902)

Every marriage has bright times and dim times. Before the therapists, before the counsellors, before the no-fault divorce laws, before advice columns, before "self-help" and pop-psychology, the down-times were considered the "for-worse" part of the marriage, and taken in stride. When the "worse" happened, it was a time to apply the medicine from the marriage manual, found in the Good Book.

Some of these scriptures are:

Ephesians chapter 5

Colossians 3:19

Titus 2

1st Peter 3:1-7

Of course there are many more examples, inferences, and direct commands found in the Bible regarding marriage, but these few will suffice for the sake of illustration.

Common complaints in marriage are:

1. The husband is not taking some responsibility that is his.

2. The husband seems discontent and ungrateful at home.

3. The husband is critical.

Many women read sermons and articles that say a man should be the "spiritual leader." Most young men are not taught to fill such a big order. It is one of those learn-as-you-grow attributes that they develop during their marriage. Ist Corinthians 13 provides the perfect law to follow when someone else is not behaving the way they should: Just be kind, patient, and unselfish. Sometimes it will seem that the wife is giving more than her fair share of forbearance, but instead of looking at how much each person is "giving," it would be better to give your 100% in marriage and ignore the failings of the other person. That way, you can at least have a clear conscience that you are doing what you are able to do.

Men also need to understand that women enter a learning situation when they marry. Some wives will not have had the benefit of growing up with a mother at home who shows the example. Occasionally a husband will expect a wife to be able to manage perfectly at home without feeling lonely or discouraged, and without needing them to support them emotionally. To add to her burden, a man may adopt the world's belief that his obligation to his wife and family stops with providing a living. He may be neglecting the real needs of his family, thinking that once he has paid the rent and provided food, he has done enough. He may be complacent about his family, the very people that he has spent entire days earning money for.

Then, there are those who may criticise their wives. More often than not, men who do this, are not getting the ideas all by themselves. The modern work place provides fertile ground for talk and gossip about what every employee is doing and what their mates are also doing. The most common question asked of a fellow employee is "Where does your wife work?" The husbands of homemakers can be made to feel inferior because their wives are are not employed outside the home. Women at work may ask these men how in the world they can survive without their wives getting a paycheck also. Relatives may also be adding fuel, by commenting to the husband that his wife is "crazy."

These are just a couple of things that may unsettle the women at home. She notices it because she is dedicated to her family and sensitive to the atmosphere at home. Her dream is to have a happy and successful home. This happiness is dependent on the family being cooperative in that dream; by honoring the mother and respecting the homemaker. While the husband may provide the money for furnishings, it is the wife who creates comfort from them. Her role must not be demeaned.

Sometimes these attitudes come home to roost and the wife doesn't know what is going on. She only knows that she is being put-down and criticised and she can't figure out what she is doing that is bringing on this disapproval. Where ever the attitudes are coming from, and whatever they are, they are a result of lack of faith. God's word clearly allows women to be home minding their own business, and gives the men the responsibility of providing for their families. There will be those who will cast doubt on this system, because they have not lived it long enough to understand how it can be successful.

In the face of such unbelief, the wife can find relief in the scriptures addressed to the wife of an unbeliever. Of course, your husband may be a "believer" and even go to church with you, but he may suffer unbelief about certain things. In living with unbelievers, God instructs them to conduct themselves in a Christian way. (Ist Peter 3:1). The conversation (defined as "conduct") of the wife will go a long way to converting the unbeliever. There are always little areas of doubt in people's lives, that are quickly put to rest when they see the good results.

A man may not understand homeschooling, for example, but when he sees that his children are better behaved and more honoring toward him, and that they have a better grasp of language and reasoning, he may come around to believing that it is the best way. (That is just an example. This is not an article on the pros and cons of home schooling.) Another example could be in the area of home grown food or home made bread. Maybe a husband does not see the value of it but when it is proven to him by a delicious meal, he is won over. This is partly what Ist Peter 3:1 means when it says that the husband may be "won" by the good conduct of his wife.

So then, the unbeliever in the case of the wife being at home, will be won by the example of the wife and the good conduct of the wife. She cannot neglect her home. She cannot be out running around with girlfriends or spending money on entertainment, and she cannot give up her job at home and let it all fall apart when the unbeliever comes home with a discouraging word.

The unbeliever will be watching his wife. If she complains about the home, acts upset or discontent, and lets her appearance "go" he will conclude that homemaking is not a worthwhile job and that she should be out working for wages. It is important, therefore, that the wife make a believer out of him. She will not have to talk him into believing. She will not have to argue with him. She only has to follow First Peter 3:1.

This will be a long-term effort, that may not pay off until a little time has passed. I have seen husbands who were dubious and even critical about certain aspects of home life. The wife patiently stayed steady on her course of keeping the home, improving it, guiding the children, and creating a wonderful atmosphere for herself and her family. When I say "patiently" I mean that she saw it as a goal that would be fulfilled later on in life. She knew it would bring both she and her husband a great deal of happiness and success later on in life. Years later when others began asking him the secret of his good marriage and beautiful home life, he would say that he supported his family so that his wife could be the guide of the home. He forgot the roadblocks he put in her way and saw only the good report she had brought on them.

Although our husbands are not "enemies" they may reflect the attitudes and words of others who doubt the value of the home. Therefore, you can apply the example of doing good to your enemy, and feeding him when he is hungry. Sometimes arguments and grumpiness occur right after a husband comes home from work, and are a result of low-blood sugar and lack of rest. Sometimes they are believing things they have heard. Sometimes they suffer from peer-pressure. Sometimes they are distracted and have lost their way. Women at home can apply these scriptures to their own lives and make a big difference in the lives of their husbands and children.

In the midst of the construction and household upheaval (floor and walls, etc) that seems to be ever present in my own home, people have often asked me how I keep from going bonkers. That is a term that means you have lost your mind. Word around my home is that I do not go "bonkers," I go "Bollywood." I have watched some of the films from India that were made in the 1960's and 1970's, and found some of them to have the timely values that were once very present in marriages in this country.

One film, which literally translated, means "Heaven and Hell," showcased three married couples. One couple was very happy. One was outwardly happy, and the third was deeply troubled. Throughout the film it showed how the women made a difference in the outcome of their marriages, by working the power that they had within them to change things.

In one example, a woman tore apart her own marriage by suspicion and retaliation. Another woman had a husband with bad character, but she stayed with him and kept to her duties at home. Eventually her example helped him to come to his senses. Another husband did not seem to have a reliable way of earning a living, but his wife had faith in him, and did not worry. In the end, words on the screen stated that a wife had the responsibility of creating a good home life for her husband. It said that marriage could be Heaven, or it could be Hell. While watching these ending words come across the screen, I could imagine the ridicule such a film would have been received by feminists in this country. It probably would have been banned before was even broadcast. Yet, it contained the same things that our people were taught in past centuries; things our preachers used to preach in sermons, that made marriages successful.

If you know anyone in this kind of situation, they may have trouble grasping the long-term idea that I have presented here, so I will give a few short-term things that are very helpful in a tense situation.

1. Consider the source of the criticism. It could be coming from a news report that the sky is going to fall if your wife is not employed outside the home. It could be coming from a friend or relative that has spoken a few negative words about you, or it could be coming from the workplace, where there could be some jealousy that you are at home while they have to "work."

Most marriage problems come as a result of things outside the marriage. If you are doing what you are supposed to do at home, and he is doing what he is supposed to be doing by working by the sweat of his brow to earn his bread, there shouldn't be any major problems. Most of the things that upset a marriage will come from somewhere outside of the marriage--the media, or pressure from other sources. He may be in debt and you do not know the extent of it. Then, he confides in someone at work about the stress, and they, in turn, will offer a solution--to send the wife to work outside the home. You may not have done anything wrong at all. Your husband may be just assaulted by ideas from all sides; ideas that make him doubt your worth as a homemaker.

2. Have company. This always provides some kind of relief if you sense you are going to have another night of disagreement on the subject. Remember in "Wives and Daughters" that Mrs. Hamley told Molly something like , "Mr. Hamley is so angry, and that is why your being here is such a relief." People are less likely to attack or argue or blow up if there is company present. They do not want to give a bad impression to guests. Company offers the couple a chance to get outside of themselves and serve someone else. It puts some normality into the situation when you have to sit down to tea or a meal.

3. When you feel you are being disrespected, get busy at something. People in the past always believed that if members of the family had time to sit around and criticise others in the home, that they didn't have enough work to do. When there is any hint of criticism, just start cleaning a shelf, washing some dishes, cooking, or doing something productive. (In such cases as these, even the vacuum cleaner can be a blessing ;-)

4. Have something that you like to do that always gives you joy. Projects that are your very own, from art to personal enterprise will play a powerful part in your life. Maybe you can re-decorate a room or sew some new clothes for the season, or create a gift basket full of things for someone else. Take a friend to the local tea room or visit your favorite shops. Go on excursions that will give you new ideas for your home life. It will help you to rise above the petty problems that come into the home. Pamper yourself by dressing well and taking care of your hair, etc. These things, though seemingly small, play a big part in the respect you send out to others and the respect you receive. Improving your home and yourself is constructive and eventually wins the unbeliever.

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rom 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Rom 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Should you divorce him? The scriptures are clear about living with "unbelievers". First Corinthians 7:10-14 answers this question. If divorce has crossed your mind just because your husband has kind of checked-out of the marriage or become detached or less dedicated, but he is still with you, you need to consider that a plus. If you go to a divorce court, the first thing a judge will do is order the wife to get a minimum wage paying job. He will then subtract what you earn from the amount that your husband is supposed to give you. You may lose your home and all your possessions. If you cut loose your husband, you enable him to go on to other marriages and bring on the same troubles, have more children, create more debt and get more stress on his life. There will be heartache and bitterness from the children and other relatives, for years to come. Those who have been through this will willingly tell you.

Even if your husband is not behaving the way you wish, your family is a lot better off if you are all under the same roof. These times will pass and you will be awfully glad you waited and did not leave. This is the "for worse" times that marriage was created to endure. It was not created only to enjoy good times. It was created as a support structure for troubled times, as well. Giving up only adds more problems to your life.

Please note:The film "Swarg Narak" is available on instant play on Netflix, and should be viewed privately, first. It is not for children. There is some worldliness depicted in it, such as in the case of one of the husbands who goes out to parties, etc. It should be viewed only by mature women, and I do not remember if there was any objectionable language .


Unknown said...

Hi Lady Lydia,

I stumbled across your blog a number of years ago and have been a regular reader. I find your articles very encouraging for my role as housewife and how to just love my dear husband. A breath of fresh air really. When I am feeling discouraged, I pop over for a visit, and every time I am encouraged to keep going, keep working, keep loving. Thankyou.

I have my own blog, and have linked to your blog on it, and have realised I should ask permission from you for this. Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! You help me stay focused on what is really important. As I said in my last comment, my husband has been making a great effort to be warm,loving, and supportive of the children and me over the past few weeks.. It is wonderful how quickly the atmosphere of our home "warms up" when he does this. We have laughed more and enjoyed ourselves more over the past few weeks than we have in many years. I pray this trend continues. Miss Kris

Jan Hatchett said...

Lady Lydia:
You are so right about marriage! Couples simply must put Christ first in order for marriage to work at all. But, rough times will come to every couple.

Looking back to when I was married, several of my former high school classmates were either newly married or engaged. Out of all of us, hubby and I are the only ones who remain married to each others. I am proud of that accomplishment (but so very sad for the others), but I would never say that it has been easy.

Many of my friends divorced over little, petty things that could have possibly been worked out.

My life is so full of love, precisely because I have an intact family. We have two gorgeous sons. One has special needs. Reports say that the majority of families with special needs kids will split up from the stress. That shocks me because I don't think that one person can handle all of that stress alone. I need my husband to lean on and he needs me also.

On the rare chance that I catch up with my former classmates, I find that I am generally happier than they have turned out to be. My family helps to buffer me from the worst of life's storms. They often sound like they are adrift and alone.

Life hasn't turned out to be a total fairy tale for us, but it has been a good life. Having a special needs son has necessitated that he go to a private school for socialization. We can only afford that because I work at that school. I feel that God has called me for a few years of my life to minister to the children there and be certain that my own boys are not being lead astray. It was not my first choice to leave the home, but hubby and I have received many blessings by honoring His call in life and in our marriage.

Lydia said...

Amy you are welcome to link to me.

Jan, this is turning out to be a familiar story. Although a lot of friends had great advantages in life, and made good grades in school, they lacked the determination to follow through in their marriages. Some of them had the best of everything and were popular but surprisingly were unable to hold their homes together. It is incredibly sad for them and their lives are very complicated,plus, when they are near retirement age, a time when life should be calmer, they still struggle with many issues. All the more reason families should be kept together through thick and thin.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful article. It has gems of wisdom that benefit even very happily married women. (eg. Be kind, patient and unselfish.) It is a comfort and joy fulfilling the role the Bible gives, 'for women to be home minding their own business and men the responsibility of providing for their families.'

So you're still in the process of household upheavals?! You are an amazing, patient woman. Love from, Linda

Gail said...

Thank you, Lydia, for writing about this. This has been a revelation.

You know, I never thought about it, but indeed, others might be "dinging on the husband's head" and he might feel that same bewilderment and discomfort that a wife feels when she is needled about her choice to stay home.

Maybe the husband could say, "My wife manages our money so well that she doesn't HAVE to work". And then he could begin to brag about the home cooked meals that await him when he comes home at night, and the freshly laundered, ironed clothes she has hanging in his closet. Or maybe he could boast about how easy she makes life for him, which allows him to excel at what he does. You know, in truth, he would become the absolute envy of his male co-workers, just as his wife probably is, to his FEMALE co-workers.

I myself work for a few weeks a year, at a seasonal job, but most of the time I am home, and when people ask me what I do, I just say, with a coy smile, "Oh, I just lay around the mansion, mostly!"

People just don't know how to take this, and it always shuts them up, for some reason! And people who know me, whether they approve of my life or not, know I am not lazy and that furthermore, they can always get a nice cup of coffee and a big welcome when they come to my house!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful article, Lydia, and full of wonderful wisdom!

I have been married to my husband for 27 years and it has been hard. He struggles with mood swings and discouragement and during his "bad times" I feel very alone in our marriage. He has become a proud daddy to our eight children, however, and all of them are generally happy and secure (by the grace of the Lord). Over the years I've had young moms approach me and tell me that if they had a good husband like mine who is such an involved father THEN they would have more children...but my husband had to mature into daddyhood with each child and it often took a long time! Meanwhile, although I am not the perfect wife and mother, God gave me the strength to joyfully raise our children and He also helped me to continue to honor my husband in the face of some serious hard times. Our children are incredible and my husband now appreciates the family I helped him build and he is very grateful. He often looks around the room and tells me, "Thank you, thank you for giving me eight beautiful children!". It is worth it all....if you are in a hard marraige, look to God to strengthen you and ask Him for wisdom. Seek out other believers and commit to worshiping with like-minded Christians.

alexa said...

Good morning, Lady Lydia,

I usually read your blog in the early morning, before the children wake up, and it's always so encouraging to read your words and look at the beautiful paintings. I0m so grateful to have found you, who shares the same opinions than I.
I myself do suffer often, because my husband doesn't really appreciate it, that I want to stay at home. He can't really understand it. Your words helped me so much, thank you a lot!


Anonymous said...

What an excellent article!

My husband never, ever questioned my decision to stay home, but we both know now, looking back after only six years, that he is making far more money and was able to advance much more rapidly because I was at home. He had no worries about the children, daycare pickups and other stresses and can focus fully on his work.

I would also recommend the book The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren. Her basic idea is that two incomes DO NOT make a family more secure. What happens is that the family just ends up living on the two incomes, so losing any one of the incomes is just as devastating as losing the one income in a one-income family.

The wife at home actually creates a safety net of sorts, by being able of course to take care of the children, but also being able to step in and take care of elderly parents etc.

I don't agree with all of the book espouses, but the main premise is strong.

~ Ann

Wendy said...

Thanks you for the wise post. If only more people could see the truth. I am about to celebrate my 25th anniversary. I am married to an unbeliever, and it has not been an easy marriage as we have very different lives. I have had many over the years encourage me to leave, even church leaders. But I can say I am so glad I have held on. He is still bound by the things of this world but we love each other deeply and have been an example to our children (at least I hope so) It is worth it to get to this point of mature love.

Karen said...

Thank you for another great post.
At our church yesterday, our priest lectured about the importance of marriage to society and commented on how our society does not support marriage. As the family goes, so does society. Your post was very supportive of marriage and we need that sort of thing more than ever these days.

I used to work as a paralegal, helping with divorces. I would never do that now, but I was young and I had worked hard to become a paralegal only to find out I was much better at family law than real estate closures. That was before I became a confirmed Catholic. Over and over, as I did the divorce papers, I thought of how many of the divorces were a terrible idea. A married person would come in, very miserable, and convinced they wanted a divorce. The proccedings would start and often, somewhere in the middle of it all, they would start to seem like they had changed thier minds. They would say they missed their children, they had very little money, or something like that. Often, they would call me crying, men and women and the lawyers told me part of my job was to "hold their hands while they cried". Of course, I was also to keep track of my time spend with a client so they could be billed $100 an hour for my work on top of what they had paid the lawyers as a retainer. Some divorces cost $15,000 or more in legal fees if children are involved. Once the proceedings started it seemed they took on a life of their own, and few people decided to withdraw from the divorce action, though it was only a matter of filing a simple document. In the end, the vast majority seemed even more miserable than when it started.

There was a coffee shop next to the courthouse where people would go after their court appearances. I saw newly divorced people sit in the shop just after their marriage was dissolved, staring at the weddng ring still on their finger as they pondered what to do with it and the rest of their lives. It was heartbreaking to see.

I've been a stay at home mother for many years since being a paralegal. I can honestly say that while the job had far more "prestige", what I do now is much more conducive to a healthy family life. I am still amazed (and discouraged) at how much more respect I earned as a paralegal who helped end marriages than as a homemaker and mother trying to have a good marriage and raise my children right.

Sarah said...

Lady Lydia,

I am a young wife (23) and have been married for almost two years. Your post is refreshing and is a great reminder. It is amazing what a little attitude check can do for yourself and those around you! I am printing this article out for my Home Management Binder if you don't mind. Thank you so much for your intelligent and godly posts.

With much thanks,

Katrinka said...

I really needed this post right now! Your timing is of the Lord.

Sharon said...

A great post! I learned many of these lessons the hard way, but thank God He has been my helper and we've made it 25 yrs as of today!

Lydia said...

Sharon,Happy Anniversary!

Karen,, the no fault divorce laws are somehow designed in such a way as to give people a road of no return. Once you even contact a lawyer your fate is sealed. It is a given that you will divorce even if you should not or dont want to. People need to know that marriage is designed for something more than just two people that "get along." It is designed so that it can exist even when you are not getting along, and is designed to survive in a way the Ist corinthians 13 says: love never fails. Even when you go through stages where you dont feel you really love each other, that stronger kind of love described in Ist Corinthians, never fails.

Robin said...

Dearest Lady Lydia,

I read a lot of blogs, and this entry is one of the best I've read in a long time. I struggle with being a homemaker. I worked full-time for a long time. My husband and I were married 8 years before we were blessed with a little girl. We had established a lifestyle and debt load that make it almost impossible for me to stay home. I chose to stay home with my husband's blessing and ran up more credit card debt in the process. Since then, I've had 2 more children, and I've worked part-time and full-time on occasion. My husband lost his job a few years ago, and it took him 3 years to find a comparable position. He insisted I find a full-time position, which I did. I've never been a good house keeper, so making a home is a big challenge for me. After I had my last child, my husband gave his blessing for staying home and homeschooling the children. I sometimes wonder if he thinks it's not worth it. I fit your profile of letting myself go and not doing well. This post has been inspiring to me. I know I could do more. My husband works very hard, 2 jobs, to pay off our old debts and let me stay home, and I haven't been greatful. Thank you for this very wise entry!


Lydia said...


You are helping your family in so many ways, even financially. By teaching your own children, you will be able to prevent future expense, as they will learn wise money values, and you will be spared the expense of status items for children. Working outside the home is also very expensive, but sometimes people do not count the cost.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Lydia, thank you for this encouraging article. How wonderful to read the thoughts of an experienced wife! I hope many new wives, such as myself, will read this.

mrs. c said...

i absolutely love this post..having lost my own mother at the age of 14, i ha no one to tell me aout the ups and downs of marriage. after being married for 20 years now, i can certainly identify with everything you said. i'm hoping my own daughter will listen to my advice, after living in sin for the past two years, supposedly the boyfriend is ecoming marriage minded...and SURPRISE... she is not so sure now....some of his habits and traits are NOT what she experienced in her own family, i think perhaps we have been a good example, because the current situation does not measure up to her ideal....marriage is such hard work, that im not sure he's willing to do what it takes...please keep me in your prayers for the breakup of this situation, before it's too late...

Anonymous said...

I wish I had read this about 20 years ago! For years my husband and I were not on the same page about me not working. Many times I endured little digs and comments from him and others. Other times he was very angry that he was carrying the financial burden alone. I just could not put my kids in daycare. I really didn't know very many women who were full-time stay at home mothers and for years I felt very much alone. I never would have made it had I not turned to God. A few years ago, my husband had a revelation (I believe in answer to prayer) -- that his family was more important than his job and having things. Things have slowly gotten better but now the kids are all grown and gone. I'm happy things have changed, but too bad so many years were colored by his anger and my sadness.

Lydia said...

Anonymous, the men never bear the burden alone. Their wives who are at home adjust to the income they get and bear it also. Most women at home have an income, even if they do not realize it. It is found by the things they do that they would have had to pay someone else to do, such as daycare.

Young Wife said...

This is a wonderful and inspiring post, but I just don't know if I want to stay married to my husband.

I have prayed for my marriage and my husband, but for the almost three years that we have been married, he has constantly chased other women. I am always finding text messages from other women on his phone and in his emails.

I know that he has been sexually involved with other women. We have two small children together, and I want to hold on for their sakes, but when is enough, enough?

Do I just hold on, and have faith that God will change him? What if He doesn't? I think about the health risks that it poses to me to continue to be with my husband. I know that you should hold on through the tough times, but an unrepentant adulterer, what should you do?

I would greatly appreciate any insight you could give.

Anonymous said...

I am really touched by the many comments published in response to this post. Staying married is such a deeply important issue. Karen's comment particularly touched me because of her first hand experience with so many people going through divorce. The heartbreak these people feel is so, so sad. Marriage, as you say Lady Lydia, is also designed for those who are 'not getting along'. This is such a blessing.

Sonya, Australia

Domestically Inclined said...

Good Morning Lady Lydia,
Thank you so much for a much needed post. Those of us who have been married "for better and for worse" know what a blessing the vacum can be :) On a more serious note, marriage is hard work but it is worth it. We must die to self and let God have His way. Our marriages stand as testimonies to the world and even the angels. That is an awesome responsibility, that can only be accomplised with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is the Bible that gives us the wisdom we need to walk in the ways God would have us go. I love the scriptures that you provided, instead of offering another "book" for advice, as God's word is the best advice we can get. Outsiders who are meddling is one thing, but outright sin against the marriage vow is another. God allows for divorce in such situations, however it is only becasue of the sin in our lives that He does this, as His heart is that He hates divorce. If we are in danger it is wise and prudent to get away for a time of separation to work on the marriage with the intent of forgiveness and creating a better marriage. Each and every situation is so different that we can only take ours to the throne room of God and bare our souls to Him and follow His advice from His word. Jesus will hold us tight and give us the strenght and wisdom we need to do what He asks of us. I for one am so grateful that God gave me grace and love and forgiveness, so that I could give it to others.
And yet this sort of talk and action has brought much ridicule even from within the church. I did some research and in England when a couple stays together to make things work out, it is called an honorable thing in society. However here in the States, if you stay together you are ridiculed, and the census was because it made those who had already divorced feel guilty enough to ridicule those who try to make it work.
Thanks again for the insight.

Lydia said...

Dear Domestically Inclined,

Your words are so gracious, and that is part of the ship that helps the marriage withstand rough seas.

Lydia said...

For the ones with troubled marriages, I would suggest you not divorce until you have done a few other things, and certainly, stay away from Lawyers, who stand to gain the most, from the split.

Watch some of the films I have suggested. The one I mentioned in this post is not a pleasant film but it is powerful in its message. If you will have patience and watch it all the way through, there may be something in it for you. It was filmed a few decades ago and there are some things in it that aren't really good but it shows what people can end up doing when they let their marriages crumble. It is a bit overly dramatic and there is always the singing and dancing that every Indian film has in it, but just keep your eye on the message. Watch it privately with no distractions.Not a Christian film, by the way, but contains a lot of Christian values in marriage. I am hoping someone will watch it and write about how the stories affected them.

Anonymous said...

I believe in the separation method, and not to be hasty to divorce. You can affect a lot more lives than your own when you divorce and most divorced people will tell you that they didn't expect the commotion that came with it and all the emotional things involving the children, and the financial problems. The sin is indeed what God hates and he doesn't hate the marriage. He still hates divorce even though it is allowed. There is a lot more to it than just getting a divorce because you are allowed to.

Katrinka said...


For Young Wife I suggest the following link for her to check out. Connie Hultquist and her 3 children were abandoned over 30 times by her husband in the first 12 years of their marriage but she just felt that God wouldn't let her give up on him or their marriage, and he finally was delivered from his lifestyle and came home to love and care for his family and to add 3 more children to their home. Her testimony is powerful and very encouraging.

I wish there were more older women alive, because I believe there were many more women than we can imagine who had to deal with infidelity from their husbands, but it wasn't a story they easily shared.

Anonymous said...

Once again great post. I'm a SAHM for the last 7 years and out of 4 kids only 2 remain at home. My husband has had a reduction in pay and has asked me to return to work full-time. I respectfully told him that I'm most useful at home. To this he answered that if I didn't want to return to work that would be okay as he really does enjoy a well cared for and peaceful home.

The problem is that I can see that he's unhappy with this decision. Otherwise we have a good marriage (23 years). BTW we are not by any stretch needy. He currently makes over $150,000/year. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

The link for Connie's story, that Katrinka mentioned, is here -

a+A said...

I believe a good marriage starts with choosing the right partner!
I am strongly in favor of preserving marriages with effort and hard work, but you sure can make your life a LOT EASIER if you chose a man that is intelligent, emotionally stable, hard worker, lovingly devoted to you and who fears God.
We have to make our daughters aware of this since their young age!

Lydia said...

Ania, That is so important, because when there are stresses and troubles, at least you will be married to someone you can depend upon to always follow certain standards in his life. If you make sure to choose a type of person who will do the right thing and not bail out when the "for worse" is there, it helps a whole lot. Even in these good matches, sometimes one mate will, for some reason, be discouraged and say and do things that are not in keeping with their true nature. In such cases as these, it is important that women know how to deal with it and to not panic but to keep acting normal at home. If they panic and run around trying to fix things, they often make things worse. If you have a trust in your mate, then you can weather these storms. That is one reason to choose carefully. In our culture where we are allowed to choose our own mates, people have not done very well. This is why I believe that we need more input from parents, especially parents who have had a long marriage, and sometimes even parents who have suffered a broken marriage can see things that a young person can not, and can offer good counsel and a warning.

Lydia said...

Amy, you are welcome.