How to Stay Married (Even When You Don’t Want To)
THE BIG IDEA: It is important to be more committed to the institution of marriage than it is to be committed to your wife.
Marriage is the mysterious, mystical, spiritual fusion of two separate lives headed in two separate directions into what the Bible calls one flesh.
As designed, it is the deepest form of care, concern, and sharing in the universe. After a Neanderthal would slay his bear, his first urge was to hurry back to his cave to share victory with his woman. Today, when a man closes “the big deal,” the first thing he wants to do is find a quiet place where he can call his wife on his cell and share the good news.
Marriage rocks! Yet every marriage goes down stretches of road that challenge its survival. In fact, of all the problems we see men struggle with, marriage problems alone exceed all the other problems combined.
That’s why it is important to be more committed to the institution of marriage than it is to be committed to your wife.
Notice what I didn’t say. I didn’t say, “It’s not important to be committed to your wife.” It is incredibly important to be committed to your wife! I’m saying, “As important as it is to be committed to your wife, it is even more important to be committed to the institution of marriage.”
Here’s why: If you are not more committed to the institution than the person, what will keep you in the marriage when you just don’t like each other very much? And that happens in every marriage. What is the moral glue that will keep you from just pulling the plug? Where does the strength come from to keep the vows you made before God? The solution is to be more committed to the institution of marriage than to your wife—as important as that is.
But what if you’re just not happy? Give it two years. Either she will get better, or you will realize there was nothing wrong. But the only way you can wait two years is if you are more committed to the institution than her.
Together in the Battle for Men’s Souls,