Guard Your Marriage
It’s sad to hear that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are divorcing after 10 years of marriage. On the Today show this morning, one of the hosts said “but that’s a long time to be married in Hollywood.” First of all, Jane and I feel bad for them and their kids, just as we would for anyone getting a divorce. Secondly, if you’re going through a tough time with your spouse, don’t buy into the lies of television. There are plenty of people in Hollywood (and elsewhere) who stay married for a lifetime. The odds may be higher for breakups when people live in high pressure situations, but Jane and I have been through many ups and downs and all sorts of pressures and we’re happy after 21 years. I plan on being with her until the wheels fall off. We had to learn that it takes love, work, forgiveness, patience, laughter, compromise, learning each other’s love languages, and much, much more. We figure it out a little bit more every day.
There are a lot of ways the world will try to take you and your marriage down. Don’t let it! Celebrate the little things, build into each other in small ways daily and spend much more time working on yourself than you do trying to change your spouse. Don’t just say “I love you,” live it out daily. Express it in your actions. Love is the answer.
For you guys, there’s a great book out by my dear friend Pastor Rod L. Hairston called Cover Her. There’s another great book by another dear friend Kevin Toney called The Virtuous Man. There’s also the book of Ephesians in the Bible, perhaps the greatest book ever written about relationships. Here’s one more from the Bible:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Love is the answer.
I love my wife more than anything or anyone other than God. In fact, the more I seek God, the more I am drawn closer to her — His gift to me. Rod taught me that one. It helped me get out of my own way. I thank God for her and I have vowed to be there for her and with her for life.
If you’re in a troubled marriage, don’t give up. Pray, get help from people who will support both of you with truth and love, and fight for your MVP — your most valuable person. Wow, look at me, the guy who said “no way ever” to his wife when she said many years ago, during our worst time, that we would be counseling others one day. That was when we were close to splitting up in year 6. Here we are in year 21 and she was right! I love it. And Jane Ali, I love you!
If you’re the one guy who needed to read this today, fight hard for your marriage. It’s worth it more than you can ever imagine.