Choosing to stay in a marriage is not a sign of weakness

I apologize for my blogging being a little bit sporadic lately… honestly I feel like there are certain times in life when I just get a bit bleh about all of the news I’m constantly being bombarded with.

Is there any good news lately?!

When I get overwhelmed with negative information, I tend to turn off technology and open up a book and so that’s where I’ve been lately! (And dealing with a clingy, whiny toddler who still is rockin’ her baby mullet, but that’s for a different post!)

The one story that my mind keeps coming back to, and the one social media won’t let me forget, is the Ashley Madison hack. I’m actually surprised I’ve only heard of a few well-known people who were discovered to have accounts on there – I thought it was actually going to  be messier.

Choosing to stay in a marriage is not a sign of weakness

Of course, the two individuals who seem to be getting the most attention from having accounts with the site are two Christian men, who are famous (in large part) because of their conservative values.

I’m going to go ahead and bullet point my thoughts on this [the lazy (wo)men’s way of writing]:

  • I was not surprised that Christians were (and are) on the site. Christians sin. We all sin. Just because Christians have a relationship with Christ does not mean we don’t hurt God and turn away from Him and His will for us time and time again. I know that as Christians we are called to act like Jesus and to show His love for us by how well we love others, but we all know we fall short.
  • We, as a society, are not owed an apology by a (wo)man who has been unfaithful in his marriage. I understand that when men are public figures we expect them to make a statement and say how sorry they are and blah blah blah, but we are not owed that. Also, we should not use a person’s apology against them. God calls us all to forgive and to forgive again and to forgive again. If these men are truly repentant, God  has already forgiven them, and we are called to do the same. When someone says they have already been forgiven by God I don’t think it’s a cop-out, and (as tempting as it may be) I try to remind myself that it’s not for me to judge whether or not (s)he is truly repentant.
  • In that same line of thinking, I do not believe that these wives should divorce their husbands. I also don’t believe they shouldn’t. Generally I am very, very pro-marriage (obviously) but I’m not in these marriages and would never speak as to what someone should do in their relationship.
  • I don’t like that so many people (on social media) call out women as being weak when they don’t immediately divorce their husbands after an affair is found out. I feel like this happens pretty often: a celebrity, politician, or well known man (or woman) is found to be having an affair, and the public calls/demands that the injured party file for divorce. I don’t think the ‘easy’ thing to do is to stay in a relationship (especially a marriage) and forgive someone who has harmed us and to try to rebuild that trust. I don’t think a woman who stands by her husband is weak, I think she is strong. I think we need to respect women who choose to stay in a difficult marriage and support them in any way that we can. If God is calling a woman to stay in her marriage, why would we, as a society, tell her she’s making the wrong decision?
  • I always think, how would I hope Clara responds if (God forbid) she’s in a similar situation one day? Well, I hope that (if she gets married at all) she marries a man (or woman!) who is loyal and honest with her, and that Tim and I would be able to wholeheartedly support them as a couple from day 1. If they run into a tough spot in their marriage, I hope they love each other enough to work through it with the help of God, community and maybe counseling. Ultimately, I would want her to know that I would support her staying in a challenging marriage and also leaving a marriage and, I would want her to know that she would not be alone no matter what choice she might need to make.

My point is that I believe in marriage. I’m not condoning the bad behavior of others, but it isn’t my role to condemn it, either. I believe that it can be hard work to keep a marriage in tact, but that the marriage bond is sacred and is worth fighting for. I don’t think it’s right for any woman to feel she needs to stay in a marriage for practical reasons (like financial or emotional dependence, for example), but I think if a person is called by God to stay in a marriage, we need to support that! I hope we can empower our young girls to grow into strong women who can make a wise decision for themselves about what to do in any tough situation, but a person deciding to stay in a marriage is not an indication of weakness.

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8 Responses to Choosing to stay in a marriage is not a sign of weakness

  1. This is such a powerful post, and I think this is such a good way to approach the subject. Whenever morals come up in the news, it seems like all anyone wants to do is point fingers at the people at the focus – I appreciate that you’re more focused on YOUR life and dealing with YOUR circumstances (and recognizing that your life is not everyone else’s life!) rather than thinking that you’re able to understand everyone else’s circumstances and situations fully. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa says:

      I agree, it seems like everyone wants to judge everyone else… maybe because it makes them feel better about the things they do wrong in their own relationships? I just don’t think it’s a good way to approach life!

  2. Macy Volpe says:

    I agree with you so much. It is so hard for me to hear and see so many people judging the actions of others in this situation, only because they are a Christian celebrity. Forgiveness can happen and hearts can heal, if you put it in Gods hands. Thank you for posting!

    • Lisa says:

      It’s definitely a pet peeve of mine when people jump on anyone, but especially Christians for being hypocritical. It’s really all about forgiveness and grace and focusing on ourselves!

  3. I think the important point you make here is choice. We should be supportive of people’s choices, whether it be to leave or to stay in a marriage. Sometimes it’s the staying that is the easy way out, and support should equally be offered when someone decides to make the tough decision to leave (especially when it is against the social norms presented by their families and religious upbringing). I have strong, personal reasons for saying this, but it ultimately comes down to being loving and supportive.

    • Lisa says:

      Exactly, exactly. I would love to support marriage and a couple staying together, but in certain cases (like my parents) the difficult decision to split up has to be made, and those couples need support as well.

  4. Kalyn P says:

    You’ve taken the thoughts from my head (I can’t say “words from my mouth” because I haven’t really voiced my opinion publicly.) I’ve talked a lot about it with my husband and we are both of the mindset that (1) no one truly knows what goes on inside a marriage and it is no one’s decision but those who are IN the marriage as to whether or not they continue the relationship and (2) that we should pray for the families affected…because you’re right – everyone sins! Lucky most of us don’t have our sins aired nationally and we can repent and ask for forgiveness privately.

    All in all, it’s just such a sad situation. Some may say that the men “deserve” What they got, but everyone makes mistakes. We can only hope and pray that these people learn from theirs and are made better because of it.

    • Lisa says:

      You said it perfectly! We can’t possibly know what’s going on in any relationship and it’s really none of our business and it’s definitely not our right to judge. I would love to say that anyone who even thinks about cheating is an awful person, but I know that’s not the truth. God hates ALL sin and I can’t judge one person to be a bigger sinner than myself just because their sins are a little more public. It does make me think how embarrassed I’d be if all of my sins were found out by everyone, though – YIKES.

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