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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