Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Your Worst Year

Life is very long. The poet T.S. Eliot echoed this sentiment in his scatter-brained and impressionistic poem The Hollow Men, and I think about this simple phrase quite often. Every married couple meets at the altar with a heart that desires to commit for the long-haul. But the long haul is very long. The notion of forever feels very different to our imaginations than it does to our travel-worn feet after years of pressing forward.

Sometimes I think about all the married people I know, especially the young ones who have only been married for a year or two, and I wonder what the future holds for them. Life is very long. A myriad of events are before all of us, shrouded by the future, and we only discover them day-by-day and piece-by-piece. Blessings and tragedies; victories and setbacks. Obstacles are not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Our only choice is to stand vigilant or close our eyes in proud ignorance as they get closer.

Every relationship is marked by special occasions -- your union will have a first day, and it will have a last day. At the end of your life, there will be watershed moments that shine bright in your memory. Your marriage will have especially good times, and especially bad times.  That's not morbid; it's just a fact.

I ponder all of this because it makes me realize the truth that every marriage will have a worst year. Maybe you're in the middle of it right now, or maybe it's already behind you. Or maybe, just maybe, it's right around the corner. In the history of your marriage, it will have a high point and a low point. Where will you stand when you face your worst year ever? Will you remain strong or buckle beneath the weight of it all?

If I had a chance to speak into the life of a newlywed couple regarding our own experience with infidelity and the road to recovery, I'd ask them this:

On the worst day of the worst month, right in the middle of the worst year of your life, and of your marriage, will you cling to your commitment? Will you treasure your vows? Will you pray against the temptation before you and rebuke it with fury? Or will you falter? What is your marriage made of?

We all enjoy the high points, but the low points tell us so much about the fabric of our bond with our spouse. Trials and tests often show a person's true colors. Victory is not a matter of how many pleasant days you have, but how you withstand the difficulties and challenges. Join me in reflecting on these truths so we can all stand strong against the headwinds of the future, and all that it holds for our marriages.

Today, all I ask is that you'd review the vows you made before God at that altar. Reflect upon the trials of your marriage's past and ponder the potential trials that lie before you in the darkness. Don't be naive; be strong... and cling tightly to your spouse, because life is very long.

1 comment:

  1. This is not my worst day, but is my worst year. Thank you for writing this, I wish people could read it before the worst thing happens! I chose to stand and fight, I don't think most people would understand my reasoning so I don't share my experience but the outcome has been nothing short of a miracle. Someday, I'll be ready to share.