The "grass is greener" proverb is used quite frequently when it comes to married vs. single life. For some reason I have been more aware of this topic in the last few weeks. I don't know why because divorce has become such the norm for society you would think I would be desensitized to it by now. I have experienced divorce in my own extended family multiple times so you would think that it would be no big deal to me...but it is. I know divorce is a sensitive topic and there aren't many of us out there that it hasn't affected. I am reluctant to even write about it because of that very fact.
It is not God's plan for people to divorce. I know there are valid reasons to and I am not speaking about those people. I don't feel anyone should stay in an abusive relationship, or stay with a spouse that cannot, excuse me, will not be faithful. And what is there to do when your spouse is just finished and wants out no matter how you feel??? You fight for your marriage but can't make them stay and before you know it you are a divorcee.
I am talking about the ones who just quit, walk away, give up. The ones who think it would be easier to be apart than together. The ones who don't want to do the work that it takes to make a marriage work because it would be "easier" to start over with someone new. I am talking to you. Divorce does not just affect you and your spouse. Whether you like it or not it affects your children (no matter their age), your parent's, friends....EVERYONE! I have noticed one common denominator when someone walks away from a marriage, a hardened heart. Why? Because you have to harden your heart to do what you are about to do to the ones you love the most.
This started weighing on my heart a few weeks ago when I read a post about divorced parents being proud that they could be together at a special event and get along for their child. Don't get me wrong that is great, but the thought that was in my head was why didn't you fight harder to save your family? I would stand up and clap if someone would say we were on the verge of divorce and we went to counseling, or got back into church, or worked hard to find the love we lost, and we have saved our marriage. Don't you think that's what your kids truly want? Parent's who love each other and fought to stay together. Wouldn't that make everyone the happiest? Not, my parents are divorced but they can be in the same room for my birthday party and not fight. Or when I overheard a woman, who is separated from her husband, say to her child "what's wrong?" I wanted to scream at her "What do you think is wrong!?! His parents are separated and you expect him to act like life is great!"
I hope my mom doesn't mind that I share this story but my parents divorced when I was 28ish years old. I know the pain it feels as an adult, I can't imagine the pain I would have felt as a child. I watched my dad walk away from a 30 year marriage. He just quit. He walked away at a time that my mom was recovering from an 8 month illness. It was to the point that I was preparing myself to lose my mom. I thought she was going to die. All the doctors who treated her thought she had cancer that they just couldn't find. Before she got sick she weighed 130ish pounds and when she was released from the hospital she was 94 pounds. She was wearing a little girls size 12 clothes. My dad chose at that time to just walk away. You know how he did it? He hardened his heart and he turned away from God. The devastation has a ripple effect, even though the one causing the pain refuses to believe it.
My heart hurts for the families that are on the verge of making a huge mistake and throwing away everything they have spent so many years building. I think I am so acutely aware of the ending of families recently because we have spent so many years and so much money just to complete ours. We have fought hard and there were times we wanted to give up but we haven't and we won't. We are on the verge of completing our family and I am watching others just throw theirs away.
Last night Jason and I had a date night because Isaac went to a birthday sleepover. We saw a dear friend, who within the last year lost his beloved wife to cancer, out to eat with his granddaughter. I flippantly said "we were having a date night, dinner and going home to watch a movie, that's what our dates consist of" like it didn't mean anything or wasn't good enough. The moment the words came out of my mouth I regretted it. I felt I could read his thoughts with the look he had on his face. I knew he would give anything to have one more of those nights with his wife.
The last few weeks have made me more aware of my own relationship with Jason. I need to nurture it and be thankful for it and treat each and every day as if it were our last. We are all guilty of taking things for granted at some point in our lives. Spouses, children...people who we love.
The school where I work I see on a daily basis children who are neglected by their parents. We take them to the nurse for clean socks, give them hugs, and nurture them as much as possible for the 7 hours a day that we are with them. You never hear about those people dealing with infertility do you? I know the pain of watching people who don't care for their children the way they should continuely have them and you can't.
I'm sure I'm not overstepping when I speak for the ones who have lost their spouses, dealt with infertility, or endured the waiting, financial struggle and sacrifice to grow their family through adoption...don't quit, don't take your children or your spouse for granted! Love them like there's no tomorrow!