Pastor is really agitated. Seems like there is some trouble brewing in God's House and, like most preachers, he's addressing it directly from the pulpit. Calling folks out for being divisive, for being gossips, for being close-minded. Then he's apologizing if he offended anyone without knowing it. Looks like some real mess popped off the week my wife and I were away from church visiting family.
So, I'm sitting there wondering why church people love mess, when my pastor really lets loose. He's talking about men leaving their families. He's calling on young couple to come to him for counseling before their marriages implode. He's begging the church to rally around each other and be the support we all need.
Now, I'm listening for real.
My married folks know what's up. It's not until you join the fraternity that you realize what really goes into remaining a member of MFL (Married For Life.) The
This thing ain't for the faint-hearted.
Tiger Woods and his marriage are in the news. Before him, Michael Jordan, and Bill Clinton and Kobe Bryant all took their turn in the infidelity and marriage limelight. (Look how I through Bill in with the brothers. At least he's still the first black something...)
I'm not here to justify Tiger's adultery. Nor am I here to pile on more insults. It's not that I don't see something wrong with Tiger's behavior, I do. Nor am I overwhelmed with sympathy for his public flogging. Homeboy should be able to handle it. Yet, I also can't work up too much anger for what he did mainly because I'm always sad when I see a marriage flame out. Whether it's the marriage of a billionaire golfer, or the marriage of a young church member, the pain still exists.
Life is hard for married couples. Sometimes, when I'm particularly down, I wonder if Paul had it right when he said it was better to stay single and celibate than tie yourself down to the ball and chain forever. Then again, I would be a lying fool if I thought I was going to stay single and celibate. I ain't built like that.
I'm always astounded at the folks who maintain thriving marriages without the use of God. I know for me, my faith and my commitment to God is one of the main reasons I'm willing to stay married when it seems like it would be easier to let things fall apart. For folks to handle the trials and tribulations without the massive rock I depend upon is admirable.
Often, it seems like the idea of melding two individuals into one married working unit is idiocy. Two people, often with very different worldviews, are going to join forces to do battle against the wiles of the enemy, all while trying to figure out how to stay enamored with each other? And raise children? We might as well jump the Grand Canyon on a mini-bike since we're shooting for the moon.
Yet, despite the grim news about marriage statistics, folks still make it. Couples grow old together. They grow old and HAPPY together. Even if they can't learn to love each other's faults, they manage to learn learn that the benefits they get from their union far outweigh the costs. They learn that there is beauty in marriage, there is strength in preserving a union. Eventually, they learn that it was all worth it.
Because the beat goes on.