What's Killing Christian Marriages, Part 2: It's not About the Testimony

Like I stated in part 1 of this post yesterday, these are my opinions, I'm not an expert, this is just me expressing my frustrations over so many people that I know getting divorced. But unlike yesterdays post, I feel like I struggled with articulating my point on this one, Sometimes that happens with my brain, so I hope it makes sense :-)

We live in a Jersey Shores Reality now, one where everything is on display constantly. We document everything on Instagram, twitter, facebook, etc. I am the queen of wanting to tweet or post a pic of every event in my life. I have found myself far to many times attempting to present a different reality on social media then what is actually real life so I "get" the need that I will address in this post. I really do get it.

I hear people who are going through divorce or separation say, "I know we are going through this so that one day we will have a great testimony of how God restored our marriage". And I say to that, NO, that is not why you are going through this. You are going through this because we live in a fallen sin filled world. The enemy of your soul wants you destroyed, remember he came to steel kill and destroy? Your going through this because we all go through very painful crap, all of us, from death to infertility to abuse and addiction, this is life. BUT God does use everything for the good of them that love Him, so he's going to use all the bad to perfect YOU. Now. In this moment. All of these moments together.  Grab a hold of Him in the pain. Every second of every day and stop living for the testimony, for the telling of the story-one day because if you don't let God work in you in these moments, the now, the current event, your wanting a great testimony one day doesn't matter anyway. 

Christian's in leadership, pastors, wanna-be leaders, have always felt the need to project a strong marriage because that is what's always been expected for them. Followers want to believe that their leaders have found the answers and there is hope for them as long as they follow that leader. So it's a vicious cycle of the leaders making their marriage look good and the followers believing one day they can have that perfect marriage. Then that missionary has an affair, that youth pastor gets caught looking at porn, that TV Evangelist gets photographed with a prostitute, and the followers are devastated.

"But they looked like they had the perfect marriage!"

With social media and the Reality TV generation we live in now, that desire and ability to project a perfect marriage has been magnified. We can now present alternate realities, when the marriage is falling apart we can just step up the "I love my wife" pics on instagram and the smiling family vacation pictures on Facebook so that no one knows and we ourselves can live in denial..until one day we drown in the lie.

And you will drown in the lie because what you are projecting is not real.

Having a testimony one day of a restored marriage may be a by product of the work He does in the pain, but it can not be the motivation. I say forget about it, walk this out as if you could die while taking your next breath (which is indeed the true reality of this life) and having a testimony one day is irrelevant. What if your testimony is going to be that your spouse never came back but you found yourself closer to God? What if..what if.. see, it cant be about what you will one day get to tell people.

I think that is my greatest problem with the idea of living a great story, the idea that we have to live a life someone would want to read or watch as a movie, this thought is very prevalent in the church now, "living a great narrative" is talked about a lot these days. But to me, it places us as actors and characters in a play but we are people living real lives and every decision we make has to be based in our walk with God, not in how good of a story it will make. It's like we are all getting lost in this "reality TV" mentality and we don't even see it.

When we live for an audience, we are performing, acting, we are not living. I don't even live for an audience of one, as some refer to our relationship with God. I'm not performing for Him, I'm walking with Him on this journey called life, I have realized that nothing I do can be about pleasing others or giving a good testimony to others of what He did for me, it's about living in Him every second of every day. I fail miserably more then I succeed but that's part of the beauty is when I'm falling He's still with me and he helps me up so we can walk on.

Even in marriage it's about our individual walk with Him, look to Him to fix you, not for the testimony but for the relationship with Him that is the most important, then let Him handle the rest. Try to forget about what others will think, what others will say, I know that's hard, everything is out there now, we have to keep up a presence in our public arenas, we don't want the questions, the judgmental looks of others, the gossip, so we keep spinning our illusions for the world to consume all the while we become hallow shells who no longer even know our true selves.

He wants you to find Him, He's not lost, He's right beside you, look at Him. In the deepest misery of pain of separation and divorce, sit in His embrace and cry, grieve, ask Him for healing and live for that relationship with Him, not the testimony you may or may not ever get to share with others.

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