Unfortunately, many people in desperate marriages base their lives upon commonly held myths. This week I want to expose some of these myths and challenge you to take constructive action in your marriage.
The first myth is the idea that my state of mind and the quality of my marriage is determined by my environment. “I grew up in a dysfunctional family, so I am destined to failure in my relationships.” This kind of approach leaves one helpless.
Our environment certainly affects us, but it does not control us. You can keep a positive spirit even in a bad marriage, which will affect your emotions and your actions. God can give peace of mind even in the worst of situations.
You’ve probably heard this one: “People cannot change.” This myth fails to realize the reality of human freedom and the power of God. History is filled with accounts of people who have made radical changes in their behavior. From St. Augustine, who once lived for pleasure and thought his desires were inescapable, to Charles Colson, the Watergate criminal who repented and began an international agency to offer prisoners spiritual help, the record is clear: People can and do change, and often the changes are dramatic!
Don’t give up on yourself or your spouse. God is in the business of changing lives. Begin with prayer, and believe that God can and will change you and your spouse.
“When you are in a bad marriage, there are only two options: be miserable for life, or get out.” This myth limits one’s horizons to two equally devastating alternatives.
But there is always something you can do to improve a marriage. You can be a positive change agent in your marriage. Being miserable or getting out are not your only options, and there are loving solutions even in desperate marriages.
“Some situations are hopeless.” Have you said those words? Have you believed them? The person who believes this myth usually also concludes, “My situation is hopeless. Perhaps there is hope for others, but my marriage is hopeless. It has gone on too long; the hurt is too deep.” This kind of thinking leads to depression and sometimes suicide.
God is the God of hope. When you put your hand in His hand, He will lead you through the valley of despair into the plane of hope. With God no one and no situation is hopeless. Focus your eyes on Him rather than your situation.