When the movie Fireproof came out a year ago, I read a secular review that criticized the plot because it was too “trite.” The reviewer commented that it was silly to see a marriage falling apart simply because the husband failed to lovingly romance his wife and the wife didn’t show respect to her husband. Sadly, this reviewer just doesn’t get it.
Most of the marriages that I witness on the brink of divorce are not plagued by huge infidelities or abuse. Instead, they are imploding because one or both parties have neglected simple things like love and respect.
Ephesians 5:33 clearly commands men to love their wives and women to respect their husbands. When you deny your spouse what he or she so desperately needs, it is very easy to move into a season of frustration, bitterness, and eventually, disconnect. Do this long enough and you forget why you got married in the first place. Divorce seems to offer a welcome relief from the pain you feel.
Which brings us to the case of Jon and Kate Gosselin. While we may never know what is truly going on in their lives (even though the tabloids will try), we DO know what we have seen on TV for the past few years. At the very least, it appears that Jon and Kate have ignored the Biblical principle of love and respect. They have become disconnected from one another, and it has apparently led to more complicated problems in their marriage.
As we have watched their show the past few weeks, Jenifer and I find ourselves shouting to them through the television. “Don’t give up hope…it’s never too late….God can change your heart….you’ll never believe the difference you’ll see if just one of you starts doing the right things!”
My prayer for Jon and Kate is that God will place someone in their lives who can help to restore what has been broken in their lives and marriage. God would be highly lifted up if they were to share a testimony down the road of how Christ healed them. On the other hand, it will be a tremendous victory for the enemy if the producers of the show give us a couple more years of TV that suggests that things are so much better for everyone (including the kids) since they split up. We know that’s just not true.
The prayer I have for the rest of us is that we will know what a difference simple things like giving nurturing love to a wife and giving unconditional respect to a husband can make. It’s sad that we have to learn this from a reality show, but Jon and Kate have been a graphic illustration of what happens when you don’t do the right things.
I also am praying that we will be discerning about the things that Jon and Kate share on their show. They keep talking about how things are going to be better for the kids if they can bring peace to their home through a divorce. While they are walking in that lie right now, I hope and pray that the rest of us won’t believe it. Because I know it’s tempting to think that when your marriage is at a difficult place.
Keep praying for this couple that is so powerfully stuck in the limelight. It’s never too late for God to do a work in their lives. He’s still in the business of doing miracles. And do something today that expresses to your wife that you are passionately in love with her. Do something for your husband that communicates how proud you are of him. It’s these little things that make all the difference in the world.