Thursday, October 28, 2010

Voluntary Dependence

Words are the actualization of thoughts.

Which is one reason I haven't posted lately. The thoughts I've been having are, in some ways, too heavy for words.

With both abundant gratitude and great trepidation, I have been contemplating this temporal life, marriage, family, and the tender thread of Faith that keeps me connected to my Creator, the Father of all. We are all human, none of us exempt from temptation or immune from the snares of the Devil.

During our marriage preparation class, one guest presenter made a statement I will never forget. "Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce," she stated. "Let's split the room down the middle. Those on this side, look at the other side.... Whose marriages will last?"
I was bothered by her matter-of-fact, "it's inevitable" attitude; it still makes me cringe. After all, weren't we there to gather tools from these presenters to increase our likelihood of success? Didn't they offer the best recommendations to be had?
There is a grain of truth to her point. No bride walks down the aisle anticipating a future separation. No young man buys an engagement ring while planning a future affair. We have no way to predict the hardships that await, the temptations in our path. So much depends on our voluntary dependence on grace. And, for that matter, our realization of that true dependence we have on God. There is no formula to follow except that of "trust always," and "pray unceasingly." Even then, one spouse may fall away. And the other is left to "trust" and "pray."

Almost always.

But it has happened, over and over, these past several years. I have watched as long-time married couples have gone from union to individuals. It is painful to witness, like a body being dismembered.
"When you're with them, it's like you're with one person," I said to my husband of a strong marriage.
Yet I could have said this about a few marriages that have since seen storms too difficult to weather. Marriages that have given life to beautiful children, who are heartbroken and deeply troubled by these unhappy events.

It gives me pause. I am only two years into my marriage. Why should I think I'm exempt? I'm just another young bride, confident that her knight will never leave her.

"We must remember to always pray for our husbands," my older sister, Meg, reminds me. It is so true.

And so I clutch that thread of Faith, take nothing for granted, and voluntarily depend on my Father to lead me through the temptations of this world.