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Those Left Behind: Did They Believe These Popular Myths About Marriage?

wedding cake figuresFirst Thessalonians 4–5 speak about future realities. Chapter 5:2 states:

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Then, in verse 8, we read:

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

No doubt, we are not saved by having a good marriage, but the condition of our relationships—especially in the home—plays a large role in whether or not an individual is ready for that day. Being “Rapture-ready” means dwelling with our wives “according to knowledge” (1 Peter 3:7). For wives it means being as Sara, who “obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters are ye as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (vs. 6).

Popular Myths About Marriage

A myth is a commonly-held belief that is wrong. Some myths can be harmless. Others can have destructive potential. Many people, for example, commonly believe that the drinking of alcoholic beverages during cold weather will help you keep warm. Hunters, hikers, and skiers sometimes believe this myth. But it’s not true, and it is a dangerous myth. Alcohol hastens the loss of body heat and can actually facilitate hypothermia.

That are several myths about marriage that are contributing to the dissolution of the home. They promote disappointment and unrealistic expectations that can never be met. Here are a few of those dangerous myths.

Marriage Will Make Me Happy. “Happiness,” as defined by the modern world, is some kind of a nice and pleasant experience, like being on a Caribbean island where the temperature is always right and the sea breezes lull you into a restful state. It’s a counterfeit term that glorifies irresponsibility and carefree living.

I knew a man who had just gotten a divorce. He said something like this: “God bless my dear ex-wife. She tried so hard. I gave that woman three of the best years of my life, hoping that she would learn to understand me, and make me happy, but she just didn’t have it in her.”

People who are under this delusion are those who think, “I have to find the right person to marry.” So, if the marriage is a little rough, the automatic response is: “This is not the right spouse for me.” They leave that marriage and move to another. The emphasis really needs to be “I have be the right person.”

Marriage was never intended to make anyone happy. If you are looking for happiness by finding the right person you are doomed to failure.

Children Are the Glue That Holds a Marriage Together. Children are wonderful and the Bible says having lots of children is like having a lot of arrows in your quiver (Ps. 127:4-5). But while children are a blessing from God, they will not hold a marriage together. The presence of children doesn’t solve marital problems. They often cause them. What does a child bring to marriage? A helpless, vulnerable, demanding little creature constantly requiring your attention.

The common denominator of these myths: “Someone else is responsible for making my marriage work. That “somebody else” often turns out to be God, spouse, and children—and we leave the most important person out of the picture: ourselves. We hold the key regarding the success or failure of our marriage.

Erroneous Preconceived Notions. Unbiblical preconceived notions about marriage can be a bummer. Some people enter marriage with a checklist and a timetable. If everything doesn’t happen exactly as anticipated, they want out. A key idea: learn to adapt.

There is a charming story of a couple who saved their money and adjusted their schedule so they could take a trip to Hawaii in the middle of the winter. They lived in one of the northern cities. They hoped to make their trip in February, which was a particularly cold and blustery month in their latitude.

They purchased their tickets, along with plenty of sunscreen, summer wear, and sandals. They loaded up on fine-grain color film for picture taking. They wanted to bring home plenty of pictures. “Waikiki, here we come!”

Finally, their day of departure arrived. They boarded their 747, and off they went. Several hours later, somewhere over the Canadian Rockies, the pilot announced that they were having mechanical problems and were going to have to land at Anchorage, Alaska. The pilot announced that it was forty below zero, and snowing hard. In an hour the airport would be closed. They had a brief “window” of opportunity for making a safe landing. Furthermore, the parts that they needed for the plane were not available. They would have to wait in Anchorage a couple of days for the parts to be delivered.

This couple was put up in a cozy lodge. It was at the edge of a windswept plateau. This couple had some choices to make. They could either don their summer clothing and tropical print shirts and maybe take a walk along the “beach”—in which case they would both die in ten minutes—or they could sit in front of the fireplace and make other plans. They could even give up the temptation to blame one another for taking this particular flight. Since they couldn’t find anyone with a grass skirt, they decided a change in plans was called for.

Marriage is sometimes like that. It can throw us some unexpected surprises. We don’t have the choice of surprises—they just come—but we can choose the attitude with which we will face those surprises.

For Christians knowing, and believing, that God is working all things together “for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28) can help us adjust and to even thank the Lord for the surprises of ife. We would be bored if there were no surprises and challenges in life.