The divorce rate among my socks is astonishing.” ~Tommy Tenney
Truer words have never been spoken.
I had to laugh when I read that quote on Twitter this morning. Without fail, every time I wash my husband’s socks there is at least 1 pair that doesn’t make it out the dryer with its mate. Every. Single. Time. Why do my husband’s socks trek to Splitsville on a regular basis? There must be some sort of conspiracy going on. Maybe there’s a secret vacuum that sucks the mate out through the lint trap. Maybe aliens invade the dryer in the quiet of night and take his matching socks back to the Twilight Zone. Perhaps there’s a rumble in the tumble that causes the rift in their relationship. Or, worse yet, maybe the pair never even makes it out of the washer together. Truly, this divorce rate is unsettling. It’s the 8th Wonder of the World.
And so it is with some married folks. There’s a cloud of mystery hanging over their heads: “What happened to our marriage? Exactly where did it fall apart?” Instead of searching for solutions, they run from their problems. Some individuals run to divorce court faster than you can spell ‘divorce’! They cite “irreconcilable differences” as the demise of their union. Now, I’m not talking about abusive relationships or marriages plagued by infidelity- those relationships can be reconciled but are often quite understandably irreconcilable. I’m talking about the marriages wherein one or both parties have given up their hope for a happily ever after. They say things like “we’ve just grown apart” or “he’s/she’s changed.” There’s no joy, no excitement, no intimacy, and nobody’s trying. Just a pair of stubborn socks attempting to live on their own, maybe even looking forward to the opportunity to mate with someone else- legally. Their only hope lies in what could potentially exist outside of the bleak meaninglessness of their seemingly unholy matrimony. If only they could change their mate things would be so much better. Or so they think.
Trouble is, none of us can change our mate. If so, just imagine alllllll the things your spouse would change about you! I’m sure my husband has a laundry list of things he would change about me if he could. God bless him! 😀
In the U.S., roughly 50% of marriages are projected to end in divorce if current trends continue. The culprit is often cited as irreconcilable differences with regards to money and/or sex. Each year, immeasurable time, a boatload of energy, and billions of dollars are invested in wedding ceremonies and receptions. Not nearly enough time, energy, and resources are invested in marriage. At the first sign of trouble, too many folks are ready to head off to Splitsville. Many are unwilling to accept that although God created each of us as unique individuals, He supplies us with the love and grace to become one flesh with our mate.
Opposition occurs when we try to make our spouse into something they’re not. Just like a pair of toe socks, one is right and the other is left- but they’re still a pair. They complement one another. They each have a unique ability to adequately cover nakedness where the other person is lacking. Think about it: the right sock fits perfectly on the right foot and the left sock is a perfect fit for the left foot. Trying to make either sock fit onto the wrong foot will make for a rather uncomfortable walking experience.
Oh, and don’t bother trying to match up with someone else if you’re still married. Once you said “I do” to your mate, God sealed that deal. The two of you became a pair, part of the same fabric- committed to leave all others and cleave to one another. You can try to leave your mate to play footsie with someone else if you want to, but be advised: the divorce rate for 2nd and 3rd marriages is higher than 50%! If you’re not committed to your vows the first time, what makes you think it’s going to be any different the second (or third) time around? We must learn to work as a team and embrace our differences if we want our marriages to walk peacefully (on one accord, in spite of any opposition) into eternity. No matter how worn and torn, God designed marriage to last and He equipped us to live abundantly as one. Divorce rates will go down and successful marriages will soar when we place the institution of marriage above our individual wants. Teamwork makes the dream work, baybaaaay!
MENDING THE MESS
So, maybe you two have “fallen out of love” with one another. Maybe you’re just staying together for the sake of the baby booties (aka, the kids). Maybe you even have your heart set on someone else whom you feel is a much better match for you. Or maybe, just maybe, you haven’t managed to make it out of the spin cycle of life. Marriage has its ups and downs and it requires hard work and dedication. It goes through various cycles- each of which will benefit both partners if they dedicate the time, energy, and resources necessary to make it work. Are you giving it 100%? If not, you can’t blame anyone else for your results and your lack of commitment to your matrimony. Just sayin’. Identify how you’ve contributed to the chaos, fess up, and earnestly seek forgiveness from your mate.
There are no secret vacuums sucking the life out of your marriage, and there surely aren’t any aliens causing division between you and your spouse. But there is a conspiracy going on: the devil will do anything in his power to destroy your union. He hates Godly marriage as much as God hates divorce. Godly marriage produces Godly children and it brings glory to God. Don’t allow the enemy to wreck your wedlock; sock it to him instead! Fight for your marriage. Pray with your mate and for your mate. Pray until something changes in you. Pray that God’s love, grace, and mercy fills the holes in your socks. Tell God what’s torn and allow Him to mend it. Whatever you do, don’t stop being the best mate you can be and don’t stop praying (communicating with God). Prayer is your fabric softener when times get rough. Prayer is your static guard when there’s too much friction. When your heart is open and receptive to God’s voice, sincere prayer can iron out the deepest wrinkles and keep the power running on the dryer when your marriage feels like its been soaked in sorrow. And prayer reinforces the cord that holds your marriage together when it seems like you’ve drifted apart.
A POWER PACKED PAIR
For the glory of God, let’s stay together and make a positive impact in the Kingdom! Fight for your marriage harder than you’re fighting against it. Search for solutions like you’d search all over to find that missing sock. If you don’t change your ways, you may end up all alone with a bunch of mismatched socks in your drawers (pun intended ;-)). Make your mate and your marriage a priority. Invest in its growth and do those little things you used to do when you were both “in love”. Plant the seed for reconciliation. Get counseling if necessary. No one ever said it was easy, but it is so worth it… and so very attainable. Why settle for a miserable matrimony when you can have a life of wedded bliss? Allow the Lord to have His way in your marriage and the two of you will march your happy feet down the aisle of success… towards the tearing down of many strongholds.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)