I am taking time off from my marriage.
Now don’t get all worried about me. I will be fine. Everything is fine. Really. I promise. My wife and I are doing very well in general. I know she loves me dearly and she knows I love her. I am just going to take a break for a while. Not indefinitely. Just through the summer months. I love my summers. I can get out and go for a run, cut grass or play with my kids. And then in the evenings, the sun stays out a bit longer and it begins to cool off, so there is an opportunity for a lot of “me” time that I don’t normally get during the school year.
Before you shoot me an email, I know what you’re thinking. “You’re crazy! You can’t do that and have a healthy marriage!” Well, that’s an understandable point. But you see, during the rest of the year, my marriage is super strong. I mean, SOLID. And besides, I am sure my wife will be okay with it. I told her I loved her when we got married and I told her if I ever changed my mind, I’d let her know.
I tell her I love her all the time. I’m not quitting on that part–just the “time” part. I figure, she can go her way and I will go mine and we will meet back together where we left off when summer concludes. Obviously if there is an emergency of some sort and I need her, I will give her a call or shoot her a text, but otherwise, I. Am. On. Break.
And I am really hoping this will give me some time with my children. They need my time and attention, so I figured what better way than to take the time I would spend with mommy and spend it with them, right? I mean, there is just so much I want them to learn about life. You know, things that really matter and are critical to their integrity and character as they get older. It is so humbling to realize that they look to me for guidance on what real love looks like. And they are looking to me to give them an idea of what it means to be committed and faithful and honest and pure. Wow. What a sobering thought—that all of that responsibility rests upon my shoulders.
Well, I wanted everyone to be aware of my “pause” that I am putting on my marriage, just in case someone sees me around town without my wife. I mean, I am on staff and I do have people watching me and I definitely have a testimony to uphold. I don’t want you thinking something is actually wrong or anything. I mean, I am not breaking off my relationship…. there’s no divorce on the horizon. Everything really is okay. I figured if I put this all in writing, everyone will just totally understand instead of wondering and assuming things. It’s just a harmless break for the summer.
A harmless break from the one person that I claim to love more than any other human being in this world.
Yeah. I’d have to be crazy to actually do that. I certainly wouldn’t be able to ascribe words like “love”, “commitment”, or “faithfulness” to my marriage. And how stupid would I have to be to think my children would benefit from me spending less time with their mother?
And yet, during the summer months, church attendance is conspicuously down. I mean waaaaaay down. Now, I’m not talking about family vacations….I’m talking about the families who completely take an apparent “break” from attending a local body of believers during the summer months.
A harmless break from the one person that I claim to love more than any other human being in this world. Yeah. I’d have to be crazy to actually do that.
In Matthew 7:24-27, there is a great lesson in the form of a story involving wise and foolish individuals who build two similar houses but with drastically different foundations—one on the sand and the other on a rock. Look at verse 24:
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock”.
In this verse, the people hear and do. Both are important actions. The people compared to the foolish man whose house goes splat are the ones who hear but fail to do. But the lesson “between the lines” if you will, is in the fact that in order to hear, the person has to be present. Jesus says “There are people who hear and do and people hear and do not.” But you know, there are people also who do not even hear…. because they’re taking a break for the summer. They weren’t even around to hear Jesus speaking, let alone act upon it.
If Christ said those who come, hear and neglect to act are like a foolish builder placing his home on sand…..it kind of makes me wonder what He’d call those who do not even come to hear.
So yeah, I could never put my marriage on hold for the summer. It wouldn’t be right. I know it would weaken my relationship with my wife, communicate to her that I do not really love her as I say, and ultimately communicate to my children that a true and loving relationship is only important when it is convenient.
I just cannot help but wonder if God feels the same way.