There is an epidemic sweeping the nation, and it's one of catastrophic proportions. It may very well have a greater impact on our society than any other epidemic ever has even come close to. It's causing children great pain, adults great strife, and it's destroying families one household at a time. Divorce. The "D" word. The unmentionable in our house.
Most of the time, the reasons I hear for people abandoning their spouse is so super lame. My number one favorite is "I just don't love him/her any more" or "We've just fallen out of love". Oh, please don't go there with me. You can't fall out of love. Love isn't an emotion that you can just suddenly push aside. You either love someone or you don't. In fact, I'm going to go one step further and say that love is a choice. To love or not to love is YOUR choice. At some point, you have to make a conscious decision to love someone. It's an action based on a feeling maybe, but it's an action none the less.
Here's what really happens. Life gets crappy. You begin to struggle. In your mind, your spouse has become a slacker. You just can't get on the same page. Things begin to crumble bit by bit, and the thought sneaks in that it would be better "if only". Your mind begins to cloud, and the thoughts seeping in make you believe that if your weren't with the person you're with, your life would be better. Suddenly, you decide you don't love them anymore, when in reality you have just made the choice not to.
I know that when you meet that special someone in the beginning, you have this warm, fuzzy feeling that you just can't shake. I know that when you are around them, there is just something within you that turns flips and rattles around and just makes you feel weak at the knees. People mistake this for love all the time. I do believe that it is an indicator that you have an attraction to a person, but we should never think of that as love. Love is what you choose to do when you feel that attraction to the person that you feel you just can't live without.
Biblically, we are commanded to love. John 13:34-35 says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." While this command goes far beyond a spousal relationship, let's apply it there. It's a command. We must love. God didn't say "A new command I give you: Be happy. Have the time of your life. Feel butterflies in your stomach every time he/she is around. If things get rough, bail out because you deserve it." Give me a break.
Don't get me wrong, most of us have times that we question our relationships. It's those times that God gives us the opportunity to choose whether to love or not. It kind of goes back to that thought of having faith. It's a big step sometimes to put ourselves out there, because it may mean that we get hurt at times. However, if God can love someone as unlovely as me enough to send his Son to die for me, shouldn't I choose to love as well?
So, the answer to the epidemic we are facing is love. The answer is faith. The answer is a trust in God that He is in control. The irreversible damage that is being done to our society could be repaired if we would simply choose to love.