I know you are wondering why I have a pillow with Chris Pratt on it for this blogpost. Stay to the end, and I will explain.
I was asked a question this week that I did not answer very well, and I wanted to have a do-over on the weak answer I gave. I was talking with someone who knows my past struggles in my marriage and how the stress has affected my health over the years. This person also knows that my husband and I separated for around eight months in 2004 and the first two months we decided not to see each other. After that period of rest, we agreed to try to start “dating” and see what we could do to make our marriage work.
Those two months were the most peace filled of any that I have EVER experienced in my entire life. I was working as a nurse, my children were pretty self-sufficient by that time, and I took every minute left in my days to pour over the Bible and any books that showed me how I should be living as a Christian wife. I also researched everything dealing with Christian Divorce and I had no Biblical reason that supported that decision in my life.
I would like to interject here:
Young women, when you are looking for a husband to marry, you need to be extremely careful. It is not the fun and games the world makes it out to be. Marriage involves the entirety of your life. When a man says that he is a Christian, you need to look for his fruit: Does he have a relationship with God? (The only way to have a relationship with God is by believing that you are a sinner and God sent His son to take your place on the cross. (See Romans 10:9-10, 13) Does he read his Bible or is it dusty? Does he seek to please God, and is God first in his life? Does he consult God when making a decision, or is he wise in his own eyes? (See Proverbs 26:12) Is he easily angered? (see Proverbs 14:29 and Proverbs 15:18)
If you are married and didn’t ask all those questions, and maybe you, like myself, took his word when he said he was a Christian, then I would encourage you to read to the end for hope in that situation. I would also encourage unmarried and married alike to read Sarah Malley’s book entitled, Before You Meet Prince Charming. I plan to do a review of that book next Monday.
Sarah’s book has definitely helped me in my marriage because it is all about getting yourself into the right relationship with God and following Him in every area of your life. I didn’t have a book like that when I was dating, but it is never too late to educate yourself and make changes. You can’t change others. A big reason for this blog is that… I am convinced that if boys, like my husband, had books to read that pointed them to a relationship with Christ when they are young, life would be a lot different for them. My hope is to not only find books for young boys, but to find books for parents that help them change the lives of their children and place them on the road to a life long walk with God directly into eternity.
There are struggles in my marriage, but there are struggles in all marriages. I have a firm belief that all of our struggles come from not having our hearts set on God and His will for our lives, and not loving Him enough to choose Him over our own selfish desires for happiness. (The exception to that would be an evil, abusive relationship that you definitely need to get out of.)
So… you have a little background history. Now, here are the answers to the question, “Why do you stay?”
- God hates divorce, and I love God above all else. I want to please Him. (See Malachi 2:16) Also, marriage is a covenant, not just with your husband, but with God. I do not want to break a covenant with God.
- There is no Biblical reason to leave… like adultery… that I know of. And, even if there were, I see that worked out with repentance and forgiveness in many cases. (See Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Forgiving What You Can’t Forget)
- Which brings me to… forgiving and not being offended. I had gotten to the point of being offended, unable to forgive, and I had a heart full of anger and bitterness. On a very desperate day in my life, when it all seemed to be caving in on me and I felt I couldn’t go on, I took my Bible and journal and escaped to Birkdale, a village of shops and homes. I ended up in Barnes and Noble in the Bible and religious section, and I feel with everything in me that God guided me to a book by John Bevere titled: The Bait Of Satan Living Free From the Deadly Trap of Offense. I have read this book several times and it opened my eyes to where my anger and bitterness came from and why I’m not allowed to have it. (See the blog post on this site titled https://janehgreen.com/offended/ )
- God gives me pockets of peace (See: John 16:33, Daniel 10:17-19, John 14:27) and ways to escape when needed (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).
- If I live a righteous life, asking God to help me not to sin, then, when I have sinned, repent quickly (see 1 John 1:9) there is a reward for that righteous life, and it is peace. (See Isaiah 32:17 and Romans 14:17)
- And, God tells us “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV.
- Through God’s plan for all of us, my husband gave me the gift of my children and grandchildren.
- It would tear our family apart for me to leave. My children and grandchildren love my husband. His grandparent name is Gunny.
- Even in the midst of dealing with strife on a daily basis, unsure if I will do something to set it off, trying to be careful and not say or do the wrong thing, there are days of laughter and joy as I watch my grandchildren interact with their “Gunny” as they pick back and forth. He can be hard on them at times… and they are quick to forgive and keep loving.
- True love keeps no record of wrongs (see 1 Corinthians 13:1). Whew! That’s a hard one!
- The true life is not about this life, but about the life to come… eternity is much longer than this life on earth. If we let the issues of this life sanctify us, it gets us ready for eternity with Jesus. One day Jesus is going to answer all our questions as we live with him in the Millennium. That gives me so much hope every day. (see https://davidjeremiah.blog/what-is-the-millennium-7-answers-to-7-questions/)
- There are many other Biblical reasons, but I will refer you to the post I did on Lysa Terkeurst’s book, https://janehgreen.com/forgiving-what-you-cant-forget-review/, and I will end the reasons with this one. I married my husband because I enjoyed his sense of humor, among other things. That has always been a draw for me. Both my children have inherited it… which brings me to the picture of the pillow at the beginning of this post.
So… about the pillow…
On Saturday we had a belated Easter celebration because it was the only time all of us could get together. My daughter and son had gotten me a gift and had held on to it for months because they both wanted to see my reaction to it. The backstory is… and I will never live this down…
At Thanksgiving when all the family gathered together, my husband took all the grandchildren upstairs for a time of naps… he is good at getting them all down at one time to separate areas and he commands the respect that they don’t challenge him on it as much as the rest of us. Must be his Marine training.
Anyways, I took all the adults, daughter and her husband, son and his wife, downstairs and talked them into watching the 2016 movie, Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. I had loved the movie because of the moral dilemma that Chris Pratt’s character faced and that Jennifer’s character had to work her way through some anger and learn to forgive and love.
I had totally forgotten that Chris Pratt was naked at one point (maybe two, agh!) and you got a good flash of his backside. There were a few close calls on that for Jennifer Lawrence, also. But, due to working in Labor and Delivery and NICU for 25 years, not to mention being pulled numerous times to a medical floor, I’ve seen my share of naked derrieres. On this day we were in mixed company and my daughter and son began to harass me because they knew it would get away with me. My son-in-law and daughter-in-law quietly took it all in and were maybe a little shocked that Mimi, who keeps their children on a regular basis, would love this movie.
I tried my best to let them know how I am immune to naked bottoms and even told them that I viewed the cheeks as four quadrants… I explained, “As a nurse, you draw a cross in the middle of a cheek and when you give a shot, it goes in the upper, outer quadrant.” The answer to that was something like, “Yeah, mom. We know you just like to look at Chris Pratt’s butt. Admit it.”
So… on Saturday, in front of everyone, they had me open that pillow… my first response was… I hit my son with it because he was sitting beside me and in reaching distance. My second response was that I wanted to throw it across the room at my daughter, but instead, a gleeful bit of laughter begin to fill my soul as I thought… okay you guys, now I will have to fight my flesh every time I look at this pillow, because like I told you before, I like a humorous man and Chris Pratt is that, plus, he has the kind of good looks that I like, to go with it. (To: Chris Pratt, if should ever read this blogpost, I would just like to say to you… “You are a Christian now and out of respect for your sister’s in Christ, could you please stop showing your naked backside in the movies that we love to watch and making us have to fight our flesh?” Ha Ha!)
If I told my children how they gave me a gift that makes me have to fight my flesh, I know the responses they would give:
My daughter, with a smirk on her face, would say, “You’re welcome, Mom!”
My son, would make a hilarious face, hide his mouth behind his hand and say loudly out of the side of his mouth, “You can thank me later.”
And, that’s the humor they inherited from their dad… and their Father.
So… I stay.