Many people who married believe that his or her marriage is the absolute worst marriage on the Planet Earth. They multiply their problems on a calculator and count their blessings on their fingers. Marriage used to be a contract. Now many regard it as a ninety-day option. One mand said, "I've been unlucky in both my marriages. My first wife left me, and my second wife won't." Marriage is the art of two incompatible people learning to live compatibly.
Marriage is like a computer. You get out of it what you put into it. Trash in; trash out. If there is no investment of yourself, of your emotions, of your heart, you will receive nothing in return. In a rural area, you can see the drinking water out of a well that functioned with a manual pump. Before you can get water out of the well, you have to pour water down the shaft to wet the leather that created the suction sufficient to bring fresh cool water to the top. If you put no water down the well, you can pump the handle until you have blisters, and there will be no water. No water in; no water out.
Marriage is the same. No love in; no love out. No tender communication in; no tender communication out. If you nurture your marriage, it will be your oasis. If you neglect it, it will become your Sahara Desert.
Can this marriage be saved from adultery?
Bob was a dentist with an outstanding practice in the northeast section of the United States. He was handsome and had an outgoing personality. He was tall, athletic, and a high-energy, type-A-go-getter. In addition to, his accomplishments as an outstanding dentist, he was a loving father and fantastic husband. He was every woman's dream for a husband. He had been a faithful, loyal, loving husband for nearly twenty years without fail. He provided handsomely for his wife and children, and he believed his marriage was bulletproof. He was wrong.
His wife, Betty, was an intelligent, modestly attractive woman, but not nearly as attractive as Bob. People wondered how in heaven's name she ever attracted Bod. Betty was short and stocky, and she wore thick glasses that distorted the shape of her blue eyes. She had straight, reddish-brown hair that she wore pulled back in a ponytail. She was not outgoing and did not seem to make friends easily. Bob and Betty were polar opposites in many ways. Remember, opposites attract before marriage and irritate after marriage.
One morning at breakfast, Betty told Bob that her relationship with a contractor who has been building their house. She said, "it has been over a year." It was shock to Bob. Bod had two options: One was biblical answer from Mt 19:9, Jesus said, "Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and remarriages another, commits adultery." So Bob was free to divorce and remarry if he chooses to. And another option was he can forgive her, totally and completely forgive her. That's always an option in Christian. But Bob chose to forgive her. Not one man in ten thousand would even try to save this marriage. This marriage was miraculously saved and has survived for many years with genuine love and mutual affection.
Can this marriage be saved from abuse?
Roy was the athletic supervisor for recreational sports through the public parks in his county. He was a physical powerhouse, 6'4" and weighed about 250 pounds. He and Ruth had been married for about ten years. Ruth was an attractive woman. Moderately tall herself, she carried herself graciously, had a very outgoing personality, and was dearly loved by her children as a devout mother and loyal wife. Ruth was tender and loving...but push her too far, and you had a wildcat in high heels.
One day, Roy wanted to send her to a mental hospital without her approval. He thought she addicted to prescription drugs and high all the time. Most of the time she is sleeping. She does not keep the house clean, and when he comes home, supper is not ready. Sometimes she leaves young children completely unsupervised. But Ruth had her side of the story. Roy never had been shameful of his multiple adulterous relationships. There had been quarrels and arguments on Roy's lifestyle. But fortunately, they wanted to save their marriage. They like for the marriage to continue. Ruth was willing to forgive Roy for his adulterous relationships and work to save her marriage. Roy promised to her that he will stop his adulterous relationships right away to save his marriage. Both confessed and repented each other and restored with reconciliation.
Can this marriage survive hard time in prison?
Some people in prison are there because they made a mistake they will regret for the rest of their lives. Others experience a real conversion experience in prison and come out different people. Some who are there are not even guilty of the crime that put them there. There are people who are sent to prison because they had an incompetent lawyer. In America, tragically, it is true that your defense is just about as good as your bank account. When your bank account is exhausted, so will your defense be exhausted.
Can marriage survive hard time in prison? Jack was sent to prison. He had lived every day of his adult life as a Bible-believing Christian. The day federal marshals handcuffed him and led him out of the courtroom, he looked over his shoulder at his wife and children with tears running down his face. It was an absolute nightmare. It was unbelievable, but it was happening. His wife, Jo-Ann went home, and life suddenly began to unravel. The bank foreclosed on their home. Every financial calamity you can imagine began to happen to her. Their lives were being scattered like straw in the grip of a vicious tornado. Jo-Ann was like a bleeding victim in the ocean whose blood attracted sharks, and the feeding frenzy was on. They lost their home and all their possessions. Jo-Ann moved into a trailer house owned one of their grown children. She did not get bitter.
Her husband called her from the penitentiary and told her that he had found a way to make money by washing the clothes of some of the inmates. The penitentiary gave a limited amount of hand soap to every prisoner. It was insufficient to wash your clothes, so he was going to wash the other prisoner's clothes and charge them a small fee. Jo-Ann went to the supermarket and bought large boxes of laundry soap. At night, she carried them to the field where her husband would be working each day and hid the soap for her husband to find the next day. He used the soap to generate enough income to have the seed money for a new start when he was released four years later. Jack has been out of prison for ten years. His business is thriving again. He never misses a day in the house of the Lord. He did not become bitter for a situation that has no rational explanation. Only God in eternity will be able to explain why it happened and what the purpose was for that experience.
Because Jack and Jo-Ann had sustaining faith in Christ, they went through a prison experience that brought them closer to Christ and to each other. Although they lost all their material possessions, they discovered that life does not consist in the abundance of things. The greatest treasure in life is the love that a man and a woman have for each other. Can marriage endure a prison experience? Can it go through the fire of financial loss and survive? Can it survive public ridicule? Can it endure the self-righteous snobbery of fellow church members? The answers absolutely yes. If you have a loved one in prison, pray for that person, because life behind bars is life in a living hell. If you have a friend in prison, remember that his wife and children are struggling. Reach out to them, and help them. Remember Jesus Christ, who said, "I was...in prison and you did not visit Me" (Mt 25:43).
Let me wrap up of my message. In Mt 12:39, Jesus said, "this generation is an evil and adulterous generation.“ In Lk 11:29, Jesus said, "this generation is an evil generation.“ We are living in the evil generation. Unless you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, and live with the Words of God, you may go astray into a wrong decision, you may fall into a wrong person, a wrong place, a wrong thought. Unless you cling to Jesus Christ, there is no guarantee of your marriage life.