Letters To My Brothers – S1 E1 – Irreconcilable Differences
I know what you want – your dream for your role as a husband. I know you want to be happy, to be loved, to be the man of the house, to be respected and to be allowed to lead. These are good and godly things and definitely in line with God’s best for husbands and marriages. But this in itself is a journey, every realisation of a dream has a story that it has to go through. We don’t arrive at starting point of a journey and say we have ‘arrived’ – no, that’s only the start. Getting married is the start of a journey that will demand an investment from you to see the dream unfold and become a reality.
In all I have to say, one thing must ring louder than all, which is I am not here to take sides. I am not an advocate for women, neither am I an advocate for men. Like what the man told Joshua in Joshua 5:13-14, I am purely here to represent God – an advocate for God, with a mission to share naked truths that will hopefully ignite a desire for a better and more fulfilled life, first as a Christian, and then as a married man. For that’s the key – unless we are good Christians, we can’t be good husbands or wives.
As mentioned in the articles I have written so far for the ‘Sisters On A Mission’ series, what I have to say some will be open to embrace and others not so, but that’s fine and to be expected. I am not trying to write to appease and appeal to all – that would be an impossible and unrealistic task. Instead I am here to represent what I believe is God’s original intention for marriages and pray that what I share in these articles God will use to reveal unique truths to your hearts that causes a change for God’s best in marriages, so you can really enjoy being married and it is not seen as a burden or trap.
There are a lot of ideals nowadays when it comes to marriages – religious ideals, cultural ideals, politically correct ideals, new age ideals etc. A lot of which has intermingled with Christian ideals and has created ways of thinking that is creating havoc and putting the word of God to little or no effect when it comes to God’s original intention for marriage.
Today, I must start with the issue around irreconcilable differences. This is on the increase as to the reason given for why a marriage isn’t working or why a marriage should come to an end. We are what we believe, and the enemy has sold so many lies regarding why irreconcilable differences is a genuine issue that is really not anyone’s fault and beyond the couple’s ability to save their marriage. And a lot of Christian marriages have bought into this lie and created thinking patterns and belief systems that can only lead down one direction eventually.
Please note, I am not trying to underplay how much of a sacred cow the issue surrounding irreconcilable differences has become – far from it. Instead I want you to journey with me by first stepping back from focusing on irreconcilable differences and focus instead on addressing the question of ‘who exactly is compatible?’
When we start school we meet new people, when we start work we meet new people, when we change towns we meet new people, when we change church we meet new people. These new people come in all shapes and forms of personality that will either gel with you or rob you the wrong way. But we learn with time to change and adapt, and surprisingly even become great friends with some of those who robbed us the wrong way at the start, and fall out with those we initially gelled with. Isn’t that just like life and how unpredictable it can be depending on what season we find ourselves in and the people in it at that point?
Here is the real deal – you are male and she is female – it doesn’t get more irreconcilable than that. No two people are compatible. It is true some get on better than others, but even with BFFs (best friends forever), it still takes adjustment. In couples, the average one gets to spend some time to get to know each other for months/years before getting married. During that time (unless the person is a genius actor/actress) you get to see the good and not so good side of them. In some cases, you even break-up and get back together as the not so good side unfolds and adjustments are made.
As Christians, the key to our adjustment is the Holy Spirit – the ability to develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit are not some mystical impossible task, but simple character building and fortifying blocks that forms the foundation of any honourable society practicing good ethics/morals. The fruit of the spirit empowers all to be able to adjust to any human on planet Earth, if we want to – yes, if we really want to humble ourselves to God. The fruit of the Holy Spirit empowers us to do all things (especially the impossible inclusive) through Christ.
It is these adjustment areas that the some husbands usually tend to have more difficulties with when compared to wives. And this is why I want to start by looking at the root of irreconcilable differences and for us to spend time over the next few articles to really take this apart and consider see why this is not an insurmountable mountain as increasingly seen by many married couples.
I want to explore why more men than women find it more difficult to settle into marriage, why some men continue to want to hold on to their single lives in marriage, why men find it difficult getting in touch with their emotional side, why men are overwhelmed usually by women crying for help and see it instead as nagging or whining, why men are afraid to be vulnerable – especially to their wives, why some men transition to seeing their wives as mums to look after them, why some men are culturally challenged to change, why some men who vow not to be like their dad end up repeating the same cycle, and why some men appear detached from their family – wife and children, and finally why more than ever before sex is becoming an increasing area of challenge for men due to the increasing sensuality that is plaguing our world and is even in our churches.
When we don’t know how to handle challenges in marriages (the elephant in the room) we opt for the easier explanation of putting everything into the box of irreconcilable differences as a more acceptable way to explain away why marriages aren’t working.
How about we go back to the inventor of marriage, the Creator of the human species, to find the answers we need to enjoy marriage and also to ensure marriages take their rightful place and not consume us. Unless we believe there are some marital situations that are beyond God who created all things?
God doesn’t make mistakes. When he created us, His intention is that what makes us different as male and female was meant to compliment us, not destroy us. When God created us, man and woman, it was for the two to become one in marriage – not for the two to self-destruct.
The key is not aiming to make a husband to be a wife, or a wife to be a husband, but the focus is a merging of our uniqueness over time to create oneness as God intended – the two shall become one.
…Season 1 Episode 2 coming soon.