Gotta Have Faith (in Marriage)

[Guest Post by Jen Johns]

There is much to say about how Generation X struggles with keeping its marriages together, especially after being raised at a time when half of all marriages ended in divorce (a statistic that reached its peak in 1980, according to The National Marriage Project).

To do it all better than our parents, studies say we take out more home equity loans to give our children whatever we thought we lacked.

We wait longer to choose an appropriate mate.

We seek counseling—not from our parents, but from professionals and friends.

Generation X has been dubbed the “Divorce Generation,” made up of latch-key kids who learned about marriage from watching the mistakes of our parents, daytime soaps and movies like Money Pit. And maybe that’s true.

But as the mystery of “how did we do everything right only for it to go so wrong” eventually unravels, I can’t help but wonder when learning from God fell off the list.  

God. Creator. Maker of marriage. He who has plans to prosper us; to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) 

I can’t say that marriage was something I truly understood when my faith was elsewhere. Years ago, the closest equation I could dream up for marriage success was: Not like my parents’ marriage (yes, they are divorced) + more like the marriage on Family Ties + if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

Without knowing that God had a plan for marriage, how could I have known its purpose? Without him, how could any of us know how to have faith in anything besides ourselves? 

Here’s good news:

Jesus said that if two on earth agree about anything they ask, it will be done for them by God (Matt. 18:19).

And God does offer a perfect equation for marriage success in the bible. It looks like this: Husbands love your wives + wives respect your husbands (Ephesians 5:33).

As a Gen Xer who struggles right along with everyone else through the ups and downs of marriage, I have to admit that sometimes, in moments of weakness, in moments of defeat, faith in God keeps me standing. And in the end, that’s all I need. I trust him. Especially since staying married isn’t always about staying in love.

God is using us for his purpose—to grow us; to grow our spouse; to make us complete in Him. It isn’t just about us; it’s about God.

Have faith in your marriage. Encourage your friends in their marriages. And whatever your parents struggled through, hold them in higher regards. Because maybe Generation X isn’t all about divorce:

U.S. Census data shows that 77 percent of couples who married since 1990 have reached their 10-year anniversaries.

Onward! 
Author Bio
Jen Johns writes at GoingByFaith.com, covering topics such as marriage, keeping faith in everyday life and overcoming stress.

Comments

  1. jenx67 says

     We never hear about that hypocrisy though. I wish I knew more about that era and what the Silent Generation experienced — the choices they made. We just don’t hear much about the Silents!

  2. says

    Jen, bless you many times over for guest-posting from Jen Johns here today!  I am very pleased to say that my children’s marriages are very sound–and that they walk in faith every day to mainting those bonds!  If you ask me, Gen X is doing a lot better in the marriage category than we “old hippies” of the boomer generation!  We boomers watched so much extreme hypocrisy with marriages of the WWII generation during the Eisenhower, “Leave It To Beaver” days.

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