Recently I posted a short reading I used in a sermon entitled “Before You Say, ‘I Quit‘” Apparently it hit a nerve with several people, because that post quickly became my most viewed post. I have been reflecting about the reason it is so popular and have only come up with one answer – a lot of people are ready to quit in their marriage. Many people find themselves in a season of frustration and doubt in their marriage.
To couples who are on the edge of quitting I usually ask one singe question, “Have you tried everything you can to save your marriage?”
There are two essential parts to this question:
1. Have YOU tried everything? Don’t tell me what your spouse has or has not done. You can only control your actions. Accept responsibility for your actions and do the work to improve.
2. Have you tried EVERYTHING? The old saying is that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. And yet, many of us try the same things over and over again in our marriage. Have you been to counseling? Have you taken a vacation together? Have you been to your pastor? Have you read a book? Have you been to a conference? Have you done anything? If you tried something in the past and it didn’t work then try something different this time.
Now I know some of you have tried everything. We would need to have a personal talk about what to do now. But most people I meet are stuck in a cycle of blame. They blame their spouse and/or they blame some singular technique they tried that didn’t work. My single question to people cuts to the heart of the issue, “Have you tried everything you can to save your marriage?” “Have you?”