I guess my husband and I had been drifting apart for several years, but now he's announced he's found someone else and has filed for divorce. It's too late now, but what went wrong? How can I prevent it happening again if I remarry?
One reason I wanted to reprint your letter is because it illustrates a very important truth: A good marriage doesn’t just happen—it needs constant care.
Have you ever had a garden? If so, you know it takes constant attention to be successful. The ground has to be prepared … the right seeds must be planted and fertilized … weeds need to be pulled (without hurting the good plants) … the soil needs repeated watering … the garden must be protected from destructive birds and animals. And eventually your hard work will be rewarded.
Marriage is somewhat like that garden. If it’s neglected (if “weeds” are allowed to flourish), if a husband or wife begins taking their spouse for granted or is insensitive to his or her needs—then that marriage is in trouble. Spending time together … seeking to meet each other’s needs … avoiding criticism and backbiting—these and countless other acts of kindness will go far to strengthen a marriage.
The most important thing any couple can do, however, is to build their marriage on Jesus Christ. I’ve often said that a good marriage involves three people: the wife and husband—and God. No matter what your future holds, begin it by turning to Jesus Christ and asking Him to come into your life. God loves you, and your life will never be the same with Christ at its center. The Bible says, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).