Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Marriage Works Best If You Burn Your Ships

Have you ever heard the phrase "Burn your ships"? 

It comes from the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez.  When he landed in Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and his men had to face 200 miles of snake-infested, cactus-filled territory.  He was afraid that his men would give up and retreat, so he ordered that the ships they had arrived on be burned.  Retreat was impossible.  The only way to go was forward.  The only options were victory or death. 

The most important thing you can do for your marriage is to burn your ships.  Eliminate the option of divorce.  This used to be taken for granted.  It's what used to distinguish marriage from dating or cohabitation.  Marriage was tying the knot; it was eliminating the option of retreat.  That is no longer the case, as most people today have lost sight of God's plan for marriage.  Most see marriage as ideally permanent, but are willing to seek a divorce if it doesn't turn out the way they had hoped.

But the problem is that as long as you leave yourself a way out, as long as retreat is possible, then you will never give your marriage 100% of your effort.  There's no need to.  Why put so much effort into a broken marriage when you can just quit or trade it in for a new one?  Only when you eliminate the option of divorce will you find the inward motivation to build not only a prevailing marriage, but a satisfying marriage as well.  When you settle it in your heart that this is the only marriage you will ever have, that the only way out is death, that you are stuck whether you are happy or miserable, only then will you give your marriage the time and attention that it deserves and requires.

Matthew 19:6 (CSB) says, "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate."

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