How the media is poisoning your marriage

 The media has played a big part in influencing people on what is deemed to be ‘the norm’. Giving up on a tough and bad marriage is one of them. From Hollywood movies to Hong Kong soap operas, the message is this: If it’s causing great unhappiness to both parties and there’s no workable solution in sight, then the only solution is to get a divorce.

Infographics on the deception vs reality of marriage


One of my heart’s burdens is the health and well-being of marriages. It breaks my heart to see marriages falling apart and in the process, dragging everything down with them. Families are torn apart. Children are having to learn how to live a ‘new normal life’ when nothing is normal about broken families – despite what the media is saying to us.

Look, I am not trying to make a suffering relationship sound easy. I am a product of a divorced family, as my parents divorced even before I went to kindergarten. Later in my adult life, I find myself living with the consequences of being in a second marriage relationship; my husband’s second marriage, my first. I have seen firsthand how my step-daughter suffered during her earlier childhood; being torn apart from her shuffling between her biological mother and father, who has sole custody of her. I have had power struggle with his ex-wife for imparting different and conflicting values into my step-daughter. I have screamed through bitter arguments with my husband. At this point, I have to say that while society dictates I call her ‘step-daughter’, in my heart, she is no different to me than a biological child. So it is only for the purpose of this article that I am using the term ‘step-daughter’.


“Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”- Ephesians 4:2-3


 To cut a long story short, our earlier years together was close to being hell on earth as a new ‘blended’ family. It wasn’t until all of us came to know Christ, starting with my husband, then three years later, where I too decided to surrender my life to Him that He took our biggest mistake and made it right. 


Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12


Both of you have to commit to the ‘No exit clause’ in your marriage from the beginning.

We had to learn through the most painful way how not to live life selfishly. We had to learn how to love unconditionally despite seeing how hopeless our relationship seemed to be. I am ever thankful for the lessons, horrible as they were. The hard lessons have taught us to close the exit door of our marriage. We decided that ‘there’s no exit clause’ in this marriage, and we are going to work it out, no matter what.

““Marriage is an exclusive union between one man and one woman, publicly acknowledged, permanently sealed, and physically consummated.” ~ Selwyn Hughes.”

With our marriage being rooted in God and made stronger, we can give our daughter a stable growing up environment. She has seen the bad and ugly consequences of both husband and wife wanting their way and insisting that their expectations be met. As she is now maturing into a beautiful teen both from the inside and out; I thank God that she too is, growing her roots deeper in Christ. I can’t be any happier for her or love her enough!

By God’s power, I believe that the ‘generational curse’ of bad marriages and divorces from both sides of our family has been broken. It stops at our generation.

My last take on this – If you have yet to make the decision, please don’t give up on your marriage, please don’t get divorced. Get help, seek counselling, pray. Do whatever, but please don’t give up.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Eph. 6:10

 

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One month to live – Day One

I have this habit of bringing along my organ donor card, blood type card and medical card when I go out; just in case… who knows? Organised or morbid? You decide. 

So I’m not shy of the knowledge that we don’t know the length of our lives, it can happen anytime to anyone.  

The thing is, even with that kind of awareness (organ donor card!), it doesn’t change how I live my life as if tomorrow will always come! I get angry at trivial things, let my mind be absorbed with worries by thinking of other to-dos while I am doing the current to-dos. And I certainly wasted too much time on social media with things that don’t add value to my life and others. 

For the past one year, I knew in my heart that I need to start living as if today is my last, but I wasn’t intentional in doing that; until I learned that a friend with healthy living lifestyle was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Though I’m never naïve about healthy people do get cancer, that news finally shook me. That and perhaps, I’m old enough to see lives of loved ones lost at way-too-early age. 

I do question my mortality from time to time, how long do I have? A question asked in vain I know, and a wrong question to ask. 

Thus, I went to my church’s book store and finally picked up this book which caught my eye a year ago but I didn’t buy it.  

   
So, here we go. Day One of my One Month To Live challenge.  

So, here we go. Day One of my One Month To Live challenge.  

How different would I like my life to be at the end of reading this book? 

When ‘Day one’ challenge asked me to ‘As quickly as possible, without thinking too hard or too long, make a list of five things you’d change about your life if you knew you only had a month to live’… I really have to imagine that it could be true and that scared the heck out of me. Being not sure how long is ‘too long’ and how hard is ‘too hard’, I took less than 10 minutes to list down my five things. 

Apart from the obvious item number one, which is to be less anxious about what’s ahead in my day, the rest of the four things caught my attention so much that I just stared at the items on the list. Simple, little things that I procrastinated upon, because I thought ‘there will always be a next chance’. 

So today, I’m saying good-bye to ‘next time’ and getting a kick start with this ‘One month to live’ challenge.

How about you? 

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. – James 4:14 NLT

A person’s life really transpired between the two dates on the tombstone. Birth date -(dash) Death date. What will our ‘dash’ be? What will we live for? Who will we love? Who need our forgiveness? It could be ourselves, even! We get to choose how to spend that ‘dash’. What are you spending yours on?  Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance on how best to spend our lives.

‘Dear God,

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.’  

 

P.s.: If you have an encouraging experience from this challenge, I would love to hear from you, share your story on the comments below. 

God bless you!