To all my sisters behind the badge who have recently found themselves standing alone....you are not forgotten.
Back in the 80s, there was a song that Bonnie Tyler sang asking, "Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?". She was looking for a hero...someone who would ride in and save the day. He had to be strong and sure and larger than life. Sound familiar?
As I mull the lyrics over in my mind, I have to ask myself the same question..."Where have all the good men gone?" Not to say that there aren't good men out there. I just happened to have married one and raised two, and I know countless others who I can honestly label as good men.
Yet, being in ministry, I hear daily of husbands who, for whatever reason, have just walked away. Left their post...their home...their wife...their children...responsibility...and sadly, their God. It makes me wonder what happened in their heart to simply turn a blind eye to truth and embrace irresponsibility. Was it stress? Could it have been feelings of failure? Were there factors contributing to their escape or did they mindlessly wander?
I think society could label it up pretty nicely for us, and they do. We could reason that due to a genetic malfunction they no longer adapt adequately to family life and fatherhood.
We could swallow the fact that environment played a part in their absence, or terrors from their past left them unable to comprehend what a healthy marriage and family unit looks like.
But in all actuality, the problems we are seeing with men and women, for that matter, who are simply drifting away, is sin. I have no intention of sugar coating that for anyone. The Bible certainly does not soften it up. It's hard for us to label ourselves in that way. We want to be "good people" who are just overwhelmed by stresses; products of our upbringing, not folks marred down in SIN.
Yet, we all have a choice to make in life...in marriage. We can hang on with everything we've got, get help when necessary, put God first in every decision we make, and stand with integrity and fortitude, or we can run when the stress gets a little too high, the pain becomes a little too deep, and ignore the help and hope that God can bring into the equation. It's our choice.
Several years ago, I met a couple who seemed perfect for each other. They liked the same things, were schooled in the same way, and had almost identical interests in everything. After having a couple of children and a few setbacks money-wise, it seemed as if a switch turned off in the husband's heart. Without batting an eye, he drove away without any signs of remorse or regret; the wife and children left feeling abandon and unloved, and wondering what had happened to cause his departure.
This husband had chosen the easy route. Sure, it would have been a lot of hard work to keep things together. He would have had to admit that he wasn't strong enough, wasn't sure enough, wasn't larger than life. It would take a much higher power to heal some of the wounds created behind closed doors, and he was not at a place to kick his pride to the curb and embrace the answer - God.
I sat with the wife and talked with her for hours. She prayed. She cried. She did everything to win his heart back, but it wasn't to be. The husband's heart was hard, and though I believe he knew what he was doing was wrong, it didn't matter anymore. He was too far into his escape plan to turn around and admit his wrongdoing.
Before you want to stone me, it's not just men who leave. Women choose to go their own way as well. I've seen it. I've talked with a few.
It seems that the spiral downward begins with inattention from their husband, feeling unappreciated, unloved, and not being able to compete with others who seem to have it all together. Perhaps they begin believing the lie that life elsewhere would be more fun and exciting; that somehow motherhood and marriage has stolen their youthfulness or taken away opportunity, but what it boils down to is...
I guess I write these thoughts not to bring you, the reader, down or dump the ugly reality on the heads of those whose marriages are great, but to perhaps reach one who might be contemplating the leave. To say, please think it through carefully.
Marriage has its ups and downs. The low lows can be so painful, and naturally all we want to do is escape the pain. Yet, there is hope...God's hope. When both partners get their eyes off self and focused on Him, it's amazing the transformation that can take place within a marriage. I know from experience.
So, I end this blog to say...Where have all the good men gone? They've not gone, some have just derailed. For those, there's still time to get back on track. Stay in the game. Work it out. Fight for your marriage even if the feelings are not there. In the end, you'll be grateful you did, and so will your family.
Blessings to you,