Naivete is not an attribute of love. So when 1 Cor. 13:6 says, Love always believes. Love always hopes, it’s not suggesting we go gullible or that we refuse to acknowledge when something is going wrong.
But there is a difference between naivete and cynicism. We might say: Love doesn’t stop believing in your spouse (after all, you fell in love with something good in that person), and Love hopes for the best.
None of this means crossing your fingers. Rather, you should contend for your marriage in prayer.
Of course, Jesus Himself provides the basis for divorce — adultery. And we might think of some other intolerable, similar sins (wife-beating comes to mind). The point here is not to enumerate all the justifiable causes of divorce. Nor is it to make you feel bad if you fell into divorce for any reason. As Jesus said, Moses granted humanity the divorce option because of hard hearts.
The point here is to encourage those who may be contemplating divorce to instead contemplate prayer. There are some practical things to do too, like get some marriage counseling. I recommend a Christian pastor but a secular counselor can be very helpful too.
Other marriage rescuers:
- a support group (not your same-sex friends who agree with all your complaints).
- be nice to your partner for once.
- do the things you did when you were dating.
- cut the criticism (harsh words are a marriage killer).
- don’t argue in front of the kids.
- talk over and come to agreement on child-raising techniques.
- analyze objectively financial pressures and see how you can remove this marital strain.
There are many more. The point is to re-direct the course of your marriage today towards recovery. Love hopes for the best, believes that a better marriage is possible. Generally, it’s not better to start over. You’ll get a new spouse with a new set of problems. Keep loving the person you loved.
Here’s every element of the series:
- 1 Cor. 13:4
1 Cor. 13:5
1 Cor. 13:6
1 Cor. 13:7
1 Cor. 13:8