Andrew Schroer writes a faith column for the Victoria Advocate.

In one of the early scenes of the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” Indiana Jones wakes up in an airplane that is quickly losing fuel. The pilots have already parachuted out of the plane. Then, Indiana’s young sidekick, Short Round, gives him the bad news.

“No more parachutes!”

When there are no parachutes, you can’t bail. You have to try and fly the plane.

One of the reasons so many marriages fail in our world today is that people take parachutes with them into their marriage. They get married thinking, “Well, if this doesn’t work, we can always get divorced.”

Divorce is a parachute. It allows you to bail. When things get rough – when you are frustrated or tired or unhappy – you can simply call it quits.

Lately, I have been encouraging couples during their weddings not to take a parachute with them. When a Christian gets married, he or she should enter that marriage with the mindset: Divorce is not an option.

When there are no parachutes, you have to try and fly the plane. When divorce isn’t an option, you are forced to find a way to make it work.

Now, to be clear, God doesn’t want us living unhappily ever after. He doesn’t want us staying in unloving marriages, but he doesn’t want us getting divorced either. There is another option.

You can make it work. You can get counseling. You can forgive and keep trying.

The Bible does give valid reasons for divorce: abandonment, abuse and adultery. In such cases, a Christian is not sinning if they get a divorce. Otherwise, though, you have made a vow – a sacred promise – to God and to each other to love one another until death do you part. Divorce always involves sin because it means breaking a sacred promise.

Though it seems easier to bail when things get hard, it really isn’t. You won’t have less struggles being divorced, only different ones. It’s always worth staying and trying to fly the plane. Even the worst marriages can be healed. Even the most difficult relationships have blessings and a purpose.

Just because your marriage is hard doesn’t mean it should end. God has a plan and purpose for you and your marriage. Remember Jesus’ words, “What God has joined together, let no one separate,” Mark 10:9. If you are married – even if it is hard, even if you feel like it is a mistake – it was God who brought you together.

So trust him. Trust his love for you. Stay. Put in the work. Forgive as God has forgiven you. Love as God has loved you. Don’t wait until your marriage is in shambles before you seek help. Don’t let it get so bad you can’t take it anymore. Once you start having problems, seek advice. Get counseling. Go back to church.

Do what you have to do in order to make your marriage work. If you are planning on getting married soon, talk with your future spouse about not taking parachutes into your marriage.

Because when you don’t have a parachute, the only other option is to keep trying to fly the plane.

Pastor Andrew Schroer has been a pastor for nearly 20 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church with campuses in Edna and Victoria, Texas. Read more of his devotional writing and contact him at 364DaysofThanksgiving.com.

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