So read a billboard in Chicago until it was taken down yesterday. The racy ad pictured the body of a Victoria’s Secret-esque woman and the body of a muscular man in a towel. The ad was put up by Fetman, Garland and Associates, a Chicago based law firm that specializes in divorce cases. The idea came from Corri Fetman, who claimed that it was an attempt to “try something different” in legal advertisements. She went on to say, “It promotes happiness. It promotes happiness and personal integrity.”

So the basic logic behind the ad is this:

1. Life is short.
2. We should be happy.
3. Marriages don’t make you happy.
4. Get a divorce before you die unhappy.

Where do we begin with the flaws in that logic??? Life is short…true. We should be happy…also true. Marriages don’t make you happy…somewhat true, but why? Get a divorce before you die unhappy…is that the conclusion? Is the reason for your unhappiness the other person? Could the reason for your unhappiness be that you are looking for happiness to spring out of the wrong fountain?

What causes unhappiness in marriage? Change in attraction? “She was hot when we got married, but after three kids, man…” “He used to look so strong. Now he looks like Homer Simpson.” Well, what would happen if our happiness was not in the beauty of the spouse, but in the beauty of the Infinite?

How about change in personality? “He used to be so fun-loving and care-free. Now he’s a drill sargeant who’s always griping about things being too expensive.” “She used to let me lead and set the tone for the home. Now she’s constantly nagging me about every little thing I do.” What would happen if our happiness was not in the hopes that the spouse would never change, but in the unchanging nature of our Creator?

How about everybody’s favorite– irreconcilable differences? “She hurt me so badly with that affair… I just don’t know how we can continue.” “He wasted our life savings on alcohol. I just can’t love him anymore.” What would happen if our happiness was in the One who is able to do far beyond anything we could possibly ask or think?

I believe with all my heart that marriages would last forever if we found all our joy in God. If we sought Him with all our might, we would be free to love the spouse even when there is no hope of getting anything in return from them. Will it be hard? Absolutely. Because we want to be loved. We want to experience that intimacy that goes so far beyond the physical. But because we found our all in our Lord, we are able to love that person anyway.

I suspect that many divorces occur because one spouse had made an idol out of the other, and it did not satisfy. What would happen if we saw the other as he/she really is, a sinner in desparate need of God’s grace in Jesus, just like us? How would that transform our marriages? What would happen if we loved our spouses with the tremendous love of the Father which He lavished on us through Jesus? What if we made sure in our hearts that we would be Christ-exalting, Gospel-centered spouses regardless of what the other said or did, because we live for Jesus?

I think that we would then say, “Life’s short. Stay in that marriage with faith and perseverence, coming from fullness of joy in God, by the power of the Gospel of Jesus, to display of God’s glory most fully in your life.” With marriages like that, law firms like Fetman, Garland and Associates would be out of business.

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