That beautiful Facebook family. That perfect spiritual couple at church. That strong Christian family at extended family gatherings. Are you putting up window dressing for everyone else but living in a tormented, miserable, hopeless reality?
Many marriages, families and ministries are on the edge of disaster. Many spouses are caught in a marriage where they must coddle or pacify a difficult spouse in order to have peace in their life. Some will try to get through the holiday season and then separate and file for divorce in the early part of the coming year. Some are just together until the children are out of the home. Some will be the downfall of a ministry. These window dressing couples and families just try to hold their perfect image together during this blessed time of the year.
If this is you, I’m begging you to get to work today. Confront yourself – look in the “mirror” and stop lying to yourself and others. Don’t allow others to coddle you. Where do you need to deal with hidden sin or hypocrisy in your life? There is hope. You, your marriage and family can be healed. Stepping aside can save a ministry. Get biblical counseling. Find a mentor couple that can help you as you work your way back. Be willing to hear hard things about yourself, your marriage, your parenting and your children.
If you have been trying to hide your marital condition from your children – chances are that they already realize the dire condition of your marriage and that they fear the word divorce. Talk to them and assure them that you are dedicated to saving the marriage and getting the help that you need. They will feel much safer if they know that the two of you are committed to doing the work. If you have been asking your children to hide your secret sin or hypocrisy, please stop. This is damaging to the next generation. Hypocrisy at home can lead to young adults that fall away from the Church. Children watch their parents and other adults and if they don’t see a genuine faith in your life – they have no use for it in their life.
This could be the most important holiday season that you have ever experienced. Stop playing the image game and get real. The hard work and selflessness is worth the reward.