If you are a Texan, the title above will certainly bring a large city to mind. As much as I love the great state of Texas, I am not writing about Dallas. I have some friends who’ve been married for seven months. Things started wonderful and seemed to be going smoothly. But, then several months into it, fights began and respect was lost. And one day on the phone she said to her husband, “I want a divorce.” If you’ve ever read a book or listened to a sermon or watched the news, then you know good and well how staggering the divorce statistics are. I don’t have the latest information to share with you, but from the looks of those around me, it’s not decreasing. You may be reading this and have experienced a divorce yourself. Or maybe you have a family member who has endured such hardship. But, one thing we all have in common is that we know someone who has been divorced. What takes a couple from a proposal and declaration of their love to battling out custody and financial matters in front of officials who don’t know them? There are all kinds of issues that arise to cause a couple to call it quits. Adultery, abuse and addiction are just a few. But, if I were a bettin’ woman, I’d say that most divorce decrees say the couple had “irreconcilable differences.” Wanna know what I think? If not, stop reading. I think that we’ve made getting married and getting divorced WAY to easy. For cryin’ outloud, you have to prepare more for getting a drivers license than to join with another human being for the rest of your life. I also think we choose divorce in order to eliminate potential pain that we feel quite sure we won’t survive. Take my friends above. The woman in this marriage is a terrific gal. I personally love her to pieces. She’s been through a lot of hurt in her life. But she finds the man of her dreams and within several months, finds herself married to him. Bliss, bliss and more bliss. Then a little reality sets in as it does in all marriages at some point. She doesn’t like the pain and discomfort she feels. She’s already experienced so much. She shouldn’t be going through this with her perfect man. But she is. So, in her mind she decides she is not going to get hurt again. The level of difficulty that she is experiencing as she navigates through these tumultuous waters is more than she can bear. She weighs the options and figures she’ll get out before more pain occurs. Sure, she’ll hurt through the divorce, but nothing like she would in a marriage where disappointment has made it’s temporary home. Unbeknownst to her, she’s diving in deeper toward more pain that will eventually rear its ugly head. It’s just a matter of time. Divorces are way too easy to come by. Okay, so you may be a little ticked off by now if you’ve endured a divorce. You may think it’s easy for me to write about this because I haven’t gone through it. I’ll give you that. I haven’t gone through it. But, I could have. And I’m not talking to those of you who didn’t desire your divorce. If someone walks out on you, move on. All I’m trying to accomplish here is give my feelings and thoughts on the subject that has invaded our society like a virus with no cure. And I think it’s okay for me to discuss divorce considering what I’ve walked through during the last 15 years of my marriage. I think I’ve earned it. My two cents on marriage: 1. If you are single, DO NOT SETTLE just because you are getting older and feeling lonely. Period. 2. If you are engaged, please be 100% certain that you want to spend the rest of your days loving your mate. If you are not, get out. 3. If you are newly married, don’t sweat the little stuff. Underwear by the side of the bed instead of in the laundry basket is not worth fighting over. Trust me. 4. If you’ve been married for any amount of time and feel like complacency is setting in, do something. Take her on a date. Write him a love note. Compliment her. Initiate sex with him. Yes, I’m serious. Work on your marriage. Give 100%…both of you. 5. If you are near the end of your limit and want out of your marriage, do whatever it takes to make it work…both of you. Life brings pain, but God is true to His promises. He will not let you carry a bigger burden than you are able. I know this well. Ka-plunk. That was me stepping down from my soapbox. I was hoping to see someone in the back waving a white hanky, but no such luck. In case you can’t tell, I’m very passionate about the covenant of marriage. I want so much to see others take it very seriously and not just dive in the moment they feel ooey-gooey on the inside about another. I want so much to see couples fight for something that is bigger than themselves. And to my friends who are in this quandary. I pray you’ll fight for your marriage and dive deep inside your hearts to see what changes you need to make to help your marriage succeed. A successful marriage always involves pain. Ask anyone who is currently married. But, the joy experienced when you walk through life together is deeper and more intimate than any other earthly relationship you will ever experience. I promise.