Your Faithfulness Affects Us All: A Plea to Empty Nesters to Continue to Pursue Their Marriages

Your Faithfulness Affects Us All: A Plea to Empty Nesters to Continue to Pursue Their Marriages

God created your marriage covenant all of those decades ago. He was with you when you said, “I do,” and he promises to carry you until death do you part. But he doesn’t just promise to help his people grin and bear it; he is also the God who can bring hope and joy. He loves to bring renewal. He resurrects marriages just as he resurrected Lazarus.

“Do you have a few minutes to talk during my break?” the twenty-something barista asked me as I took my cup of coffee from him in one hand, balancing commentaries and my laptop in the other hand. I could see strain on his face. I had first met him just a few months earlier. We worshiped at different churches in different communities, but he knew I was a pastor and I could see he needed to talk.

Thirty minutes later, he sat across from me in the coffee shop and poured out his broken heart to me: his dad had just announced his unfaithfulness and that he was pursuing a divorce. This hit my new friend hard. He had only been married a couple of years, and he had always looked up to his dad; his parents had led him to the Lord.

A couple of days later, I sat in a church member’s home during our small group. When it came time to share prayer requests, he asked for prayer for his parents. His mom had just announced she had a boyfriend and was pursuing a divorce. This set of parents was in their early sixties. He was shocked and saddened.

What this pair of circumstances days apart showed me yet again is that unfaithfulness—or faithfulness—in marriage affects those around us in profound ways. My friends, both married men who had been out of the home for years, were nonetheless deeply affected by their parents’ marital drift. The majority of my marriage counseling is with empty nester and retired couples, a common trend.

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