Although it may not at first appear to be headline news for Chinese Christians, this post from Black Gate received over 100,000 views on social media. Two Korean film stars, Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo, recently announced their impending divorce. Chinese are avid consumers of South Korean TV dramas and films, and news of the divorce sent shock waves throughout Chinese social media, including some Christian channels. This post from Black Gate highlights how Christians can approach problems in marriage and have healthy expectations of love.
Note: See original post for pictures interspersed through the text.)
Song-Song Couple Divorce:
Tearfully you tell me, fairytales are all lies | In Christ, I still believe in love
Do you remember, how they were caught rubbing hands at the wedding?
At the time people said, how perfect they are for each other.
The perfect couple brought a fairytale love story from Korean drama into reality.
But adults know that fairytales end at the wedding of the prince and princess, and never mention the messy daily lives afterwards.
When we hear about the couple again on top searches on Weibo, it is of a trifling sheet of paper, a declaration of divorce.
This has destroyed the fantasies of many young girls. Their hearts break to the point of crying, “I no longer believe in love.”
The snow falls without a trace, and the geese leave only their call. We once envied that moment when Song Joong-ki lifted the veil of Song Hye-kyo, the loveliness of a lingering kiss; and we also pity the moment when they pick up the pen to write this declaration of divorce, the cruelty of loved ones becoming strangers.
Relationships are not static. The earlier sweetness and promise are real. The later reversal and split are also real.
All things in life are in motion. In the beginning it was true that I loved you. And now it is true that I no longer love.
An old song says, “Tearfully you tell me, fairytales are all lies.”
At first we did not know the meaning of the song, but now we are the characters within the song.
Only when we grow up do we realize, we only see the “I do” in romantic fairytales. The tedious, complicated, trying life doesn’t begin till afterwards.
The love of most people begins dramatically, then settles into the commonplace.
Fast-food love is the poison of our generation. Everyone is eager to begin a relationship, and they say their vows and commit the rest of their lives when they still barely know each other.
Stepping into a relationship without maturity will quickly bring about the end of the relationship.
Love is like fireworks. It is dazzling and moving, but packs an explosive energy. We need to face it carefully.
How terrible it would be if love were simply dopamine that attracts mutually, and separation were inevitable once the hormones disappear.
Men and women in the city are like beasts in a forest, seeking targets one after another, entering cycle after cycle of so-called love, until they die in old age, completely worn out. How terrible a love like this would be!
Thankfully, some people have faith’s protection in their life, and so can restrain the parts of their hearts that seek novelties and infidelity.
Compared with a tempted heart, isn’t this kind warmth much more precious?
I once introduced two of my friends to each other. From my knowledge of them, they were a good match in many ways, and were the type to like each other.
I arranged for their first meeting.
Saturday afternoon, the weather was just right. They made an appointment to watch a movie both were interested in, and in the evening attended a Bible study together. Through discussing the movie together, and reading and discussing the Bible together, they gained an in-depth knowledge of each other.
After about a month of interaction and prayer, they confirmed that they were dating. They could not contain their little bliss, and announced it happily to their friend circles, lest anyone be harmed by secretly admiring one of them without knowing that they were already in a relationship.
And so, they walk safely within God’s will. Step after step, sweet and wise.
Perhaps we often see couples passionately in love like my friends, so close it is as if they are glued together. But how often do we see an older couple who has walked together all their life, and yet keep their marriage fresh?
I have also seen a couple at church who were over 70 years old. They have taken care of each other for 50 years, and every time this grandpa and grandma come to Sunday service, they hold tightly to each other’s hands.
Occasionally we could catch a glimpse of them exchanging looks and smiles, full of sweetness. A godly marriage can have such lasting happiness.
Rain in spring, fireflies in summer, leaves covering the mountains in the fall, and snow in winter. . . As if stained with snow, the dark strands of hair slowly turn white.
They walk towards eternity while holding hands. In the eyes of brothers and sisters in Christ, it is as if they’ve never had a disagreement, and they never argue in public.
When asked what their secret was, the grandma tells us with a laugh, it is because both people completely obey God in this:
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26
Such a simple principle and commandment, yet such a great safety and protection in our love and marriage.
Because of their happiness, unaffected by the worldly affairs or the inconsistencies of human relationships, I still believe in sweet love through Christ; I still long for a single-hearted love that lasts for a life time.
There are 7.7 billion people in the world. What chance it is that we meet, that we love, that we get married, that we share life and death. How could you so lightly speak of giving up?
Moreover, marriage is not a multiple choice. Divorce is not one of the options God has given us. If a person turns his back on marriage, he likewise rebels against God.
From the beginning to the end, God must step into and lead our love and marriage. But many mines are buried from the beginning because of our selfish thoughts.
Many people begin by searching out whether “this person” is the other half God has prepared for them. Sometimes they even search for supernatural voices, strange dreams, visions, sentences. . .
On the surface, they are seeking for God’s will. But subconsciously, it is more often a list to negotiate with God over, and attitude of wanting something better than what you already have.
We want to remove all possibility of failure, but had not carefully thought through what type of person we are, and what type of person God wants us to be with.
We always base it on our own likes, deciding for ourselves that this person seems alright, but maybe not quite good enough.
Romance and marriage is not like shopping at the market, where we can choose entirely according to our own tastes without cost to ourselves.
Marriage is two people growing together, walking together for a lifetime. What kind of true love comes without cost?
Even Hosea, the only person in the Bible who knew whom God wanted him to marry, also paid a price.
If we want to solve the problems in marriage, we must first find the source of pain.
All our problems, including marriage [problems], have their root in sin. Therefore, in marriage, what we have to deal with is not our loved one, but the sin rooted deep within ourselves.
Strong conflicts cannot be avoided in the marriage marathon of several decades when two people have hidden selfishness, pride, stubbornness, and lust.
Every time we think that we cannot keep going, we need to first look at the unbearable filth within ourselves, seek God’s forgiveness and help, and first restore our intimate relationship with God.
Since we are sinners at our core, then what is the essence of marriage?
Many people would say the love is the coming together of souls. . . But I think that among sinners, the essence of marriage is a single word: patience.
Love is patient. To maintain a marriage, a single word is needed, patience. There is no marriage on earth that does not require patience, that does not require the shattering of self.
When you have decided on the other half, then you must see that the coming days are a violent struggle and growth. At times when he is least lovable, what motivation would support you to continue loving him, continue walking down this path?
Is it a duty to bear the brunt of the burden? Or is it Christ’s selfless love?
In the Greek of the New Testament, there are three different loves: eros, philia, and agape.
Eros is a love that desires sensual enjoyment and possession. Though it is passionate, it is brief.
Philia is a conditional love. It increases because of practical reasons, so that both parties can benefit from the relationship.
Only agape is a pure love, a complete love, the unconditional, sacrificial love that God has towards us.
The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
For something that is perpetually good and points to eternity, is it possible for two sinners to do it well together if their marital love is not steeped in God’s love, if one sinner loves another with his own supposed love, with eros or philia?
If two sinners do not have the same perspective of truth as a foundation, then they will necessarily be heavily wounded and torn apart by the different characters, thoughts, and worldviews built up by their original families.
What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man separate, and man cannot separate. Because when God’s love and power enter a relationship, then the two people can truly love each other, forgive each other, be compassionate with each other, and support each other.
At that point you will have seen clearly your own sin, and also tasted the God’s love.
Only in Christ can husband and wife become one flesh. Becoming one flesh means that you are no longer someone else, but a part of myself. It’s like when the leg hurts, the first thing the hand does would be to massage it.
Once they are forcefully separated, that signifies amputation, signifies tearing. This hurt is not something time can smooth over.
Because of God’s love, the love that he grants us is most real, that we can enjoy the fruits of love.
But in the marriage of Christians, there will necessarily be lessons of laying down ourselves, laying down our comfort, sacrificing for the sake of the other. Such sacrifice will also make us more like Christ, so that two imperfect, thorny people can become a new man in the Lord’s love, and give glory to God.
Having seen so many joinings and separatings, we are more likely to think that the love of “till death do we part” is truly very, very difficult in this world filled with temptation and sin. For such a love you would need to give up your self, your comfort, your desires.
We must often remind ourselves and remind our partner not to forget the resolute heart with which we said our vows before God, not to let the tedium of life wear down our acceptance, patience, and the little heart that so deeply loved the other at the beginning.
No matter how difficult life is, don’t give up, because in Christ, we will always have the most beautiful love.
And if you are still single, do not be afraid. Your Father in heaven who loves you is carefully holding the fairytale you desire, which is waiting for you not so far away.
Image Credit: Image by Veit Köhler from Pixabay
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