Writer and poet Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”
If you are married for a second or third time, you have probably read the statistics:
- 50% of first marriages end in divorce
- 67% of second marriages end in divorce
- 73% of third marriages end in divorce
The numbers are not in your favor. Yet according to Wilde, hope, not experience, propels you forward. The experts say your marriage is doomed to fail. Fortunately our God outranks any marriage expert. Which is why I offer three reasons why second and third marriages are not doomed to fail.
You have learned from your mistakes.
No one ventures through marriage unscathed. Everyone—married, divorced, or separated—collects mistakes, regrets, do-overs, and long lists of “what ifs” and “I wishes.”
This is your opportunity to start fresh. You have a choice: take those mistakes and turn them into growth opportunities; or repeat the same mistakes, resulting in the same outcomes.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret,
but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
With age comes wisdom.
Wrinkles. A few extra pounds. Joint pain. With age comes many undesirable little gifts. Yet age also brings one gift we don’t enjoy in our youth . . . the gift of wisdom. The trials, the joys, and the twists along the way all contribute to the wisdom we acquire.
This wisdom gives you a bird’s eye view of life. Soak it up. Learn from it. Use it to improve your marriage.
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
You will try harder than many starry-eyed newlyweds.
My husband and I do volunteer ministry work with engaged and newly married couples. One thing we find endearing, yet frightening, is their sweet naiveté. Many couples think life will be just like a thirty-minute sitcom where every argument and outcome is tied up with a pretty little bow.
You, however, know differently. You know that marriage takes work and sacrifice. You know you will not always like your spouse, but you should always love him. You know arguments are inevitable and conflict can even be healthy.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
The statistics, the experts, and the naysayers tell you that your second or third marriage is doomed. Don’t even get me started on the fourth or fifth marriage. Fortunately, we serve a God who defies statistics. Instead of reading the latest research on remarriage, cling to the hope that surpasses all understanding and focus on building a marriage that will last the rest of your life.