I woke up this morning thinking about a conversation I had almost seven years ago. Martijn and I were in love and talking seriously about our future. I was excited of course, but also wary. My parents are divorced, my grandparents too. All my aunts and uncles divorced at least once or married a divorcee.
I asked Patrick Dodson's advice for a few reasons—he's wise, he's honest, and though his family background is similar to mine his marriage was solid and had already lasted a couple decades.
One day I tagged along while he walked his dog in the hills behind the village (in Switzerland), and asked him something like, "How can I be sure this won't end in divorce?" I was looking for encouragement, but Patrick gave me something far better—the truth.
"You probably will get divorced," he said. "The odds are fifty-fifty. Actually, with your background they're set against you even more."
He was quiet for a minute as the devastation set in, then he gave me some advice. I can't remember it word for word, but it was something along these lines:
How did/will you approach marriage? What has helped you to live peacefully with your spouse?
By the way, my friend Patrick Dodson is also an author. Right now I'm reading his newest book, The Identity Project. When I first heard this teaching years ago it really helped me focus my life and discover what it was I truly wanted to do. It's a good exercise to repeat it again now, and since New Zealand is slightly too far away to tag along while he walks his dog, a book is the next best thing.
We are letters from Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.