The Perfect Model for Marriage
by Al Janssen
A few years ago, my wife, Jo, and I were walking through our neighborhood on a warm
The outlines of Pikes Peak and the Front Range mountains dominated
our view as I enthused about my activities of the day. "So, how was your day?" I asked as
I finished my recitation. "Did you have a good time at brunch?"
That morning, Jo had met in a home with several women for a potluck brunch
following their monthly prayer time. "There was one person missing," Jo answered. She
paused, then with a sigh said, "Mary Ann couldn't come. Yesterday, Tom served her with
With that, the tears flowed. I grabbed Jo's hand. After a few silent
moments, I asked, "Is there another woman?"
Anger welled up as I thought of this man who had served as a leader in the church
we attended. I could almost write the script—I'd heard variations of it too many times. In
this case, it was a "midlife crisis." Tom wasn't happy with his job.
He wasn't happy with
his wife. He wasn't happy with life, and it was everyone else's fault. So he was changing
careers, switching churches and starting over with a woman 15 years younger than his
Looking for answers
I must confess that I'm sick and tired of the ongoing parade of divorces among Christian
friends and acquaintances. Over the years I have helped publish some of the best books
on marriage by experts such as Gary Smalley, John Trent and Neil Clark Warren. Besides
what Focus on the Family provides, there are thousands of books, tapes, videos, curricula,
conferences and seminars designed to help couples live happily ever after. Unfortunately,
all of that information isn't enough to prevent heartbreak among Christians who,
according to some surveys, divorce at a slightly higher rate than the general population.
That's why this past year I tried to find an answer. I read dozens of books, scoured
newspapers and journals and, most important, searched the Scriptures.
Judith Wallerstein makes this observation in her landmark book