We are in the middle of a series on Marriage - the idea God had, the power of Marriage, having a powerful marriage, etc. The goal we all committed to last Sunday is "I Choose Hope". I want to cheer you on.

I read an article today about a website to help married people "secretly and safely" have an affair. This website has 37 million members!!! They claim to be the best of all "cheating" websites - which means there are far more than 37 million married people looking for affairs on these sites.

Here is what that has to do with choosing Hope:

When we are in pain; when we fear loss; when the relationship is painful and the last place we want to be is home; these are the times when it is very easy to use what little energy you have left looking for alternative answers - looking for pain relief elsewhere - rather than choosing Hope and leaning into the relationship you have. And that becomes the most dangerous time of all.

At precisely the time your energy is lowest, your pain is greatest, and all you want to do is run - that is the exact time you absolutely MUST lean into your marriage rather than away from it. When you daydream about escape, investigate alternative ways to be happy, or focus on all that's wrong or broken, you are moving farther away from Hope and making success even harder.

Choosing Hope is about using your imagination to dream of ways God might intervene on your behalf and then praying those dreams to God with passion.

Choosing Hope is focusing on what failures you are bringing to the marriage and dreaming of ways that you can bring more energy, healing, enthusiasm and repair back into the marriage, and then making specific action items for yourself.

Choosing Hope is to seek out advice or resources that encourage you toward healing and growth, rather than escape or abandonment.

Here is the key - Focus on using your energy to construct a better future rather than search for an easy out or escape. Choose Hope!