The prophet Elijah suffered. Because the nation of Israel had broken faith with her Lord. Israel was governed by cynical world-lings who knew no law other than their rapacious short-term appetites.
But God is faithful, faithful to His promises and His covenant. He did not vanish from the life of His chosen spouse. He stayed close. He continued to guide His people into a better future. The nation had abandoned God, but the story of love and friendship between God and man was not over.
Spouses need to live and breathe this history of Israel. Because anyone who has been married for more than ten minutes knows that: Marriage is no picnic.
I mean, hopefully it does involve picnics. Frequent picnics. But:
Human beings have grave difficulties getting along. Human Nature 101: Getting along takes work, requires compromises, and inevitably means humbling yourself sometimes.
So the mystery of the ancient Scriptures, the mystery of God’s faithfulness in His union with an unreliable, capricious spouse: that mystery of God’s unswerving dedication must be the spiritual air that married couples breathe. Marriage requires one thing, above all: Believing in this God.
He loves to the end. He did not abandon His chosen Bride, even when she abandoned Him. To the contrary, He took His bride’s nature to Himself and became a man. Then He let His recalcitrant spouse take out all her destructiveness on Him. Even then, as His bride killed Him, He did not give up on His marriage bond. “They know not what they do. Forgive them, Father.”
So: If your cellphone removes you from the mystery of the ancient Scriptures, cut it off and throw it away. If you’re gossipy friends make suggestions that involve divorce, shut them up and tell them to get lost. Better to live in the life-giving truth of the ancient Scriptures, without knowing whether or not your high-school classmates have gotten fat, than to enter Gehenna with 1,000 facebook friends.