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brad-angelina-main“It was a grand Hollywood romance that made its presence felt far and wide…

Now, with a lawyer’s blandly worded press statement on Tuesday morning, the love story of Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt, who were married in 2014, has come to an unhappy end.”

So

But my friends, would you consider joining me in praying that their love story is not yet over?

No, I’m not some super fan of Brad or Angelina. I’ve watched a couple of their movies, but I don’t know them.

But I’ll tell you what I am a fan of: marriage. And because of that here are six reasons why I believe Brad and Angelina’s marriage is worth saving.

Reason #1: Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt

Born in Cambodia and adopted by Angelina before he turned one, Maddox turned 15 this past August.

Do you know a teenager like Maddox who suddenly discovered their parents were getting a divorce? (Maybe you.) Such a vulnerable time. Such a dangerous time to have the rug pulled out from under your world.

Maddox needs to know that love is real and that love is worth fighting for. Not the super sexy love of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, nor the mushy gushy love of childhood Aurora for Stefan, but a love that is patient, kind, content and humble. The kind of love 1 Corinthians 13 describes.

Reason #2: Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt

Born in Vietnam and adopted at age three, the boy, who’s name means “peaceful sky,” will become a teenager this November.

I don’t know about you, but when I was that age, my life was not very “peaceful.” In fact, I thought a lot about taking my life. But my despondency had little to do with what my parents were struggling with and more to do with what I was struggling with.

And do you know what I counted on then more than anything? The security of my parents’ commitment to each other and to me.

Pax needs to know that commitment is real and that commitment is worth the compromise it inevitably requires of those who have made it. Even if there is abuse or addictions that need to be worked through, the wholeness of the family (including each precious member in that family) is worth the commitment to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and to reach for it.

Reason #3: Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt

She’s now 11, but when she was adopted in Ethiopia she was so weak from malnutrition, it was likely she wouldn’t have made it to her first birthday had she not been rescued by Brad and Angelina. To use a Biblical term, they redeemed Zahara.

But what does it mean to be redeemed only to be abandoned? Yes, I realize no divorcing parents think of themselves as abandoning their children, but that is often the perspective of the child. And the fact is, every divorcing parent is abandoning their spouse, the very person to whom they pledged they never would.

Zahara needs to know that redemption is real and redemption is worth the sacrifice, no matter the cost. This precious little girl was almost dead before age one. Now it seems Brad and Angelina’s marriage is dead before age three, but the God who intervened to redeem Zahara’s life can do so again and redeem her broken family.

Reason #4: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt

Shiloh turned ten in May of this year, but unlike her older adopted siblings, she belonged to Brad and Angelina from the moment she was conceived.

But where will she belong now?

Shiloh needs to know that faithfulness is real and that faithfulness is worth the struggle. When you think about it, what is faithfulness if it’s never tested by struggle?

Some believe couples who are well-matched and struggle the least enjoy the happiest marriages. This is one of the reasons couples (like Brad and Angelina) move in together first. It’s supposed to be a trial period, but marriage isn’t about a trial period. It’s about persevering through every trial.

Do you know a married couple who has done just that, and came out on the other end stronger and more in love? It is my hope and prayer that Shiloh will know a couple like that: her own parents. Isn’t that what we all hope for from our own parents?

Reason #5: Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt

Knox just turned 8 in July. By the time you’re that age, you should be mature enough to admit when you’re wrong. You shouldn’t need someone to insist, “Say you’re sorry!”

Of course, more than confession, every parent hopes their child will understand true repentance. Not just to say the word “sorry,” but to truly feel it; to own up to one’s choices and their consequences. But like most of the important lessons in life, repentance is more caught than taught.

Knox needs to know that repentance is real and that it’s worth the humility it requires. And does it ever require humility!

But nothing is more beautiful in a marriage, than when someone can look their spouse in the eye and humbly and sincerely say, “I am so sorry. I was wrong. I hurt you and I can’t change that, but I want to make things right. And more than than desiring to change, I am going to get the help I need to change. I hope you can forgive me and I hope to earn your trust again.”

Reason #6: Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt

Before she starred in Maleficent as the child version of Aurora, she was born the twin sister to Knox. And just as she and Knox were born together, so repentance goes together with forgiveness.

Vivienne needs to know that forgiveness is real and that it’s worth the challenge of extending it. Even if the offender will not repent, forgiveness holds the power to set the offended free! Free from bitterness, anger, revenge and self-pity. Indeed, while the world seems to believe true love’s kiss (and what comes after that) is the greatest expression of love, Jesus declares this:

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

And Jesus didn’t just say it. He did it. And for what reason? Why did he lay down his life, not just for his friends, but for his enemies?

For our forgiveness. If you’d like to taste the freedom that comes from forgiving those who have hurt you, you can find out how to get your free PDF copy of the book, Forgiveness 101. I didn’t write it for Brad and Angelina. I wrote it for you.

So what do you say? Will you join me? Will you pray with me for the Jolie-Pitt family? Not just for their marriage to survive, but for it to thrive. Not just for them to hang on, but for them to find wholeness!

Beyond that, what about praying for the marriages you do know personally. Pray for love, commitment, redemption, faithfulness, repentance and forgiveness to be theirs, and their children’s. And their children’s children. Marriage is worth it!

If you’d like to join us at Future Marriage University (FMU) as we seek to save marriages before they date, find out more about us at this link.

Sources for information on the Jolie-Pitt family:

  • http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/20/entertainment/angelina-jolie-brad-pitt-divorce/
  • https://joliepittresource.wordpress.com/about-the-jolie-pitt-kids/
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/21/fashion/angelina-jolie-brad-pitt-divorce.html?_r=0
  • http://www.people.com/article/angelina-jolie-brad-pitt-marriage-reasons
  • pic creds:David James/Getty Images

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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better?  And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!