I had the opportunity to meet Darlene Schacht last month while in Dallas hosting Faithlife‘s women in ministry summit. During dinner, everyone at our table shared their stories—and let me tell you, Darlene has an incredible story!
I’m so thankful for writers like Darlene, who so bravely share their raw, honest stories. I can only imagine how many thousands of marriages have been blessed by her. You’ll definitely want to read her new book, Messy Beautiful Love, which just launched this week!
This interview gives you a brief picture into how much wisdom Darlene has to share. Pick up a copy here, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!
1. Why did you write Messy Beautiful Love and what do you hope it accomplishes?
I wrote it to encourage women in their marriages, and to remind them that they’re not alone on this journey. We all struggle in this life, and if we haven’t yet it’s inevitable that we will. That’s why it’s imperative that we equip ourselves by studying the gospel and keeping our marriage in prayer. Love is a beautiful thing, but the reality is that life is messy at times. When we live out our roles in marriage as God ordained them to be we discover joy and peace unlike anything else.
2. Why is this book important and relevant in today’s culture?
What we’re seeing too often is a society that’s tossing marriage aside. This world is cynical when it comes to marriage, believing most won’t last. And those that do last? Well, surely one spouse or the other must be a miserable soul. That’s what we tend to see when we look at the standard this world has to offer.
God’s standard, on the other hand, is rich. He offers abundant life to those who are exercised by faith. We serve a God who’s the same yesterday, today and forever. The beauty of the marriage covenant hasn’t changed over time—our view of it has. Those who give up too soon are missing out on the blessings that come with staying the course.
3. What do you believe is the largest contributor to today’s increasing divorce rates?
People often say that they’re unhappy because they’ve grown apart. I believe that couples will grow apart if they do not love each other daily and deliberately. True love doesn’t happen by accident. It’s deliberate, it’s intentional, it’s purposeful, and in the end it’s always worth it. Some days love is messy and all we want to do is give up, but those who work through love together reap the benefits of beautiful long-lasting love.
4. Why do you think it’s important for women and men to “remove the idea of divorce” from their minds?
First and foremost, we’re told in Malachi 2:16 that God hates divorce. It’s no surprise when we see the ripple effect that this division can bring. Families are deeply affected by the choices we make.
In some cases it’s necessary (and biblically acceptable) for a woman to leave her husband, but in many cases it’s not. It’s a choice to take the easiest road and the one most traveled.
The difficult road is paved with forgiveness and grace. It’s exercising patience with a difficult husband. It’s being kind to the unkind. It’s walking in humility for the good of your marriage. A self-centered life offers a temporal high, but those who walk in humility discover a sense of joy and peace unlike anything else.
5. What is the main piece of advice you would give women in today’s world, who want to approach their marriage differently?
Women in today’s world are exposed to temptation on a constant basis. The Internet is a way of life for most people. Our ancestors never experienced anything remotely close to what we are living with today. The outside world—along with its opinions, temptations, and distractions—has made its way into our homes.
I can’t tell you the number of times that women have confided in me about the struggles they’re facing online. It can mess with your mind when a seemingly perfect man (and I do mean seemingly) is paying attention to you, or waiting to chat.
We need to be on guard more than ever before, protecting our thoughts, our children, our faith, and our marriages.