What do you mean I can't come home?" I asked my dad, shocked.
"I'm sorry, Jamie," he replied, "but if I allowed you to come home, I'd be interfering in what God is trying to teach you."
"But I hate it here!"
My husband, Mike, and I had been married only a few months. We'd just had one of our first major arguments, an issue so important I can't even remember now what it was. In a fit of rage, I stormed onto our back porch and called my parents in Michigan, letting them know I'd be on the first flight out of Philadelphia. I expected them to take my side, to say, "Of course! Come home!" Instead, my father informed me that was not an option.
"You've never told me I couldn't come home! Why are you being so unfair?" I accused.
"Jamie, your gut reaction has always been to bail when things get difficult," Dad replied. "Your marriage vows were for better or worse, until death do you part. I know you didn't think the 'for worse' part was going to come so soon, but it did, and you need to learn how to deal with it. You're not welcome in our home under these circumstances. You need to work out things with Mike."
Although I knew Dad was right, in my stubborn pride I wanted him really to understand why I needed to come home. I didn't get far in my tirade against Mike before Dad interrupted me.
"Everyone has problems. I'm sure Mike is equally frustrated with you. Think about how committed God is to you. Does he leave you when things get tough? No, he's committed to you for life and there's nothing you can do to make him go back on his promises. That's how committed you need to be to Mike."1