Monday, May 2, 2016

What We can Learn From Marriage in Bosnia Herzegovina



My heart broke for marriages in Bosnia Herzegovina. 

Dan and I were blessed by the dear ones we came to know and love during our two week stay in the beautiful country of Bosnia Herzegovina. But our hearts broke because we saw couples facing marriage woes that husbands and wives in other countries know nothing of.

Please pray for couples as you consider these stories:

 Four years he sat under artillery fire. Now, that fire explodes in his mind piercing his tender heart with fiery darts. He suffers with PTSD in a country that offers no counselling, no Purple Heart, and no compensation for his wounds from the Bosnian war. His wife cries to God to restore her broken man.

Forty percent unemployment leaves many couples unable to afford shelter. They have no choice but to move in with their parents. In some cases, the young wife is expected to do all the chores of the household as well as care for the aging parents, her own children, and work outside the home.

Women do not receive equal pay in BiH.  Consequently, men can't find jobs and women are an employer's choice. Wives work for little wages to support the  family which may include the extended family. The husband stays home, but he is not considered a house husband or a stay-at-home-dad as he continues his endless search for employment or some way to bring income into his home.

A couple spent their wedding night fleeing from parents trying to kill them? When a Muslim couple believed in Jesus Christ, their  parents sought them. To murder them.

The horrors and pain of war complemented with the cheap availability of drugs, left many Bosnians turning to drugs as their only recreation or happiness. Drug addiction is prevalent and many reformed and not reformed addicts carry the lure of addiction into their marriages.

Dan and I visited the Bosnian war museum and learned of the horrors that took place on the streets where we walked.  Soldiers placed a 3 month old baby in an oven while the mother helplessly watched  her baby bake. A mother gave birth on the street while soldiers killed her husband by her side.

What do these events do to a person, to a culture, to a marriage?

I know what it does to me? It breaks my heart for marriages in BiH. Please pray that God will heal   these dear people who stole my heart with their love and generosity to me. They deserve the abundant life that Jesus promised.  Let's pray to that end. Thank you.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; 
I have come that they may have life, 
and have it to the full." 
~ Jesus
John 10:10 (NIV)


We have much to learn from the Bosnian marriages as well. The divorce rate in Bosnia Herzegovina is 5 percent. They practice commitment  and love, perhaps because they know loss and hate. Americans (and most of the rest of the world) are too quick to throw away marriages that God intends us to keep. May we learn from our dear Bosnian brothers and sisters.

Please pray splashes of serenity on all marriages today.

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