Debunking the Myth of Incompatible Marriage

By Ruth Bell Graham   •   November 1, 2011   •   Topics: ,

BG and Ruth at home
Billy and Ruth Graham at their home in 1990.

It happens all the time: well-known couples terminate marriages. The reason?

Incompatibility. It’s an all too familiar legal umbrella under which an assortment of excuses finds shelter.

I looked up the definition of incompatibility: “incapable of coexisting harmoniously…”

Incapable of coexisting harmoniously? “With God, all things are possible,” I remembered.

The definition continued: disagreeing in nature. Great! One can disagree without being disagreeable.

Before we married, someone gave me a gem of wisdom: “Where two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.”

Irreconcilable. I doubt it! When two draw near to God, they find themselves closer to one another.

Conflicting. Terrific! When someone gets into a position of political or social power or one of fame or fortune and no one dares to disagree with him or her, look out! This person is in danger. At times, we all need to be disagreed with.

Our daughter’s Swiss in-laws once gave my husband a Swiss watch. Eventually, it stopped working, but no local watchmaker could fix it.

The next time we were in Switzerland, we sent it directly to the company that made it. They had no problem; the ones who made it knew how to make it work again.

Who invented marriage? He is the One to whom we must go. His Book of Instructions has the answers.

Article originally published in More Letters from Ruth’s Attic: 31 Insights on Following Christ.


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  1. Jonathan Williams says:

    I wish the church would understand how the acceptance of this “incompatibility” leads more people away from the kingdom. God speaks about coming back for his unfaithful bride.

  2. Carlos Xicará says:

    Thank you for your advice, I’m a single man and I have seen many divorces because of this incompatibility lie of this world, But Jesus is more than the lies of this world and the word of Jesus is in this advice. We as men need to be closer to God more than ever, and you are a channel of God. Thank you again.

  3. John C. Goodrich says:

    “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility”. Leo Tolstoy

  4. Monty Hughes says:

    Marriage is about ones faith and trust in God. Without God there is no marriage. Without God you have nothing in your life, you just think you do.

  5. Jackie says:

    Those of us who are married to men with Asperger’s have to do a lot of dying to self in order to be compatible. It’s a painful process.

  6. Mrs. Dannie W. Hill says:

    Your wisdom and God’ s words are a blessing to me!

  7. Connie Lutz says:

    My husband, Johnnie and I have been married for over 56 years – have 5 grown children and 14 grandchildren. We love each other deeply! We feel that sharing the same faith back ground has brought us through many troubles. We have shared our faith with our children as they grew. When we get together – we all pray together.

    1. Tweetie DangDao says:

      May God bless you and your family as you have set such a great example to your decedents. Thank you for sharing Mrs Lutz! Praying for many more years of Happiness for you and Mr Lutz!

  8. Ginger Parks says:

    Excellent massage on marriage. Your ministry is a blessing to many as we continue life’s journey to our heavenly home. God is sufficient and His love, mercy, & grace endure forever. Mark 10:27 Praise Him Always!

  9. Barb Williams says:

    I love your books, and hearing you preach. AWESOME man.

  10. Earl Buck says:

    We have been married for 63 yrs. wife 81 and I’m 82 yrs. old. We have 6 children, 18 grand kids, 12great grand children. We love God, and God said: if you love me keep MY commandments. So we ask the Holey Spirit to HELP us do that since we humans need God’s help every moment. Not by works of our own but because GOD is so mercy-full.