The idea of divorce has lost the sting that it once had, even in Christian households.
Here are some of the reasons I’ve seen:
- Mom and Dad have gotten a divorce (or 4) and so they know it’s a possibility.
- Our culture tells us that if you’re not “happy” divorce is a hall pass to bail us out.
- We believe that people “grow apart”…whatever that means.
- Just like a mulligan, divorce is nature’s relational do-over
Now let me be up front and clear right away. If you are in a physically abusive relationship GET OUT NOW. Click on this site to get help now http://www.thehotline.org/. Additionally, I do believe that there are Biblical justifications for divorce. I just don’t believe most of the people that get divorced fall into these categories.
Sadly, most of the people that I see, tap out way to early in the match and never really try to make things work. I honestly believe that waaaaaayyy more marriages would last if there were just a little effort placed into the reconciliation process.
Couples, if we applied even 10% of what we heard on Sunday about how God wants us to live we’d have far less kids trading off weekends at mom and dad’s.
Now don’t kid yourself. Marriage is hard work! I know…I’ve got one.
I just know that the hard work is worth it.
And parents, in the end we are not only establishing a relationship for our lifetime, but we are also establishing a relationship that our children will watch and model.
So we have a choice.
We can either be the example to our kids of what a Godly marriage looks like even with struggles, or we can be part of the statistics that they will have to try and overcome through their life.
I know there are people reading this that are still in the fight to save their marriage, so here are some tangible steps to consider for working through relational hard times:
- Pray Together: It is remarkable what praying with and for your spouse does for relationships. Make it a bedtime ritual even if you don’t feel like it.
- Date Night: Simple I know. Sometimes couples never get a chance to just talk and be adults. If you don’t have a date night set, get one and leave the relational ammunition at home so you can talk instead.
- Marriage Mentoring: There are couples out there that would love to come alongside you to pray, listen, and offer advice to help you along. Most of the people have been where you are at and have made it through. You just have to be willing to take the first step. Ask your church if they offer this program.
- Pastoral Guidance: Sometimes just a fresh perspective and Biblical guidance is enough to correct a relationship. As a pastor, I know I love sitting down with couples to help show them the path God desires for them.
- Marriage Counseling: This is not the scarlet letter it used to be in our society. I believe that even couples that have “great marriages” should do counseling. It is very refreshing to have a 3rd party that is knowledgeable to help navigate some of these waters.
- Marriage Seminars: With the current state of marriages in our country, more and more churches and organizations are offering marriage seminars. Call your local church or do a web search for marriage seminars near you. I’d crosscheck anything you find online with a good church however.
- Marriage Retreats: These can be some of the most intense and fruitful times of marriage reconciliation. Typically these are 3-5 day intensives with counselors and there is major work done. The ones I recommend involve cutting out the outside world for the time you are there and doing some very heavy lifting together. I highly recommend these for those that can manage it.
I know that some of you have been through a divorce and know the effects first hand. These words can sting. I pray that God will continue to heal those wounds over time and please know that He will help you overcome the pain. My prayer is that if you enter into another relationship you allow the Grace and peace of God to direct you into peaceful waters.
But, there are others out there that are on the ropes and are ready to give in. I want to tell you keep fighting. There is still time. There are still options. There is still hope. If God can breath out and all of creation can be formed, I believe He can mend and save your marriage. You just have to have faith and be in the fight.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Don’t believe the lie that marriage is like a Kleenex box. That if you get tired of the one you got another one will pop up. Treat your marriage like it’s the only one you’ll ever have because that’s the way God designed it.