Remove the word “divorce” from your vocabulary.
That’s some advice my wife and I received when we were first married… and it was great advice.
In my thinking, if you always have divorce in the back of your head, as a “just in case” option, you’re going to be less committed to working through the hard things that inevitably come up in marriage. You’re going to be more prone to consider bailing out when times get tough. You’re going to be open to making one of the biggest mistakes of your life.
I want to encourage you to decide that divorce is not an option.
Why do I think divorce is such a bad idea? Here are 3 reasons…1I’ve seen the devastation divorce causes, to husband and wife, to children, and to extended families. The family is intended to be God’s place for stability, security, and growth. When the two people who are most responsible to see that it is decide to abandon ship, the whole family goes down in flames. 2Divorce is hardly ever a good thing for kids. Research has proven this to be true, time and time again. Even in cases where a spouse is abusive and the divorce happens for the protection of the children, the repercussions on their lives are typically bad. I know there are times when the choice is not easy and the children have to be protected. But divorce has consequences of its own. 3The possibility of a spiritual legacy of faith being passed on from one generation to the next is dramatically hampered by divorce. Sure, a single parent can do that effectively, but the typical divorce situation makes it incredibly more difficult to do so. Unreconciled differences between parents communicate to the kids that Jesus can’t do anything to truly help in the situations of real life. That makes them much more likely to hold Christian faith at arm’s length, or abandon it altogether.
I know there are extremely difficult circumstances that people face…
- Abusive spouses
- Illegal activity going on in the home
- Familial interference
- and more…
But the heart of the gospel is about reconciliation, and I believe that too many couples nowadays give up before truly, really trying everything possible to reconcile their marriages. When things get tough, they throw in the towel, because they’ve not decided, ahead of time, that they are going to fight for the health and stability of their marriage.
What I’m suggesting is excruciatingly difficult. I know.
I also know that there are situations in this fallen world where it simply won’t work. But I want to call you to believe in a Savior who is able to conquer and overcome every obstacle, including…
- A selfish spouse
- An abusive spouse
- An unrepentant spouse
- A cheating spouse
- A spouse with legitimate and extreme mental illness
Jesus can overcome everything. Even your spouse and your marital issues. Do you believe that? Do you believe it enough to do everything within your power to stick it out and make things right?
And… there’s more going on than searching for a “happy ending”
Besides all of that, there’s the possibility, in fact the likelihood, that Jesus is using the difficulties you face in your marriage to refine you, to make you more like Him. I know that’s not a popular sentiment, and it’s hard to hear, but it’s the gospel truth. The hardships we face are designed by God to bring about good for us, good in us (Romans 8:28). If you’re quick to jump out of a difficult marriage through divorce, you’re likely side-stepping God’s work in your life.
Jesus is at work, even in your difficult marriage.
Please, consider it. Divorce is not an option.
Your thoughts? Please comment below…