Women of a certain age… let’s say in their 40’s and 50’s are exiting their marriages at an alarming rate.
I am hearing from Christian women who have made the decision to divorce, because of
- dead relationship
- lack of affirmation or love
- unmet expectations
Malachi 2:16 God says “I hate divorce.”
The Biblical grounds for divorce are clear: sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) and abandonment by an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:15).
Even then, divorce is not required or even encouraged.
What about abuse?
What about addiction?
What about financial irresponsibility?
What about criminal activity?
God’s word does not list these transgressions as grounds for divorce.
Should an abused wife remain in harm’s way? Definitely not.
For safety, they should separate.
But instead of leading to divorce, the goals of separation should be
Step 1: repentance
Step 2: forgiveness
Step 3: reconciliation
Step 4: restoration
But in reality, marriages are ending with little or no effort being invested in the restoration process. This is not God-pleasing.
As Christians, our beliefs and actions in marriage should be built on God’s word. Not our feelings. Or our thoughts.
My heart swells when wives share their broken and damaged hearts with me. My sinful nature longs to justify a quick divorce.
Just like it did in my early 20’s when emotional abuse left me trapped and hopeless. I strayed far from God’s path and was living in a world of darkness.
I made one bad decision after another… and it is only by the grace of God that I’m married to a good man who fears the Lord. Rey isn’t a perfect man, nor am I a perfect woman. But for some inexplicable reason, God chose to bless us, strengthen our marriage, and fill us with his Holy Spirit.
But when we overstep God’s guidelines and hurt each other, I am rocked to the core. My mind is filled with turmoil and I am definitely not focused on advancing God’s Kingdom.
My weak reaction to a marital conflict makes me wonder, “If this was the constant state of my relationship, would I be able to put my money where my mouth is?”
How do wives remain faithful in lonely marriages?
How do they keep praying and walking in trust… even if it lasts for months, years, or decades?
They follow God’s word and will.
They accept their circumstances as tests of their faith and put their hope in God – who performs miracles and brings life into areas that are dead on a daily basis.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7
During the ugly periods of our marriage, God performed miracles. He gave us wisdom and patience. He equipped us and grew us, so that were stronger in our faiths, but also better spouses in the long run.
So today thank God for your marriage and spouse – no matter how difficult. Pray for wisdom and ask for maturity in faith, so you can withstand the tests and hold out for the miracles.