What Should I Do If I'm Thinking About Divorce?
Nothing seems fun anymore. You seldom have a day without crying, and you’ve forgotten how to smile. Discussions no longer end in resolution. The urge to quit has crossed your mind more than once. Yelling escalates. Disquiet becomes distrust, and despair becomes disgust.
You can’t believe this is happening to either of you. You just want the pain to stop. Then one of you puts feelings into words: “I want a divorce.” Many things may have brought you to this point:
- Maybe it’s expecting your spouse to meet every need and to rescue you from every trouble — without realizing you married another real human, not a fairy tale.
- Maybe it’s financial stress: never having enough money, job loss, wild spending by one spouse or hoarding by the other. Maybe it’s lost trust due to addiction, adultery, abuse, or abandonment of intimacy.
- Maybe it’s grief over losing a child, and the emotional weight is simply too heavy to carry anymore.
How can either of you mend the wounds that are ready to unravel the relationship you thought would last forever?
Here are four ideas to ponder before considering divorce:
- Jesus wants you to fight for your marriage.
- You are not alone! Ask for help.
- Sin is the root of marriage discord.
- Jesus’ promise of abundant life and a better marriage with your current spouse is still possible!
Jesus Is for Your Marriage
Before either of you take steps toward divorce, try taking steps to- ward a better marriage. God intended marriage to be permanent (Malachi 2:15-16). Fighting for your marriage is hard work, but worthwhile.
The Bible teaches us that marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. Marriage is a promise that both partners make to love and to serve their spouses under God’s loving guidance. God seals that covenant.
Even though Moses allowed God’s people to divorce when spouses were unfaithful, Jesus made it clear that unforgiveness ends marriages, not adultery (Matthew 5:32). Reconciliation is possible for every couple if both spouses are willing to put Jesus first, forgive one another, and make changes moving forward.
When there is abuse in a marriage, safety needs to come before any attempts to reconcile. Separating from your spouse ensures your safety as you heal and seek wise counsel about how to move forward.
Ask for Help
Asking for help is most important and most intimidating part of healing a marriage. It takes courage to sit with someone you may not know and share your heartache, accusation, shame, disappointment, bitterness, betrayal, and anger. But by opening up to someone else, you’re allowing Jesus, through his people, to address the broken places in your relationship and guide you to restoration.
All things are possible through Jesus, including restoration of bro- ken individuals and restoration of broken marriages (Philippians 4:13). Meeting with a professional counselor or Care Team member can help you see the actions and reactions that brought you to the brink of divorce.
Remember, both spouses carry the weight and responsibility for a sound marriage. Willingness to take responsibility and work through your own sin is the first step for both partners so reconciliation can begin. Even if you are already divorced, seek confession, repentance, and forgiveness to restore yourself to a right relationship with God, and He will forgive you. Forgiving lost trust and betrayal is never easy, but it can be learned with counseling and support.
Sin Is the Root of All Marriage Problems, and Sin Requires Repentance
To arrive at divorce involves sin. We were born in sin and carry the baggage of past sin into marriage (Psalm 51:5). Sometimes, we carry with us habitual sin like pornography, unforgiveness, or selfishness like an extra set of clothes. We take them off every now and then because it becomes too messy and shameful to wear, but then we pick them up and put them on again because we don’t know what else to do.
To Jesus, sin is sin. It is just as much a sin for one partner to be engaging in pornography while the other speaks words of condemnation and shame (1 Corinthians 6:12-13). Seeking God’s wisdom to reveal what needs to change in both partners is life-giving and marriage-restoring (Ezekiel 18:21).
Abundant Life Is Possible Within Your Marriage
An unknown author once said, “Marriage is a union so strong that when one cries the other tastes salt.”
The world would have us believe that when one spouse sins, it is permission for the other to leave. Divorce isn’t God’s desire for either of you. He has ordained marriage as the most important relationship a person can have, second only to our relationship with Him (Genesis 2:22-24).
Only God can pull off making two people one (Mark 10:7-8). He wants an abundant life for each of you (John 10:10). And you both can have this within the oneness of marriage! With the focus on Je- sus, you can find solutions that will allow Him to restore your marriage so you don’t have to end it.