Is Divorce the Answer?

“’For I hate divorce!’ says the Lord, the God of Israel.” (Malachi 2:16a NLT)

Our goal as Jesus followers is to follow God and His choices for us, not seek to have Him agree with our choices. What are we to follow? In short, His paths of righteousness. What does that mean? Righteousness simply means to live in a right way that is honoring to God; to follow Jesus’ righteous example. What might that look like?

Over time God will strengthen our hearts, enabling us to “hear” His voice and to desire His will more than we desire our own will. Having followed the Lord for many years, I ONLY want what He wants for me. Why? Because I’ve learned that what He wants for me is by far greater than what I want for myself. He’s taught me to recognize His voice above the voices of my own heart or those of the world, enabling me to grow in my likeness of Him, as opposed to conforming to the likeness of the world.

What does this have to do with divorce? Quite a lot actually. While the government has sought in increasing measure to make divorce easier, God’s Word, the standard by which Jesus followers are to model our lives, has never changed. God’s plan from the beginning was one man and one woman committed to one another for life. The results of our not listening and obeying that command have been catastrophic.

Chuck Colson said: “People who divorce are more likely to die from stroke, heart disease, cancer, and hypertension. Kids from broken homes are more likely to fail in school, abuse drugs and alcohol, commit crimes, and have children out of wedlock.” And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Think of the witness it is for struggling couples to see Christian couples they respect and believe are living for Jesus, walk away from their marriage and family. Pastors are now among the categories of professions most likely to divorce. There’s virtually no difference in the statistics of those who attend church or those who do not, related to divorce. How can that be?

Why am I so passionate about staying married and removing divorce as an option for Christian couples? Because I’ve been divorced. I know the pain, heartache, and suffering that accompanies watching your spouse of more than twenty years walk out the door, knowing she’s headed into the arms of another man. I understand how it affects the children as they lose their once solid Christian footing, searching for answers in all the wrong places.

Satan will make you believe you have no option, and, honestly, maybe you don’t, but a very high percentage of the time you do have a better choice than divorce. When you boil it all down, the leading cause of divorce is demanding our own way and ignoring God’s way.

May I let you in on a secret? There’s no such thing as “no fault” divorce. Someone is always to blame, and it’s usually shared by both participants. And please don’t misunderstand. There are times when, for the safety of a spouse and/or children, divorce must happen. But before you pursue a divorce, seek counsel from godly people, separate for a specific amount of time and/or for a designated purpose – i.e. to go through rehab; seek treatment for emotional, physical, or other specific concerns that must be addressed in order to give your marriage opportunity to heal.

Nothing I’ve ever experienced has had such long-term effects on my life and the lives of my children. Please remove the “D” word from your vocabulary and, unless there are very unusual circumstances, determine that divorce is not the answer for you and your spouse.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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