Divorce stinks. Perhaps I should have thought up a more eloquent opening statement, but I think that pretty well sums it up. Divorce breaks hearts and breaks homes. It causes financial, emotional, relational and spiritual pain. It’s breaks God’s heart and it should break ours too. God never intended marriage to have an “Escape Clause!”
As a Pastor who has seen countless couples and many close friends get divorced, I felt prompted to share some thoughts and Scriptures. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I want to try to bring some perspective.
If you are a Christian who is divorced or near divorce…
Step 1: Fight to Save the Marriage even if the Divorce has already taken place.
The Bible is clear that our first efforts should be on saving the marriage even if the divorce has already happened. Until we have exhausted every tool at our disposal (prayer, counseling, time away together, etc.) don’t consider moving onto to the next steps.
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.“ 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
Step 2: Embrace Single Life with No Plans of Remarriage
Once you’ve done everything in your power and your former spouse has refused to reconcile, your next step is to embrace a sexually pure, single life making Jesus the primary relationship in your life. Surrender all your anger and guilt over to God. Focus on your children, your own healing, your faith and your ability to serve others.
“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” 1 Corinthians 7:8
Step 3: Move Forward with Prayer and Caution
At this point, the question shouldn’t just be “Can I remarry?” but rather “Should I Remarry?”
““I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
After a period of healing and growth, if you believe that God is giving you the green light to move forward with a new relationship, please move forward with much prayer and caution. If you are already in a relationship and considering remarriage, I encourage you to read my previous blog posts: “6 Questions to Ask before you get married” and “8 Things to do before Getting Married.”
A Final Note of Encouragement:
Many divorced people feel that they’ll never measure up in the eyes of God. Please remember that because of Jesus, your past is completely forgiven and you are made a New Creation in His sight. You are not defined by your mistakes or failures but by His perfect love for you. For additional insight, I encourage you to read Jesus’ Grace-filled interaction with a woman who had been married five times in John Chapter 4.
This issue of Christian Divorce and Remarriage is a Hot Topic all over the world right now. Please share your opinions and insights on this important issue.