Divorce has ripped through our nation like a plague. In its wake there are millions of heartbroken children, financial bankruptcies and emotional devastation for all involved.
As a Pastor, I talk to couples in crisis almost every day. Tragically, by the time they take the initiative to talk to someone like me, one or both of them often feels that all hope is lost. Divorce can still be prevented even in those worst-case scenarios, but its much easier to prevent Divorce when you understand the factors that lead to the collapse of a marriage.
After counseling with countless couples, I believe these are the main reasons (if not the only reasons) why couples divorce:
1. Selfishness. Your spouse doesn’t exist for your happiness and if you treat them like their sole purpose is to make your life better, you are both going to be miserable. When you let your selfishness get the best of you, you’re no longer putting your spouse ahead or yourself and you are forsaking what it means to be in a marriage. Adultery and most of the “big issues” that destroy marriages are usually just symptoms of Selfishness.
2. Lack of Faith. As a Christian, I’m convinced that no marriage can fully thrive without Jesus in the center of it. Many stats say that “Christians” are as likely to divorce as non-Christians, but what those stats don’t tell you is that when two people are devoted to Christ, humbly walking with Him, studying God’s Word together, serving alongside each other in their church and community and praying for each other daily, Divorce almost NEVER occurs.
3. Terrible Friends. Your friendships outside of the marriage will be a huge influence for either good or for bad. If you find your “friends” talking about your marriage by saying, “You just need to leave! You deserve better!” Then those people are not real friends. Find people who will encourage you, strengthen your faith and support your marriage. Get away from anyone who has a negative influence.
4. Giving Up. We live in a culture that teaches us that we can quit anything once it gets uncomfortable. We don’t like commitment. We can’t ever keep the same cell phone carrier for more than a couple of years. No marriage would last if people quit when it got tough. Pushing through the hard times together is what refines and strengthens a marriage.
If you’re in a troubled marriage on the brink of divorce, the first thing you should do is remove “Divorce” from your vocabulary. It’s only an option if you make it an option and Healthy Marriages should never have an Exit Strategy. Trust God and Don’t Give Up!
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Your next step is to get help. Find Professional Counseling and surround yourself with people who will support your marriage. Another great resource that I’ve seen several several marriages is the “Dynamic Marriage” class. You can visit this site to find a course near you: http://www.familydynamics.net/dynamic-marriage