As a Pastor, nearly everyday I talk to someone whose marriage is in crisis. They often feel desperate, exhausted and alone. It’s a heartbreaking scenario when the dreams of “Happily Ever After” are crushed, and in the midst of all the pain and confusion, it is nearly impossible to think clearly about what next steps to take.
For anyone considering Divorce as an option, I would strongly encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
1. Have I done everything in my power to save this marriage? Granted, you cannot control your spouse’s actions or their desires, but have you done everything in your power to bring healing and hope? If not, write down a list of things you could do and start doing them. Marriage is always worth fighting for!
2. Am I trusting my Faith more than my Feelings? Feelings are fickle and in many divorce scenarios, people are pursuing an illusion of happiness instead of trusting God’s plan to bring wholeness, health and peace.
3. Is Divorce the healthy choice or the selfish choice? I believe that in some scenarios where there is a pattern of broken trust through adultery or physical abuse, the only viable option is Divorce, but in most scenarios, Divorce is a Permanent Solution to Temporary Problems.
4. Who are my biggest influences right now? When you’re in the fragile state of marital breakdown, your support network is vital and they will have a tremendous amount of influence in your decisions. Surround yourself with people who will love you enough to give you Truth, encouragement and support based on God’s Word, not their own shallow opinions.
5. What am I teaching my children by getting a Divorce? There is never a scenario where Divorce doesn’t devastate the children involved. Their faith and their security are often shattered and the fallout lasts for decades. I know because I deal with those devastated from their Parents’ Divorce constantly. If you’re leaving your spouse for another person, in terms of Character, it’s not much different than taking your kids to an orphanage and trading them in for other kids who are more attractive or who will treat you better.
6. Am I willing to stay single for the rest of my life? If you answer “No,” then your motivation for the divorce is unhealthy. If you see Divorce as an opportunity to play the field or to find someone who will appreciate you and do all the things your spouse isn’t doing, then you need to stay and fix your own marriage. If you Grass looks Greener on the other side, you don’t need to move; you need to stay home and water your own grass!
If you do find yourself in the midst of a heartbreaking divorce, please know that God loves you, He is with you and He has extraordinary plans for your life. Seek Him and let Him be the one to bring healing to your heart. You may feel Alone, but God has never left your side.