Did you see the study that made headlines this week about how couples are choosing “sleep divorce?” Apparently, one-third of American couples sleep apart. They do this to get a better night’s rest, & therefore be nicer to their spouses so they don’t get actual divorces. If you have a snoring or thrashing spouse, you understand how this not only helps prevent divorce, but perhaps murder!
Divorce has ripped through society (including the Church) like a tornado causing horrible damage. So many marriages are on life support–maybe you’re watching yours slowly die right before your eyes. Maybe you’re separated, but don’t want a divorce. Or you’re staying in a dead marriage for the sake of the kids. It could be that secretly you or your spouse are harboring thoughts of divorce (or adultery which leads to divorce). It may seem hopeless, & you’re ready to bury the corpse & move on so you can be happy. But hold on.
Do you know the scene from “The Princess Bride” where Westley has been taken from his true love, Buttercup, & tortured to death by the jealous prince? So Westley’s friend, Inigo, takes his body to Miracle Max to see if he can do anything for him. Max examines him & says, “There’s a big difference between MOSTLY dead & ALL dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.” And that’s something you can work with! It ain’t over till it’s over! Jesus specializes in miracles, including resurrections!
I’m not saying it’s going to be quick or easy. There’s no simple 3-step process. It’s messy. You’re going to deal with all kinds of emotions–grief, anger, depression–but you need to trust God, & believe that He can heal this relationship. He’s not going to force Himself into the situation, but if you invite Him in, He can give you the strength, patience & perseverance to begin rebuilding.
Maybe you’re the only one in the marriage trying to keep it alive. It’s going to take two to rebuild. If you’re both committed to seeing this through, your marriage can survive it. But even if it’s only you trying to save it, don’t give up yet. You have 3 options. You can let your marriage continue the way it is, which is just prolonging the inevitable. Or you can go ahead & put it to death. Yes, God allows divorce in the most extreme cases. But that may not be the best option, & it doesn’t mean you HAVE to divorce. The third option is to choose to change, & build a new marriage with the same spouse.
Certainly, all kinds of factors go into deciding on divorce, but unless there are genuine biblical grounds, you made a promise–stick to it. You may not be able to save it on your own, but take responsibility for what you can do. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18). Do you need to repent of something? Do you need to forgive because repentance has been offered? Are you doing the basics to build your home on the Lord–regularly praying, reading Scripture, being involved in church? I don’t mean to sound simplistic, but you may be surprised at the difference it makes when you commit yourself to God’s will, call on His help, have your mind & attitudes transformed by His Word, & grow spiritually.
Right now you may be so scared, so hurt, & so desperate you don’t know where to turn. Will you turn to the Lord? Is your marriage too far gone to save? Maybe…but I know love is more than a feeling–it’s God’s command (even to love our enemies!). What God commands us to do, He empowers us to do. He can fill us with a kind of love that’s supernatural (1 Cor. 13). Don’t let the emotions of the moment direct your life & cause hasty decisions to nullify your vows.
Your spouse is NOT the enemy! The serpent started dividing couples in the Garden of Eden. He preyed on the wife, who then led her husband into disobedience to God, & brought a curse on their relationship. Satan attacked the first marriage, & he’s still attacking marriages today. He’s the real enemy who seeks our destruction. So don’t get duped into fighting each other rather than fighting the real enemy. Fight FOR your marriage.
Anyway, I just thought maybe someone needed hope today. I don’t know what all you’ve been through, what you may be going through now, or if anything more can be done at this point. I’m not saying you can save your marriage on your own, but with God there’s hope & He can always do a work in YOU! In every marriage, three are involved: husband, wife, & God! So when even one spouse gets serious about God’s will, hope rises.