Where is God When Our Marriage Fails?

Dear Barbara, Where is God when our marriage fails? We tried everything. Is every marriage meant to be saved?

I received a lot of comments on the recent post If Their Marriage Couldn’t Survive What About Mine?

I knew when I wrote it that I didn’t have space to fully explain every point I made. So I was not surprised that we got a few comments asking for more, including this one:

“I’m sad when I read these posts because they never go to the next step. What about those of us who have tried everything, literally, to save our marriages and nothing changes. We lost it anyway. Where is God in all of this? The only conclusion after three years of trying to save my marriage by myself and with God is that not all marriages are meant to be saved and that we have to accept that. Nothing is greater than God, but apparently not all things work out, even if you’ve prayed about it and tried everything you could. What’s the next step for those of us who lost?”

This comment from Elyce deserved more in reply than that moment allowed. So for you who may be asking this question on the inside and for the many of you who know someone in this situation, here are some further thoughts.

First, I’m sad just reading your reply. Even those of us who do not know you feel that sadness with you. Though it is far too common today, news of any divorce or estrangement stirs feelings of loss in our hearts and souls. Marriage is the bedrock of any society and its crumbling shakes us all.

Knowing from my own marriage how painful and lonely it can be to feel disconnected from your spouse, I empathize with you. Isolation, which leads to actual physical separation or emotional separation, is not the purpose of any marriage.

Is every marriage meant to last?

Regarding your statement “not all marriages are meant to be saved,” I must respectfully disagree and here’s why. From the Bible, I hear God’s heart for the salvation and resurrection of marriages when He says, “I hate divorce.” God does not hate the people of divorce but the deep and life-altering results of divorce break His heart.

He knows better than we do how devastating and long lasting the consequences are in spouses, children, extended family, and even into our communities and throughout society. God created marriage, and He never desires its ending.

That being said, God has also made it clear that He allows for divorce. Jesus answered this question, “Why did Moses command…a certificate of divorce?” with this reply, “Because of your hardness of heart [meaning a spouse’s unbelief in God or their unwillingness to change or try] Moses allowed you to divorce…but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8).

From the beginning of any marriage God’s desire is for it to last a lifetime. But He allows divorce for specific reasons, the source of which is a hard heart in one person that refuses to change and believe God for a miracle.

Think of it like a prodigal child whose parents have pleaded over and over for years for this one they love to make healthy choices, but the child continues to refuse to listen. One day the parents finally relent and let the child, now an adult, live with his destructive decisions and their consequences. Still the parents hold out hope that, in time, this child they love will learn and change.

So are we with our God. Though He desires to save all marriages, He allows divorce for those whose spouse stubbornly refuses to repent. Even in this, God is always working to get our attention, to help us learn of His love and grace, His forgiveness and mercy. That never changes no matter what your marital status.

What if it feels hopeless?

Marriage is too often where we see the free will of man so clearly deciding to ignore God and make decisions favoring self. In this union of two, as you’ve stated, both must want the marriage to work. Both must invest energy, time, and endless grace. Even though one plus God is a majority, the third person, your spouse, must eventually choose the marriage and you over self for the marriage to be restored and flourish.

There is always hope for reconciliation as long as both spouses remain unmarried to another. I’ve watched and heard countless stories of marriage redemptions to not believe in hope. Even if a couple is divorced, as long as both are still unmarried, restoration of the marriage can happen.

Our good friends Scott and Sherry can attest to this. They had no idea how to do marriage. As a result, their relationship unraveled over the years until they decided they’d both had enough. They divorced.

Scott moved into an apartment. In his defeat, he made many poor choices, including abusing alcohol and living with another woman. Months later Sherry heard about the Weekend to Remember and decided she wanted to go. She convinced Scott to meet her there. After learning about God’s design for marriage that weekend in 2005, Scott and Sherry decided to try again. Now they tell couples, “As long as you’re breathing there’s hope.”

We must hold onto hope for our marriages to grow and thrive. My greatest desire is to inspire hope in God and His desire and ability to redeem.  This hope though isn’t placed in each other, for we are fallen and cannot meet all our spouse’s needs. This hope must be placed in the God who created marriage, who showed us on the cross that He can conquer even death, and who delights in rescuing and restoring all things broken.

If you are still married and feel hopeless, don’t trust in your feelings or your spouse, but put all your hope in what God can do. And be patient with the process. God is not deterred by how long it takes to change our lives and therefore our marriages.

If you are divorced and neither of you has remarried, there is still hope. Hear more of Scott and Sherry’s story here. If God can rescue them, He can rescue anyone.

If you or your former spouse has remarried, there is no longer an opportunity for reconciliation. Once a new covenant has been made, God expects it to be honored.  If you have remarried find help and encouragement for your new marriage from FamilyLife Blended.

Where is God in all of this?

As to “Where is God in all of this?”though He often feels distant in our trials and difficulties, I can promise He is not. Our feelings deceive us. We assume when things are going well God is near and when they aren’t He must be far off. Nothing is farther from the truth.

He has promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” And that promise is repeated multiples times in the Old and New Testaments because He knows our weakness and temptation to doubt. He knows we need to hear it over and over and over.

Mostly, I want to say I’m truly very sorry for the pain you’ve suffered in your marriage. I wish with you that it had gone differently. I’m grateful you had the courage to ask this hard question and we will pray you can feel the nearness of God and learn more of His deep lasting love for you in this season of your life. It is His greatest desire, to help you know His eternal love for you.

Still married but unsure about the future?

If you find yourself, as so many do who commented on the original post, married but decidedly hopeless about the future, there are some next steps. Even when you think you’ve tried everything, sometimes you actually haven’t.

I’d encourage you to become newly emboldened to save your marriage. Insist on counseling. Go even if he doesn’t or won’t. Ask for guidance from your pastor and church leadership. Get others involved.

No matter how long your marriage has felt destitute, don’t desensitize yourself to the pain. Keep fighting. Don’t accommodate an unwilling spouse by going along with divorce plans passively. Be certain that individually you are doing all you can.

Marriage is hard, but it’s worth it. I’d like to invite you to follow along here with us at Ever Thine Home. We regularly share honest marriage struggles, offering help and hope to work through the mundane and enormous challenges of doing life together. Joining us here is a small way to keep your marriage a priority.

PS. If you are interested in attending our Weekend to Remember marriage getaway, use the code “ForMyMarriage” for a $100 discount on the registration fee.

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26 thoughts on “Where is God When Our Marriage Fails?”

  1. STEPHEn KRikszens

    Too many broken marriages never mended and too much confusion and bewilderment surrounds the broken relationship. I have been through two divorces, the second divorce over thirty years ago. I have been more devastated by the second divorce than the first because of unusual circumstances. I know the pain and hurt can last a lifetime and it is no wonder why people question God when this occurs. Sometimes you never totally beal.

    1. I don’t really agree with the author of the article. God doesn’t honor a second marriage if one spouse is standing with God on restoration. The spouse that remarried has committed adultery so there for God will not honor a second marriage unless both parties have moved on. The spouse that remarried has just legalized there adultery from the world’s point of view

  2. Hi I am in a suggestion with my marriage. My husband has an unwillingness to act on anything expect being committed to having a sexual relationship. I am currently everything in my household and we have come to expect nothing but degradation, cruise, harsh words, no interaction etc
    I have been praying and hoping and believing that God will change us and our marriage will be refecltive of the good things but I struggle with this hope as over the past 14 years things have only got worse to the point of stagnant.

    No counselling has worked.

    1. Hi. My name is Bev and Barbara asked me to reply to your comment. I have been mentoring women online for several years, so I hope to offer helpful biblical insights and appropriate resources to encourage you.

      First of all, I am very sorry to hear of the situation that you are facing in your marriage. I often hear from women who are in emotionally abusive marriages. For some reason, many women believe (and have been taught) that they are to “submit” to men that continually mistreat them. God never intended you to submit to sinful behavior. I do believe that prayer is powerful and effective; however, God also wants you to speak the truth in love and confront sin. The Bible clearly teaches not only that wives submit to their husbands, but that both husband and wife submit to each other in the fear of the Lord. We live our lives before Him.

      That being said, confronting your husband must be done with wisdom and foresight as he has effectively controlled you for many years. He will not expect or want you to become strong and stand up for yourself. You will need a support system in place.

      I would highly suggest checking out Leslie Vernick’s website. She specializes in helping women that are in emotionally destructive relationships. She offers many free resources, too. She conducts webinars and live Facebook teaching segments and you can sign up for her emails/blog to stay informed. You may also be interested in her online coaching program and classes. You would have a built-in support system as you grow in developing healthy boundaries. Go to http://www.leslievernick.com for more information.

      Additionally, you may want to consider individual counseling. You mentioned that marriage counseling was not effective, but why not go for yourself? I personally have benefitted and would highly recommend investing in yourself. You’re worth it!

      If you need help finding a counselor, you can contact Focus on the Family and speak to a professional counselor (free one-time consultation) who will then give you a local referral. Here’s the link: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about/contact-us

      Have you considered attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember conference? If your husband is willing, it would be a great way to set a biblical foundation for your marriage. Many people have given testimonies of how their marriages have been saved after hearing God’s blueprints for marriage. It’s really non-threatening, and the speakers are very transparent, yet funny to keep it light. You will not be sharing with anyone else, only your spouse. It was life-changing for us, so do whatever you can to talk him into going.

      Here is the link to find dates/locations if interested (There’s a great video that you could share with him): http://www.familylife.com/weekend-to-remember
      Make sure to use the code “ForMyMarriage” for a $100 discount on the registration fee.

      I would also like to pray for you.

      Heavenly Father,
      I thank You for bringing this precious woman to our site. Thank You that we can come boldly to Your throne of grace for mercy, grace and help in our time of need. She is a beautiful daughter made in Your image and likeness and You love her very much. I pray that You would bring healing to her soul. I break off the word curses spoken over her and I speak life to her spirit. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to bring comfort, wisdom and direction in the next steps she should take in her healing journey. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Blessings,

      Bev Cooper

  3. I’m wondering about what you said above…I divorced, remarried, then divorced him and came back to my first husband, the Lord and my family, we re married now and that was sin 2 years ago. Looks of work is needed, we get along, but it’s hard to start again. Was it biblically wrong for us to re marry one another after I was married to another for 7 years? I feel I’m where God wants me. Confused~Rondia

  4. I’m so grateful to finally read something like this. Our marriage ended a year ago, with two very young beautiful children. I never wanted the divorce, did all I could, and the process soon became spiritual warfare. The hardness of my husband’s heart still remains. I continue my prayers. As time goes on, I find my faith in a restoration diminishing, but never disappearing completely. The Spirit continues to call for my prayers, and intercedes when I do not know exactly what to pray. Thank you for this article!

  5. I would also recommend checking other resources such as Marriage Today with Jimmy & Karen Evans (Dallas, TX) (on TV Sundays — Daystar, TBN, etc.) who almost divorced and God saved their marriage when Karen cried out to Him to help her change, really TRUST Him, and receive His LOVE for her. He did and by the Scriptural behaviours she learned over time by really learning to TRUST Him and receive His Amazing LOVE for her, it helped her husband to come to his senses and change too. They tell their story and have very insightful, Scripturally specific, accurate, and practical guidelines and resources that will not only bring HOPE, HELP, and encouragement, but help you truly receive The LOVE of Abba for yourself and see everything/everyone in a new LIGHT!! Their testimony has helped millions of people over the past several decades, as it has me, especially learning better ways to have Right relationships, especially with those who are difficult to love, whether in marriage (I have been divorced since 2001, but not by my preference) or children, family, friends, neighbors, etc. Their resources have been truly a great blessing to me and to countless others as well. I just read Karen’s book, From Pain to Paradise, last night. She is very detailed and transparent about their relationship and experiences. It is truly amazing what Abba helped them through to be where they are today, over 40 years of marriage. We have to be responsible for our own thinking, words, choices, and actions, and ask our Abba to change us first and also to work in the heart of others for His Will to be done. His Will is always Right & BEST!!
    Several other good resources are Song of Solomon teaching by Tommy Nelson, (Denton,TX). This has to be the most amazing teaching on this book in The Scriptures that I have ever heard! He explains it very well and gives practical application with his interesting stories and humor. I first heard him teach this in 2002 and again in 2003 and then bought the teaching. As I listened to him, I sat with open mouth in awe with tears streaming down and asked Abba, “Is this really possible to have a relationship like this? because I do not know any men like that now!” But I also knew that I would have to change my thinking and ways about a lot things too, especially about men. And I have prayed that Abba would raise up a multitude of Righteous men dedicated to Him and to His Righteousness & TRUTH, and LOVE Him with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind, and become the sons of The One True Living Elohim that He has designed and planned for them to be, so they will be committed to marriage relationships, family, children, parenting, work they are called to do, and in the Right order, to help create and model peace, security, LOVE, respect, honour, TRUTH, Righteous living, etc., in their homes. Wouldn’t that be lovely??!!
    Kerry Shook (Houston, TX) also has Scriptural teachings on marriage, family, children, parenting. Check out his website for interesting and helpful articles. He also is on TV usually on Sundays — Daystar, TBN, Hillsong.
    Growing Families International with Gary & Anne Marie Ezzo have interesting and practical suggestions, articles, and short videos on their website that may be helpful too. They helped me to see that the nucleus of the family is the husband and the wife from the Garden of Eden, and that children were to be welcome members of the family. The relationship and interactions between husband and wife set the tone for the household and the children needed to see them being respectful and affectionate toward each other in word and deed, which made the children feel secure in the family and not fearful and insecure.
    When we all put Abba first in our lives and seek Him alone in our quiet time with Him and ask Him to fill us with His LOVE (and His Perfect Personality — the 9 character traits listed in Gal. 5:22-23)–daily, what joy and peace fills our hearts and we see like we have never seen before and experience His Goodness & Presence like never before! I have been doing this (again) recently and have had such a change for the better in my attitude, thinking, speaking, and doing, related to Him as well as others, that I am amazed and wished I had got started sooner. The discouragement and oppression I had been experiencing for the past year is gone and I look so forward to meeting with Him early each morning again now like never before. Only Abba can change a heart and He will start with us first before He answers our prayers for others, as it should be.
    Also find some good WORD music to listen to and sing along with, actually sing His praises. It works to lift so much oppression, depression, and renews your mind, emotions, your whole body, and brings LIGHT to your eyes. I know music is personal preference, but some of my all time favorites are from Hillsong and now Darlene Zschech (formerly of Hillsong). They are very WORD & Spirit-filled, praise & worship oriented and help me to focus on Him more completely. Abba has used this music/songs to minister to me like no other kind of music ever! since 2001 when He first brought them across my path. So find what works for you and be glad and rejoice in Him….”let the earth be glad!” — that would include us, yes??!!
    May you find this information helpful and hopeful and be blessed by His Spirit and may His Living Waters be poured out upon and within you and your family!

  6. I’m very confused rt now in my second marriage and things are really tough now . I’m trying sooo hard to please and take care and be my husbands partner but don’t feel the same with him. We’ve been together 19 yrs and there’s been a lot of up and downs but , that’s life !! We don’t seem to communicate well or often enough . I have a disability and can’t work outside the home like before but he’s always said he wants to take care of me financially . But now that I’m physicalallt disabled theirs a lot of guilt feelings . He ignores me a lot and I have to fight for attention from electronic devises and ask him to look at me when I’m sharing my day at dinner time 😔That I make 99 percent of the time. He’s very smart man but can only grill meat . He can read and write very well but because of the rolls his parents had when he was s kid I now have this role . Even when my pain is at ten !!it seems he just doesn’t want to try . He says u do it so much better or I don’t know how 😔It’s like this about several things , it’s Emma we talk this stuff to death and it might change for a few weeks but then it’s all on me again . No matter how much my fibromyalgia is hurting me , or my fatigue level . I know he didn’t sign up for this but neither did I . Things happen in life. It’s the same way with Cleaníng , vacuuming , racking, folding laundry and swapping loads , my arms can’t do repetative motions for very long . I also get bad migraines , which he’s never experienced either , so he has a hard time having compassion or help through this !😞I try my best to have. Nice meal on the table every night when he gets from work , do all shopping for food , Christmas for whole family, wash all the laundry but my daughter does her own at 16 . Take care of 5 animals with the help of my daughter . Vet feed water let out ,,,give meds daily to dog and cat .i take my daughter to all orthodontist , dr. Therapy , dentist after school activities ect. But at the end of the day I’m hurting and tired w hardly any help from Jack😞He is a hard worker at his job and does a lot w the yard and pool but I work in yard to ! And I hate to ask for help because when I do I get the pained look or CNN excuse. He yells at me if I can’t sleep at night because of my pain and discomfort. Doesn’t come with me to dr. Appt. unless I really beg him too.he just doesn’t understand what it’s like to life w chronic pain and fatigue .i know it must be hard , he’s soo healthy and not really a companionate person in general . But it hurts soooo bad . I know I shouldn’t exspect too much then I won’t be disappointed . But we don’t compromise at all . We’ve had all the same issues for years and it never gets better . It’s like I’m talking to s wall..I lately fell off our deck (fainted ) and he and my daughter acted like I was trying to unconvinced them , I broke 2 toes , sprained my anckle , scrated my face , w concussion on same side and hurt , other side of body hurt rt knee , palms s fingers and wrist . I’m in bad shape

    1. Hi. My name is Bev and Barbara has asked me to reply to your comment on her recent blog. I have many years experience in mentoring women online, so I pray that I can offer some biblical insights and helpful resources to encourage you.

      First of all, let me say how sorry I am to hear of the chronic pain that you have been suffering these many years. I can relate (maybe not to the same degree), so I do empathize with you. There is a fine line in trying to convey to others that you are in pain (when they don’t think so), and not falling into self-pity. I have certainly been there.

      I do believe it is important to take care of yourself. That means doing everything you can to manage and work towards healing. Then when you’ve done your part, you will have to set some boundaries on getting help. If your husband cannot or will not help you, maybe it is time to consider hiring someone to come help out. You can be very objective with this. For example, you can list the things that you can do without help and list the things that you need help with. Ask him if he would like to help or have you hire someone to help. Maybe you could hire a teenager to do some things around the house so it wouldn’t be cost prohibitive. It’s important to present this in an objective manner, not in one where you sound like a martyr or that you are feeling sorry for yourself. If you need to go to a doctor to get support, then do so.

      I would also suggest checking out this article by Joni Eareckson Tada: http://www.joniandfriends.org/help-and-resources/i-have-a-disability/fibromyalgia/ I think it will encourage you and give you some resources on what you can do. There’s nothing worse than feeling powerless, so I hope that this will be helpful.

      Another thought is that your husband is frustrated and angry, too. Yes, you are suffering, but he feels the loss, too, and he probably doesn’t know how to cope with it. I would highly recommend counseling for both of you, and if he won’t go, it would still be great for you. Focus on the Family offers a free one-time consultation and local referral. Here’s the link: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about/contact-us

      If you think your husband would be willing to go to a marriage conference, FamilyLife is offering a special price to attend the Weekend to Remember conference. Go to http://www.familylife.com/weekend-to-remember to find a date/location near you. Use the code “ForMyMarriage” for a $100 discount on the registration fee.

      Another suggestion is to try to find something fun to do together so that everything doesn’t revolve around your pain. That is important for both of you. Maybe watching funny movies together. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you find some common ground. What attracted you to each other in the first place?

      Finally, I would say that developing intimacy with God is the key to walking this difficult road. I believe that God still heals and that there are many promises in the Bible to support this. Why not grab a few and start praying them? Personally, I love Psalm 103. Read it out loud even if you don’t feel like it. David learned to “encourage himself in the Lord”. I know this has helped me when I am down. Also, find someone else to encourage. Since you are physically limited, why not find another person who needs to be encouraged (shut-in/elderly) and give them a call or send them a card? Helping others always lifts our spirits and gets our focus off of our pain. Even in your pain, God wants to use you.

      I would also like to pray for you.

      Heavenly Father,
      I thank You for bringing this dear woman to our site. Thank You that we can come boldly to Your throne of grace for mercy, help and extra grace in time of need. You are our help and strength! I pray that You would touch and heal her physically, mentally and emotionally, for she has suffered a long time. I thank You that Your Son is acquainted with all of our pain and suffering. I ask that the healing virtue of Jesus flow throughout her body even now. I also ask that You would heal this marriage. I pray that her husband would live with her in an understanding way. Grant him the grace that he needs to step up to his responsibilities to love and care for his wife. I thank You for hearing our prayers. I ask that Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, would surround this family now. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

      Again, thank you for writing in to Ever Thine Home.

      Blessings,
      Bev

  7. Thank you for you for all that you do. I need fellowship and this is a blessing.I am married for 13 years I was listening today;One thing I don’t hear addressed or really looked enough,among Christians is the reality that, over time,one or both spouse can lose attraction to each other. Not necessarily love,for each other but physical attraction,due to lack of intimacy on varying levels.Naturally,this does not occur overnight but develops as result of a multitude of reasons,unique to each marriage and persons.I am not talking about boredom,either.I am looking at the reality that after so many stresses in life,be what they may,it can take its toll.This is a fact.Call it a feeling.It is real.As a Christian,I choose not to live by my feelings,but by my faith,hence even though this is real in my marriage right now.I choose marriage because of my faith and commitment to trying to live Gods eternal Word.We are not in this world for our personal pleasures but to serve God.We don’t serve God when we are so focused on self preservation,self will, self pleasure(and to a certain degree needing to “feel” love is self seeking).We are here to make an eternal difference in the world and for our families.But,let’s get real,sometimes it is very,very difficult.Let’s not sugar coat it with the word of God, which I love and read everyday.I just think it is important to bring the sexual part of it up.Otherwise, it is not really helping married people truly touch all the issues and challenges in a long married life. Thank you for reading.

    1. Hi. My name is Bev and Barbara asked me to reply to your comment on her recent blog. Thanks for taking the time to give feedback as we always enjoy hearing from our friends and supporters.

      I have been mentoring women online for a number of years so I hope to offer you biblical insight and some helpful resources to encourage you.

      In regards to your comment, I would agree that our first priority is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, or another way to put it, is His way of doing things. I think this would include our relationships. I do believe He cares very deeply about how we treat each other. Jesus said to love God with all of our heart and love our neighbor as ourself. We must keep God at the center, but then as we receive His love, we must in turn pour it out on others. I think that begins with our own family.

      Of course, that’s where the rubber meets the road. Personally, it can be easier to love others that are not as close because we don’t know all of their flaws. Oftentimes, they seem to appreciate our kindness more than those that are close. Do you ever feel this way?

      It’s easy to compartmentalize and become very spiritual yet lack love in our relationships. I know this from personal experience. It can be such a difficult balancing act, too. However, I find that as I grow in intimacy with God, He gives me more compassion and understanding for others. He helps me to call out the greatness in those I’m closest to by challenging them to reach their potential in Him. Ultimately, we are here to serve Him by serving others. Ouch! That one sure hurts, doesn’t it? Yet it still is important to communicate our needs, too.

      I don’t know if you’ve gone or considered counseling, but it has certainly helped me personally, and us as a couple. Was it easy? No. But I am so glad that we humbled ourselves to get help. Here’s a link to find a counselor if interested: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about/contact-us

      If you have the opportunity, I cannot overemphasize enough, the value of marriage “check-ups”. The Weekend to Remember would be ideal for you. It’s non-threatening and will breathe new life into your relationship. Whether you have a great marriage or one that is falling apart, it will really minister to you. It literally saved our marriage and has helped (and continues to) help us through each stage of marriage and parenting. Here is the link to find dates/locations if interested: http://www.familylife.com/weekend-to-remember
      Make sure to use the code “ForMyMarriage” for a $100 discount on the registration fee.

      In regards to help with the sexual part of marriage, I think you will find these resources helpful. Here are some articles: http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/staying-married/romance-and-sex

      Here are some radio program series to check out: http://familylifetoday.com/topics/marriage/romance-and-sex/

      Many people have also used the “love languages” concept to strengthen their relationships. Here’s a link to learn more: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

      I would also like to pray for you.

      Heavenly Father,
      Thank You that You are love. We only need to look to You to see what true love is. How we need to learn to receive Your perfect love that casts out fear and satisfies the deepest longings in our soul. Yet, You also gave us relationships to learn how to give and receive love. I pray that You would pour out Your love and grace to this woman and her husband. I pray that they would know You intimately and that their relationship with You would spill over into their relationship with each other. I ask You to help them overlook the shortcomings in the other and grant forgiveness freely as You have forgiven them. Use them in a mighty way to represent You in all that they do and say. Let their marriage reflect Christ and His church. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

      Again, thanks for writing in to Ever Thine Home.

      Blessings,

      Bev

  8. Regarding Divorce,
    Please read the WHOLE Verse…
    Malachi 2:16
    “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Isreal, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

    I am currently divorced. I was married for 30 years to an abusive, violent man. Having been brow beat by many in the church who have chosen to take bits and pieces of scripture out of context and tie them up into a neat little package that says you must remain under the same roof with a man who has tried to take your life on more than one occasion! This sounds Nothing like what Jesus taught! Praise God that He finally led me to the scriptures that set me free! I hoped and prayed continually and yet he still stalks me. Only God can change a heart and only in His timing if it is His will! Not ours!
    I would Love to see it addressed and often regarding our Lords heart regarding violence in the marriage and seeking safety! It is unconscionable to do otherwise! It has nearly cost me my life on more than one occasion! Praying wisdom, discernment and safety for the statistically 1 in 3 ladies who will deal with this scenario in their lifetimes. Yes same numbers in our churches. It can not be swept under the rug because it makes some people uncomfortable. There is EVIL / Dark Souls / Psycopaths / sociopaths out there. 1 in 25 hides among us. Not EVERY marriage is meant to be saved! Prayerfully yours

    1. I have walked your path and am also divorced after God literally asked me to choose HIM (God) over my then-husband. I feel He allowed me to see the pattern for what it would be had I continued worshiping the idol that my marriage had become. With true fear I moved forward asking HIM to stop me, if I was in error. While I was the one who filed the paperwork, I believe it was only bringing truth to situation of what my marriage had become. I prayed that I could be a tool in my then-husband’s life to allow him to feel the consequence of sin (for so long I enabled it). The divorce went through and with it all the difficult consequences of single motherhood and sharing children between two homes. We still suffer the after-effects, but I’m so grateful that the Lord delivered me from a marriage that was bondage.

      1. Where can we read more about your story “God literally asked me to choose Him over my husband” is there scripture to support that? What were the deal breakers that spoke divorce to you? You stoery makes me wonder about staying years in a marriage that will not change.

  9. My brother is getting remarried this coming weekend after 7 years of trying to reconcile with his wife. All these words that you wrote resonate with me yet I also struggle with feeling like I am being harsh with him to say or encourage him to keep trying to fix what the other will not. I want him to woo his wife, to see her as the wife of his youth and that God is at work in her so that He might be glorified through their reunion. That his choosing to woo her would strengthen their marriage and validate that even through hard things God is at work and HE wins! That this might be a happy ending that displays God’s glory…but can I really encourage him to not marry this woman that he has already been dating, proposed to, (and planned to marry while giving me only a month 1/2 notice)? Can I really tell him that he should not give up hope after 7 years of it not changing her heart? After the church leader got involved and told her that she had a right to divorce him and that she had the right to live off his salary, take all rights to the kids, paint him to be a monster? The courts ruled against her, said she didn’t know what she was talking about to say he was an unfit father, but he went through counseling and depression, feeling like even the church was against him…how can I tell him that he should not give up and seek his first wife? I wish it would be true! I wish they could have already worked it out and that the church would have been their cheerleaders to make that happen, but it didn’t! And so I am left feeling like in 5 days it will be too late for them to ever recover their marriage…and feeling like it is already too late.

  10. I cannot tell you how much this article meant to me today. This is my story. My husband is walking the plan to divorce me and will not budge. He is refusing counseling and even though it’s been over a month since he told me, he still talks about filing and is drawing up paperwork to divide our things. My heart is broken, yet I BELIEVE God can heal even this. Some days more than others it is hard to take even one step trying to wait on the promises of Jesus. I know that even if the divorce is finalized there is still hope and I know that God will never leave me nor forsake me. However it is painful everyday and I often feel lonely and far from God.

    1. I feel your pain, as I remember my own when going through the same thing. Let me encourage you to continue to pray for his heart and yours, and that God will place the right people in his path. I’ll also encourage you to reach out to others who will hopefully feel led to speak to him. Lean on God so he can direct your path.

    2. I feel your ache and your pain, I’m so very sorry that you are experiencing this. God will walk with you, whatever path your husband chooses. He will satisfy you in ways you cannot imagine. I am praying for you, because I understand.

  11. God does not see a remarriage as a new covenant. It is the first marriage where the covenant was made and therefore the first marriage that takes precedence. How can you say that God is ok with a second marriage when only one person breaks the covenant and commits adultery? Where is that stated in the Bible?

    1. When a covenant is broken, we are not required to honor it, even though we may not be rescued from the consequences. Jer. 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce…” There are times when the offending party will only change by reaping the full consequences of their actions/sin. In such cases, I believe we are acting with God to call it what it is and remove ourselves from being bound to such persons.

  12. “If you or your former spouse has remarried, there is no longer an opportunity for reconciliation. Once a new covenant has been made, God expects it to be honored. If you have remarried find help and encouragement for your new marriage from FamilyLife Blended.”

    Barbara – The admonishment is outstanding, but … would you and Dennis please show us where we can find this one piece advice in the Bible? (Old and New Testament references please). Kindly keep gender specific instructions in Scripture where they are at. God certainly does.

    I disagree with your statement above (it likely can be worded better) – why? Well, in it’s present form, if above is true, then you’ll need to review the stories on the Family Life website and remove those stories where spouses divorced, remarried another, divorced again, and reconciled the original relationship. My heart breaks again that we believers in Jesus Christ so often (maybe not intentionally) teach as commandments the doctrines of men.

      1. Really? Strong, yes. Judgmental, no.

        I don’t feel Barbara’s statement (likely better said “comment”) is as cut and dried as published. For many years I have followed and given to Family Life as the Weekend to Remember ministry has been an beautiful instrument of the Lord for many couples, as has the whole Family Life website being an encouragement to live life in and for Jesus Christ. I love both Dennis and Barbara Rainey and know that from past experience, they take the time to think through what they publish – and will admit and confess if it didn’t come off the way it was envisioned. For all practical reasons, I’ve asked for Scriptural proof because I know I can, as the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and they have honored many folks who have asked the same in the past.

        1. Tona,
          I share your same concern and would also be interested in scripture that supports that statement. I see nothing wrong with your tone or your request.

    1. Just a personal note to this thought – Reconciliation may not mean marriage. Forgiveness, respect and cooperation can happen even if two original spouses choose not to remarry or into that kind of covenant again. When you no longer hold someone else responsible for your circumstances, but forgive him/her and trust that God will bring good from even difficulty, there is opportunity for reconciliation. Many parents are able to co-parent or work together for the good of their children without remaining married. Yes, I think anyone reading this accepts that the perfect situation is two parents, married and living in one home together. However, we live in a fallen world and sometimes expecting the perfect outcome leads to disappointment and doubt in our Lord. Truly we must release ourselves and our marriage to HIS will and trust Him with the outcome.

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