Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! – 1 Corinthians 13:8 NLT
I’ve been a marriage and family counselor for more than 30 years. I’ve heard every story imaginable about why couples are dissatisfied with their marriage. Financial problems, changes in sex life, feeling trapped, emotional or verbal abuse, an affair, addiction issues, or “I don’t love him/her anymore”, are some of the more common reasons.
Many of the couples I counsel have contemplated divorce. However, I always advise couples that divorce is not the answer to future happiness. In fact, separation often creates more problems and issues (especially if you have children) than choosing to stay the course and working hard to repair your marriage.
As believers, we must realize that no matter how we feel or what we face in our relationships, Jesus emphasized the permanency of marriage in Scripture. Marriage is intended to be permanent since it was established by God (Matthew 19:6).
Now, before we move on, it’s important to understand that there are some circumstances where divorce may be the only answer. Emotional, verbal, and physical abuse are all situations that demand immediate separation and possible legal action.
However, for many couples contemplating divorce, no violence or imminent danger is at play. There are simply two fallible people struggling to stay afloat amidst the challenges of daily life. If this describes your relationship and you find yourself considering separation or divorce, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Remember that your marriage covenant was meant to last a lifetime. Christ longs to be at the center of your marriage. Resolving relationship issues will demand a commitment to Christ and to one another.
2. Be willing to forgive one another. Don’t forget that every marriage is made up of two imperfect humans. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
3. Choose to walk in love. Remember, God’s love doesn’t keep track of wrongs suffered. Loving your spouse is a daily choice.
4. Keep your heart set on God’s promises. When you’re struggling with your spouse, seek God’s wisdom in Scripture and prayer.
Above all, don’t be so quick to give up on your marriage. With God’s help, there is no marriage that is beyond healing and repair.
1. Have you ever contemplated divorce? What do you believe the Bible says about marriage and divorce?
2. What’s one step you can take this week to work on your marriage and love your spouse well?