Marriages end every day because men and women believe a lie. Circumstances vary from one couple to another, but the lie is always the same. What lie do they believe? The lie they believe is that their marriage is over. And everywhere they turn they seem to always find voices that support the lie.
This happens when husbands and wives with troubled hearts going through tough times in their marriage reach out for help. And the people in their lives who try to help say things like, “it’s too late, your marriage is over.” “Your marriage is too damaged, you should just move on.” And “you deserve better than this. God has a better plan for you.”
I know many husbands and wives are hearing this because I hear what other people are saying to those I know. And because similar words were spoken to me concerning my marriage during our difficult years. With all the marriage trouble I went through I heard plenty of advice like that. Which, was no help at all.
Who said your marriage is over?
If you’re hearing this kind of advice, stop and ask yourself who is telling you this about your marriage. Is this man’s opinion you’re hearing, or is it God’s? The Bible does tell you to seek wise counsel. But, godly people sometimes give bad advice, especially when their advice is bias. Even your pastor is capable of giving bias counsel if he’s only hearing your side of the situation or only looking at the natural circumstances. So, you have to use wisdom with the advice you receive.
The people in your life may mean well and have no desire to lead you wrong. But their opinions are often short-sighted. They’re quick to try to set you free from your current pain while overlooking what could be more painful in the long run. And usually, their opinion is solely based on what they’ve seen and heard. Forgetting to consider what God is doing or about to do that they’re unaware of.
Why are you listening to them?
The second thing to ask yourself is, why are you listening to people that say your marriage is over? If those are the only voices you’re hearing, there’s a good chance it’s because those are the only voices you want to hear.
If you think your marriage is over you’re going to look for people to support that belief. So you need to be honest with yourself. When you hear someone say something that supports this idea that your marriage is over, do you feel a sense of relief? Does it feel good knowing other people agree with you?
Could it be that you’re glad your marriage is over, but you’re not sure what God thinks about it? So, you go around with an itching ear trying to find enough people or the “right people” that can scratch your itch and tell you what you want to hear. And then somehow if you can hear it enough from other people you can at least minimize the risk that you might be missing God’s will on the matter.
I’ve been there.
This happened with me and I’ve learned to recognize it. There were times I felt hopeless and defeated. In those times I wanted to believe my marriage was over. I wanted to have God’s permission to let my marriage go.
So, every time I felt that way I knew the right people to talk to and the right songs to listen to. In those moments when I wanted to quit I wanted to hear encouraging words that would strengthen my resolve as I tried to move on. I wanted my mind to be made up and I didn’t want any doubts to confuse me.
But, then the majority of the time I wanted to save my marriage. In those times I found myself seeking advice from only the people who were for my marriage, which were not very many. And I only listened to music and songs that encouraged my hope and faith to keep holding on.
Your enemy is a liar
I believe there is something more important at stake here than your marriage or your right to be happy. There is an enemy of your life out there and he is looking for ways to destroy you. When you let this enemy convince you that your marriage is over, when it shouldn’t be, you are giving him a huge victory. And you better believe this enemy will not stop there.
This enemy will take this bad decision of yours and he will run havoc and chaos in your life. And not only in your own life. He will do the same to your spouse, your children, and the rest of your family. Give him a chance and he will even use this to hurt the next generations of children, grandchildren, and beyond. Once you throw this stone in the pond, you’ll have no control over how far the ripples will carry.
Will God say your marriage is over?
There are certain problems, like abuse, where I do believe God will lead a spouse to walk away from the marriage. This could be just for a season if the abusive behavior can be corrected. But it can also be permanent when the abuse puts a spouse or children’s well being in danger.
This also applies to habitual cheating. Infidelity is a serious problem that has to be repented of and overcome with forgiveness and rebuilding trust. But when infidelity is an obvious pattern of behavior, I believe that is also a time when God will tell a spouse to walk away.
And the only other reason I believe a person might hear God directing them away from their marriage is desertion. This is when their spouse has already left the marriage and after a reasonable amount of time and or circumstances, it becomes apparent the departing spouse’s decision is permanent.
But while abuse, habitual infidelity, and desertion are legitimate reasons you may hear God say “your marriage is over.” From my experience, most people who believe their marriage is over are not hearing this from God.
God is for marriage
How can I be so sure to say this? Because God is for marriage and I don’t believe He accepts defeat. He doesn’t give up when the battle gets tough. I think He does believe in His ability to do the impossible. God wants to give a new life where there’s death. He wants to bring peace to the chaos. He wants to heal what is broken. And He wants to restore what the enemy has tried to destroy.
When I think about the way some people believe it’s okay to say their marriage is over, I imagine God meeting them in a garden somewhere like He did Adam and Eve. And when He finds them hiding behind some lame excuse they have chosen to believe, I can hear Him ask “who told you your marriage is over?”
Am I saying I know what God has told you? No. I can never presume to know what God speaks to another person. I have enough to worry about trying to hear what He is saying to me. But I do know there’s a reason God hates divorce. So, this means to me that there’s a good chance He is NOT the one saying your marriage is over.
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