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 biased. 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 to 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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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I’m sorry…what? So you’re telling me that when God pulled me from my habitual infidelity (I was lost after my husband cheated the first time) and turned my life around, that He can’t do it again? That God in all His glory, brought me BACK to my marriage when I felt absolutely nothing for my husband or marriage, for Him to tell me to “walk away” from my husband who is now lost and broken? Who has had false starts with me? Who I’ve seen struggle because this other woman (who is married with 3 kids) keeps him wrapped up? That God would dangle a carrot? So you’re basically a naysayer then? I’m standing for my marriage and honestly I thought this was the place to find a non naysayer. I’ve been standing for 1 year. He filed and couldn’t serve me for MONTHS until last week. He doesn’t even feel like it’s the right thing biblically but he doesn’t know what to do and I’m supposed to believe that with INFIDELITY God will tell me to “walk away”? No. God asked me to stand. Covenant is not something broken by sin. It’s a promise. A lifelong promise. I may have made my mistakes and let the enemy take hold of me and my marriage before, but no. Not anymore. You need to edit your article. This is what has gotten some standers to quit, just like the whole “free will” argument and the “divorce for infidelity”. Show grace. When my spouse cheated I had “biblical grounds” and yet with papers in my hand I decided to show grace. Show grace to those who are trying to find hope in what seems to be a hopeless situation. Divorce is not the option. Infidelity or not. Or are you prepared to tell God that He was wrong when He took an adulterous, lying, alcoholic, evil, drug addicted, abusive wife (who grew up in church) who was ready to divorce and even took pictures of divorce papers while smiling, and turned her around, softened her heart to her husband and marriage, changed her life completely, telling her to stay in the marriage to then tell her to walk away? God is not a man to change His mind. That’s not who He is. I know it. I wish you took a different stand in regards to “habitual cheating”. We don’t choose to do so, it happens when we become so broken and search for healing in the wrong place. We don’t sit down and say “ Well, in 3 months I’m going to find a man/woman and cheat on my spouse.” So for me, free will only goes so far and God doesn’t give up, cheating or not. If God won’t give up on my husband, why would I?
I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult time in your marriage. And I’m sorry you took offense to what I have written here. However, I see no need to edit this article. This article is about helping people decern what God may be speaking to them. I’ve seen too many times where people give up on their marriage without truly considering what God wanted them to do. Every part of this article is about challenging someone who wants to quit their marriage. I’ve seen too many Christians leave their marriage for ridiculous reasons without ever considering what God’s will is about marriage.
The part that seems to bother you is where I listed three reasons God “might” tell a person to move on. If a spouse is suffering from abuse, abandonment, or habitual cheating, and they “want” to give up on their marriage, then they’re free to do so. Under those circumstances, it is possible for a spouse to hear God say yes the marriage is over. God’s grace would never force a person to stand for their marriage when biblical grounds for divorce have been established. Yet, if you’re someone who wants to stand even when you don’t have to, I believe God supports your decision and so do I.
God bless you in all your efforts to restore your marriage.
My asked me to leave the day before my birthday in February. We talked and saw each other until July and she the, abruptly ended our relationship by leaving a message on my phone, telling me not to ever contact her again. Then she sent me an email saying, our relationship was over after 25 year and she was filing for divorce.
This sent me into a tail spin. She cut me off from all communication, so I have had no contact with for three months. I obtained an attorney and was going to divorce her, but my father talked me out of that and another friend. To date, she has not filed for divorce or contacted me. I am hoping she just needs some time. I would do anything for my wife, because I am in love with her!