It seems that marriages all around me, from friends to family members are suddenly giving up. Why does divorce seem so rampant right now? Why are they believing the lie that they would be better off without their spouse.
It seems in each situation that I personally know about, somewhere along the line, spiritual armor was dropped and busyness overtook quality time. This guarantees an open door for temptations, as well as, the potential for old unhealthy habits to reemerge and wreck havoc in your marriage. Then starts the cycle of disappointment, my needs are not being met-so-your needs are not going to get met, anger, poor judgment, and disillusionment.
As a divorced woman I am not judging or pointing fingers. While it's clear that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16a “For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel), it is also clear the reason He hates divorce is because it breaks a covenant (promise) made at the time of a marriage between a man and a woman. Divorce opens the door for remarriage, which in itself is not a sin but, it does violate the intended pattern that God established when He created one wife for Adam at the beginning of time.
I firmly believe divorce may be necessary in the case of abuse (physical, emotional, or verbal) or unrepentant (intentional and continuing) sin choices that can affect the family or others in negative or unhealthy ways (i.e. adultery, gambling, alcoholism, drug addictions, etc).
My heart breaks for friends and family members who have succumbed to the worlds belief that divorce is somehow the answer to all their problems. If you are in a situation where there is not abuse or on-going unrepentant sin that is affecting you in a negative or unhealthy way, then I want to challenge you to consider these ten things before you give up!
1. Write down how you met your spouse and what first attracted you to him/her.
2. Make a list of memories you have made together (vacations, traditions, events you have attended together, birth or adoption of children, holidays, first kiss, movies, music, or books you have enjoyed together, pets you have shared, nicknames, or silly things you have said to one another in happier times, etc).
3. Write down your needs and desires that are not currently being met (without blaming or finger pointing) and a realistic plan that involves both of you being successful in meeting these needs/desire.
4. Be open and willing to hearing from each other and intentional to pursue one another's needs/desires together.
5. Be willing to face the hardest part- which is- the root issue....what is at the very core of your unhappiness? Be specific....Fear of abandonment? Fear in general?Resentment? Lack of control? Depression? Jealousy? Anger? Co-dependency? Destructive behaviors/choices? Feeling unappreciated?
6. Do you know your Love Language? Do you know your spouses Love Language? If so, what can you do to speak it to him/her today? If not, CLICK HERE to find out what your Love Language is, ask your spouse to take the test too and then compare your Love Languages. Write down ways that your spouse can realistically speak your Love Language to you every day. Be receptive to the ways your spouse suggests you can speak his/her Love Language.
7. Be willing to seek help with a qualified marriage counselor.
8. Remember forgiveness does not come with an eraser but, it does come with grace. It will take time to rebuild what has been torn down. While you don't want to rush towards reconciliation (lest, you not fully get to the root), you also don't want to become stagnate. A steady intentional pace is best.
9. You can't undo what has been said or done but, you can choose to move forward together.
10. Be willing to invest your time, money, and heart towards hope in your marriage!
There is always HOPE!
For my local readers Music City Church in Nashville is hosting a Marriage Conference:Take Your Marriage Back. Join us, Friday, March 27, 2015 6pm-10pm. Ramon Presson, PhD and licensed marriage & family therapist, is our Speaker, and Jazz recording artist Debbie Cunningham is our music guest. Dinner provided by Amicos and dessert by Angels of Mine Cakes. Door prizes and goody bags await every couple and after the event you will have the opportunity to continue your date night just a little longer by choosing from one of Date Night Experiences. To register or for more information please visit Music City Church and be prepared to Take Your Marriage Back.