We all know the statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2009), close to 50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. This means that if four of your siblings, cousins, or friends get married in 2012, only two of their marriages will last. Although we have the statistics, which are staggering and disheartening, we do not know the reason for each divorce. Maybe people are rushing into marriage without being ready. Maybe people aren’t taking their vows seriously. Maybe people aren’t seeking wise counsel to help them through trying times. Or, maybe people are just being trifling. We don’t know, but we shouldn’t assume either.
Unfortunately, divorce happens. Irreconcilable differences do exist. Marriages fail. And sometimes divorce is necessary in order for two people to stay alive, to maintain their health and sanity, and to possibly even protect the children. Of course, this is not God’s ideal. He would have it that a husband and wife stay together until death parts them. Married couples should do everything possible to work out their issues and to build a healthy, fulfilling marriage for everyone involved. For my husband and I, divorce is not even in our vocabulary in terms of our relationship. But there are millions of other couples for which this is not the case.
For them, divorce is traumatic, especially for the spouse who desires to save the marriage, but in particular for the children who need both parents. Many divorcees say divorce is like a death. There is a definite sense of loss that is accompanied by grief. At this very moment, I know people who are going through a divorce and who desperately need support. I’m sure you know someone, too, or maybe even it’s you. I offer these words of encouragement:
Now here is what divorce does mean. It means you should learn from past mistakes. It means you should evaluate how you contributed to the problems in the relationship. It means you should spend time healing and forgiving before jumping into another relationship. It means you should allow God to put together your next marriage (if marriage is your desire) and lean on Him to see you through life’s trials. Divorce produces wisdom and wounds. Live by the wisdom and allow God to heal the wounds. When you do, you will be able to move forward expecting to live happily ever after, regardless of your marital status.
If you are married, what are you doing to fortify your marriage from divorce? If you are divorced, how are you healing and moving forward?