Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
I’ve often stated it this way: When you get married, regardless of the former circumstances, it becomes the will of God for you to stay married. The will of God for our lives in found in the Word, not in subjective circumstance.
In the above verses, Paul addresses the relationship between two believers in a marriage relationship. He tells both husband and wife that God’s best is that they not divorce when they have difficulties. He acknowledges that at times someone will succumb to the pressures of life and divorce, and in that case he tells believers to remain unmarried for a period of time because as long as they both remain unmarried, there is the possibility of restoring the relationship.
Susan and I have been married 36 years this month! She’s had a lot to put up with in me! We made a decision before we were married that when married, we would never consider separation or divorce as a way to solve problems that would arise.
Just like everyone else, we’ve had disagreements and challenges over the years. That comes with just being human! But we both made the choice to deal with ourselves and to let the Father deal with us.
For two believers, unless there is unrepentant adultery involved, they should work together to solve their problems. Separation and divorce do not solve problems. Separation often creates a sense of false peace and removes the immediate pressure to problem solve together. And divorce doesn’t solve the problems either; those that go that route may find themselves dealing with the same problems they had in the previous relationship when they marry again.
Some people say, well, we have marriage problems. Actually, it isn’t the marriage that is having the problem, it’s the two people that make up the marriage that have personal issues that they must face and deal with! Marriage problems are people problems!
God hates divorce because it hurts people, it wounds children, and it weakens society. For us Christians, we have tools available to us to help solve our personal problems that hinder marriage. We have the Word of God to believe and obey. We have the fruit of the spirit that we must choose to develop. We have the Holy Spirit that will help us change. We have the spiritual strength that comes from praying. We have the ability to pray the perfect will of God by praying in the spirit. We have the authority to command Satan to take his hands off of us and our family. We must use what God provides.
Work on your marriage today by working on yourself. You can change yourself. You can’t change your spouse, and you’ll frustrate yourself if you try! Keep yourself built up in the Word. Pray for your spouse and for the Father to watch over you and your marriage. Ask for His help. Ask for His wisdom and strength. Refuse the taunting of the enemy to compromise with the influences of the world.
Get some outside help if you can’t work problems out on your own. Often, an objective third party can give insight into what a couple cannot see while they are under the pressure of the circumstance. The Lord wants your marriage to work!