This post will probably rub many people the wrong way – especially my fellow Christians. Good. I hope it does. There’s a very important point to this, so keep reading.
First, let me make this very clear. Divorce is hard and painful. If I would have known my first marriage was going to end in divorce, I never would have gotten married. I’m sure that goes without saying, but I’m saying it. But I also believe that no time is ever wasted and God redeems everything, including time.
My first marriage was never what I would call “good”. Some people who know me might be surprised by this fact. Others, conversely, are not surprised at all. Perspective is a funny thing. There are several factors that play into this but I truly believe that even if we each would have made better choices, we would have eventually ended up in the same place.
Why do I believe that? Suffice it to say that I’m a problem solver and a fighter. I believe no situation is hopeless. That passion and perseverance were not reciprocated. A relationship like that will never last. And typically, after that pattern goes on long enough, there is a lot of resentment that eventually turns into an emotionally abusive relationship, at best.
In my first marriage, I became a person I didn’t know. Words that come to mind are weak, powerless, co-dependent, pessimistic, underachiever. Now, these words are far from the truth. They are lies from the depths of hell, but that is how I was living.
Here is the trick, though. I believed that if I tried hard enough or “gave it to God” enough, that it would get better and my marriage would be saved. I believed that if I pushed through and persevered that it would get better. And I honestly thought divorce would be the worst possible thing to happen. I wasn’t a quitter. And God is always faithful.
That said, God is always faithful – it just might not be in the way we want Him to be at that time. He works everything out for our good. We just may not be able to see it right now.
During the struggles in my first marriage, I had several well-meaning Christians give me advice.
“God honors marriage.”
“Give it up to Him.”
“God hates divorce.”
“God can redeem any situation.”
These are all TRUE statements. But I’m here to tell you something:
God does hate divorce, but not more than He loves you.
Let me repeat that for those in the back:
God does not hate divorce more than He loves you.
Our God is a personal, loving Father who loves you more than anything. He wants the absolute best for you. It breaks His heart to see His children suffer.
I will never tell someone that if their marriage is struggling, then go get divorced. Every couple and situation is uniquely different. But if the only reason you are still in your marriage is that you think divorce is a sin and you think you’re honoring God by staying, then I want to encourage you in knowing that God loves you more than that. I recommend you shift your heart posture from being sin focused to being focused on our loving, graceful Father.
But if you have a partner who is willing to really work from a place of love, then partner with God and He will honor that.
Remember, God loves you more than He hates divorce. I promise. God will choose you every time.
My life is so much better since choosing divorce. I’ve let go of so much guilt and shame. I’m closer to God than I’ve ever been or thought possible. I am becoming myself again. Positive, loving, driven. And slowly but surely my big dreams are becoming a reality.
I know there will be people who vehemently disagree with this post. I’m good with that. I’m confident in God’s promises for me and that’s all I need. I’ve learned to let the opinions of others not affect me.
But I encourage you to really lean into whatever may be causing offense in your heart about this post. When something causes us to have an offended heart, it is usually God stirring up a wound that needs healing. So lean into that and ask God where you need healing.
Or you can call me a heretic. I’m fine with that too. While I truly hope you find healing, I won’t be offended if you disagree with me.
And for those of you in the tough situation of trying to figure out if divorce is your best option, I’m sorry. It sucks. But I hope you find it encouraging to know that God loves you and blesses you whether or not you make all the right choices. That’s why His grace is so beautiful. The decision is never simple or easy, but He will be by your side through it all.
Finally, for my fellow divorcées; I’ve been there. My prayer for you is wholeness. Full restoration and healing in your family are possible, even though that may seem impossible right now. There is hope and beauty and healing on the other side of divorce. I promise.
10 thoughts on “Divorce: The Best Decision I Made … In the Last 10 Years”
Reblogged this on Wag ‘n Bietjie.
So many sentiments in this article rang true for me in an equally emotionally and eventually abusive relationship.
Leaving was the best Blessing I’ve had in the past 3 years.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing! There is so much shame and guilt no matter the circumstances and there is just no reason for that. I’m so happy you’re out of that and safe ❤
Thank you for sharing YOUR stories. SO much shame for sure. The guilt was a lot easier to not feel as much as time has passed. And feeling safe is one thing that I never thought would be something I’d take for granted.
Wow, thank you so so much. Life sure is beautiful.
*emotionally and eventually physically abusive
Well written, I can related. Best wishes🌹
“God loves you more than He hates divorce.” True! But does God want us to go through divorce?
I respect yours perspective here. But some of us would like to believe that no marriage is irredeemable.
Of course God doesn’t want us to go through divorce. Just like he never wants us to experience loss of a child or betrayal or abuse.
The thing about relationships, and anything in life, is the factor of free will. I think no marriage is irredeemable, if both parties are open to God’s influence on their lives. But both parties need to be willing. If that’s not the case, God will not make us. He respects our free will above His desire for us. He’s not a manipulative God. He’s a respectful God. If my spouse had been willing and open to God’s will in our marriage, then we would have thrived. But he wasn’t, and because he wasn’t, I wasn’t obligated to stay.
I’d say this is true for all relationships. You can’t manipulate people to love and respect you. You can do your part and talk with God over it. Every relationship is different. But our Papa would never request us to stay in a relationship at the expense of who he made us to be. He can redeem anything, but that doesn’t mean He will. But the only way to know that is to have that conversation with Holy Spirit.
This post was for people who are only staying married because God hates divorce. It’s a popular belief in the church that people should stay married no matter what – and that belief has caused so much pain, bitterness, and sadly, even death. I don’t believe that’s God’s intention with marriage.
Great. Thank you.