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View May 2008 Issue >>
 

 Divorce: Is There A Christian Alternative?

 

As a lawyer I used to ‘process’ at least four to five divorces through our court system every month.  It was usually accompanied by much hurt and bitterness and it was one area of the practice of law that I found most distressing as it rarely appeared to resolve anything. It was as though people were replacing one set of circumstances that were not ideal with another set of circumstances that were even less ideal.

 

We all know that it is very easy to get divorced in our courts today – all you need to do is make a statement at court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down and the court will grant you an order of divorce.

 

You need to ask yourself: In God’s eyes, has my marriage truly broken down?  Can man really put asunder what God has put together?

 

All of us set out in our marriages planning never to get divorced and to love our partners “till death do us part”.

 

Yet more than half our marriages end in divorce.

 

People still prefer to get married in a church, even if that is the only time in their lives that they attend church. There is a level of understanding even amongst non-Christians that marriage has been ordained by God and that the marriage needs to be sanctified by God.

 

I have discovered in my years of practice as a divorce lawyer that man (or our courts) cannot really set aside what God has joined together.  The parties remain connected to each other despite an order of divorce from our courts and they remain in a lif-long relationship. 

 

The dynamic of the relationship has however changed, and the intimacy of the marriage has been violated.  The relationship often becomes entrenched in the hearts and minds of the parties and the minds of their children, as one that has failed. There is often a lot of unforgiveness and the children of these marriages carry this brokenness into their lives and relationships.

 

I would like to encourage each and every one of you who might be contemplating a divorce, to earnestly seek God’s Will for your life and in the circumstances that you find yourself.  Nothing is ever impossible with God. 

 

The best advice I have ever received is that one should learn to forgive not only for the wrongs of the past, but right into the future.  This means that you truly set your spouse free. You will find that any hardness of heart on the part of your spouse will soften if you forgive. This will be the beginning of a restoration of your relationship.

 

You need to also make a conscious decision not to follow your natural urge to want ‘out’ of the relationship and you should make a renewed commitment to make your marriage work.  If such a commitment is truly made in an atmosphere of true forgiveness for whatever your spouse may or may not have done to you, or may even do in the future, only then can God start to make miracles happen in your marriage.

 

God will then also be able to show you where perhaps you had gone wrong in the relationship, or may speak into other areas of your life that might have hampered you in your relationship with your spouse.

 

If you make a renewed commitment to make the marriage work, it is one step in the right direction and God will honour that. God will come through for you when you suffer hurts and setbacks.

 

You will also find that at the end of this long and bumpy road, your marriage may well be restored to a position which you had never imagined. You may discover a richness in your relationship that you never previously knew existed or thought was possible.

 

Pray and expect the Lord to hear your prayers – He is faithful!

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