Divorce can be a difficult and heart-breaking process, but you don’t have to go through it alone-God’s teachings from the Bible can help provide comfort and wisdom during this difficult season of life. Discover how God’s unconditional love can bring peace, hope, and healing to your marriage after divorce.
We will talk about the things you need to take into consideration before you put all your hope into God restoring your broken marriage or before you believe divorce is the only option.
How will you know what the right thing to do is? Seeking Jesus Christ and studying God’s word is the best, and only way, to know God’s plan for your life. So, let’s see how much we can discover together.
You may be wondering if you have the grounds for a biblical divorce, or you may hope your marital relationship will turn around- or like you are lacking faith.
Understand the gravity of divorce and abuse
Marriage was intended to be a blessing to the husband and wife, and those around them; especially their children. So what happens when marriage is not a blessing? And no, I am not talking about an unmet expectation that any earthly human would struggle to meet all the time. What I am talking about is abuse. And these types of marriages are heavier than the pain of divorce could ever be.
Abuse goes far beyond marriage problems.
I don’t believe that divorce should be taken lightly- even when abuse is involved. However, divorce is lifesaving when the marriage circumstances of marriage are suffocating.
In Matthew 19:8-9, Jesus explains that the Creator put marriage together and it should stay that way: “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning, it has not been this way.” God intends for marriages to last and remains strong.
This is true, God’s design for marriage was intended for life. But marriage is also intended to glorify God, honoring both the husband and the wife. Marriage is a joint submission between the married couple loving and caring. Ephesians 5:21-33.
Can we conclude that divorce is such an abomination before that lord that the lack of love and care is not?
Remember God’s Love for Broken Teachable Hearts
When it comes to marriages that have fallen apart, we can find hope and comfort in understanding God’s love for us. Many of the stories in the Bible show the power and grace of God when restoring broken relationships – including marriages. It is important to remember that God is always available to us during difficult times, ready to offer us peace, understanding, and hope as He works through our lives.
My grace is sufficient and is more than we could ever wish for, and His power is made perfect in weakness. But there does have to be a humble heart posture toward the Lord and repentance.
Repentance is admitting and turning from wrongdoing. Without it, we do not submit ourselves to the Lord and come underneath His leading in our lives. God gave us free will, so we do have to choose to submit to Him.
He is the Lord of all grace.
Seek Counsel from those in the Faith.
Counseling from those who are well-versed in the teachings of the Bible can be invaluable when it comes to understanding God’s perspective on a difficult situation like divorce or separation. Taking time to speak with a pastor, counselor, or another Christian advisor may give you the tools and understanding you need to heal and move forward in life.
Be cautious about who you open up to. Not everyone who claims to be a believer in Christ has your best interest at heart. And though many will be well-meaning, it is important to confide in someone who understands toxic dynamics and is trauma-informed. Trauma-informed care is one that will avoid retraumatizing you and will ensure that your helper (whether counselor or advocate) will help them see the whole picture. As well as, how circumstances have impacted your journey and how that plays into your healing.
Trust in God’s Mercy and Forgiveness
Divorce can be a heartbreaking experience and even in cases where it’s necessary, there can be feelings of guilt and shame. However, God is full of love and mercy, and He will forgive our transgressions when we come to him with an open heart. Restoring your faith in the Lord may help you navigate the challenges of divorce, allowing you to move forward with a renewed hope that healing is possible. The new testament is clear we have a real enemy and we must not lean on our own understanding.
We should not disobey, or rebel, against God because we know He will forgive us. However, we can expect Him to be true to His word and forgive us when we come to Him with repentant and tender hearts.
What Does the Bible Say About Divorce?
The Bible clearly states that God’s original intention for marriage is for it to last a lifetime, but unfortunately, divorce sometimes happens. In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 gives laws regarding divorce and remarriage. According to this verse, if a husband puts his wife away he must not remarry her unless she has become another man’s wife- in other words divorce was allowed but was only seen as a last resort when the marriage could not be salvaged.
It is worth mentioning that God gave this law to men, who were abandoning their wives, without a certificate of divorce (or divorce appers), for no reason and subjecting the divorced woman to an impoverished life without protection or being provided for.
There are some bible verses that are given in the Bible that allow divorce. These are abandonment and adultery, both are biblical grounds for divorce. We will discuss this in more detail at the end of the article. To summarize: Abuse is the abandonment of the marriage vows.
How to study God’s word when your heart is broken?
Reading the Bible, God’s word is the best way we can hear from God and learn who He really is. God can speak to people in a lot of ways, like through others and through circumstances. However, marinating yourself in God’s word has the least likelihood of us getting it wrong. God is always with, and always pursuing His children.
But focusing can be hard when your heart is broken. So, how can you spend time with God, in His word, and get something out of it? Here are a few ideas.
Get in a place that is comfortable for you. Maybe you like it quiet, or with music. Maybe you prefer to be alone. Or the opposite may be true, maybe you don’t want to be alone at all.
Don’t put any pressure on yourself to finish any amount of reading. The Psalms can be very helpful, and the poetic nature of this book is very comforting. When you find one that is comforting to you, read it often as you are able.
Next steps are to pray and trust the God of all grace! I find it to be helpful to use a prayer journal. You may like praying out loud or silently more, and that’s ok. Whatever you are feeling, bring it to God, and call out to Him in the name of Jesus. Messy, unfiltered, and raw may feel vulnerable, but this is where you will experience Him most.
He already sees you, your struggles, and your heartache. He knows what is going on inside of your mind and your heart. And still… there is nothing you could ever do to make Him love you any less. I love this verse and the open posture it has toward God, the father. It is my hope you will adopt it for yourself in your journey toward your heavenly father. Place your broken heart in God’s hands.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23-24.
How will I know what God’s plan is for my life?
Sometimes we do not know the answer to this until we are already there. We won’t know until it is happening or has happened already. Things do not usually go with our original plan, or even as hoped. But we can rest in knowing that God does know His plans, and He alone will bring them to pass.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
It can be a tricky thing to learn to take a step without seeing the whole picture. Logically, there is the knowledge that God is omniscient (all-knowing), but knowing and believing are different things. God will meet you where you are, and you can ask for what you need and lack. Even if that is for God to move your knowledge into your heart as well. Remember, God is with you in this tough time.
Is Marriage Restoration Possible?
Yes, he can change, but not on his own, not overnight. And not without a few things, which we will get into. It does take a little while to see if the changes are lasting, sometimes longer.
Marital problems are nothing new. You see, people do not just wake up one morning and decide they’re going to start being controlling and abusive. A lot of things can build up that creates a perfect storm. Sometimes a person’s childhood, a mental illness, or addiction are a part of what makes it easy to behave a certain way. Either way, they’re still 100% irresponsible for their actions and remaining in control of their emotions, and behaving responsibly and considerately around others- all others- including their wives and children.
No matter what happened to someone, or why a person may have ended up with a mental illness or learned certain behaviors. Abuse is ALWAYS a choice. He is not losing control. Does he ever lose control and damage his own things? Does he ever lose control of his boss? Or with people at the store? I’m willing to bet that he only damages you and maybe your kids’ things. I’m willing to bet that he only loses his cool with you. Sure, maybe he goes off on his mom or sisters, maybe he got heated when he called a customer service line to negotiate a bill. But, you are the one he loses control with- which is not losing control at all, it is calculated and strategic. It is designed to make you do what he wants you to do. It is to make himself more powerful in your eyes. While keeping up his tender and loving facade to the outside world.
A couple of necessary mil markers for change
- True heart and soul change can only come from the Lord. Only God can change a heart and it takes repentance to allow Him to do mighty work.
In Ezekiel God says “And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh.”
- Therapy is a must for a long time, and in some cases, it should be lifelong.
- Medication is sometimes necessary when mental illness or a personality disorder is involved.
Only when a complete change in behavior, for a very long time, regardless of his needs or demands being met, then can there be a healthy relationship rebuilt after many unhealthy years of a troubled marriage.
Is God mad at me if I get divorced?
When God created the world, and all that is in it, he said “it is good.” But when sin came into the world, through disobedience to God. There were things that were not so good anymore. This can be found in Genesis 1-3. Sin is the very reason we have disorder and decay in our lives and the world today. Because of sin, God gave us the law and ultimately a savior. It is God’s heart that we would bring Him our broken pieces. The law was there to show us our need for a savior. The law did not provide salvation, because of our sinful nature, all humans are incapable of righteousness on our own. This proved our need for a savior.
Had Adam and Eve not disobeyed God, then there would have been no need for the rest of the Bible past Genesis 2. That is not the case, and we now have 66 books in the Bible that are full of wisdom, guidance, and truths that help in your current situation. But it’s god grace, because of man’s sin, that we needed God’s guidance.
We receive a good few pearls of wisdom about marriage and how God design married couples to act throughout the Bible.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all” Hebrews 13:4 ESV
We know off the bat that the sin of adultery defiles the legal union of a man and a woman. Meaning the command of marriage is honored and becomes a broken command. But you know what else breaks this command? Abuse!
Marriage was designed by God, for people. And it was a gift given to people, and not a command. But God did not leave people to their own devices to try to figure it out on their own.
Here are some Biblical truths about marriage:
- Marriage is between a man and a woman, and both should leave their families and become one flesh.
- Marriage is to be held with honor. Hebrews 13:4
- Fulfilled promises and the marriage covenant.
- To raise godly children. Genesis 1:28
- A picture of Jesus and His bride, the Church. Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2
- God’s desire for godly offspring. Malachi 2:15
God’s original design for marriage was for it to be kept seriously.
Abuse is the abandonment of the vows made on a wedding day. When a husband says he will love and cherish his wife, he has broken his promise to her when he is harsh and abusive in nature. Malichai 14:10-16 shows us that violence, and harsh words, are marital unfaithfulness to the wife of your youth.
How do I help my kids through my divorce?
Oftentimes, when abuse is involved, divorce is the best way to keep yourself safe. So, how do you support yourself and your children through grief and heartbreak?
Seek God and cling to Him, stay in His word, and don’t try to make it through this on your own strength. Earthly support is a good option too, and can help ease some of the pain and confusion. Learn about finding the right therapist here.
The first step is always safety. Second most important is getting yourself help through a personal relationship with God, and getting help from a Christian counselor Therapy is important when trauma is involved. And finding someone who is licensed and trauma-informed is essential in your healing journey.
Have you ever heard anyone use the oxygen mask analogy? Flight attendants demonstrate what to do in an emergency. They point to exits, demonstrate how to fasten your seat belt, talk about flotation devices and remind you to pay attention to the seatbelt light.
In many ways, when there is a difficulty in life, it is important to put your own oxygen mask on so that you can effectively help others around you- your children.
The Diagnosis and Life Expectancy of Toxic Marriages
I imagine this diagnosis of marriage becoming a reality the same way a cancer diagnosis does. And it should definitely come with the same level of caution and strategy for survival. The care of the patient must be the #1 priority of everyone involved.
This is rarely the case. And truly the abused spouse is not the one with the disease in this analogy. Butt she is the one trying out all the remedies and treatments, she is the one changing to tilt the odds in favor of her marriage. She is the one going to all the doctor visits and settling the bill.
The saddest thing is that the very thing (marriage) that was supposed to bring God glory, raise godly children, and be a safe haven for both spouses becomes the very thing that destroys the abused partner.
Abuse is a terminal illness, that the vulnerable suffer. There is good news too. Oftentimes, though this “diagnosis” becomes a wonderful escape and leads to a beautiful and safer life- with God’s help.
Who were the Pharisees and what was the problem?
The Pharisees, as well as Sadducees, were the ruling class in Isreal. They are both very different groups but Christ Jesus had run-ins with both, mostly the Pharisees. The Pharisees were hypocrites who held the law higher than people, thus forgetting the most important law: LOVE!
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:”Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
“Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished” (Luke 20:46-47, NLT).
We make the same mistake Pharisees when we
Lord Over the Sabbath, Lord Over All
Christians, pretty widely, oppose missionary dating. So why is missionary marriages okay? What is that? Well, missionary dating is the idea that a person dates someone in hopes of “saving them” or bringing them to believe and obedience to God. But in marriages, religious leaders of our day and age abore the thought of divorce for abuse, but reluctantly state that is okay only when it comes to abandonment and sexual immorality. But you know what?
Abuse is abandonment! Abuse directly abandons the
In any other contract, this sort of abandonment brings dishonor and disgrace. But, in marriage, the abused is called to live with understating and never-ending second chances.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. God puts people above institutions. What do I mean by that? I’m glad you asked!
“As such, Jesus was proclaiming to the world, especially to the legalistic Pharisees, that He was greater than the Law and above the laws of the Mosaic Covenant because, as God in flesh, He is the Author of those laws. Unable to keep the Law, however, the Pharisees had instituted a complex and confusing system of Sabbath laws of their own that was oppressive and legalistic. They had set up strict laws regarding how to observe the Sabbath, which included 39 categories of forbidden activities. In essence, these religious leaders had made themselves lords of the Sabbath, thus making themselves lords over the people.”
Our God is the Lord over the Sabbath, people, and all of creation. He is the Lord over marriage, relationships, and all institutions.