I Can't Divorce, So Now What? - Part I - Elisabeth Klein
Question (from Facebook community): “What does God expect of me in a difficult marriage when I don’t have biblical grounds to divorce?”
To ask this question means one of several things: either you have done your research and you don’t feel that you have biblical grounds to divorce; you don’t need to do research because you already know that you don’t; you do have grounds to divorce but you do not feel God has released you and/or you cannot financially or logistically afford to leave and/or you have decided to stay for your children and/or you have determined to stay regardless just because. 

If you can’t leave, I am so sorry.  My heart breaks for every woman who feels trapped in a desperate situation.
And if you can leave but you’re choosing not to, then I say brava because that takes a special kind of woman with a special kind of strength.
 

But for today, you are here – you are staying put – and you want to know what a godly wife looks like within the constraints of a painful marriage. Here are some things I believe God would want you to be doing right now to stay faithful to your spouse and to remain faithful to him. 

Spend time with God. It’s beyond important for you to cultivate your relationship with your true Husband. Let him tend to your soul. Let him take care of the empty places that being in a lonely marriage can leave. Commit to yourself to spend time with him every day, even if all you’ve got is five or ten minutes. Read some Scripture, pray, journal.  

Pray for your husband. Depending on how hard things really are will determine how much resistance you will feel towards this suggestion.  But you need to trust me when I say that praying for your husband will be the best thing you can possibly do for your marriage.  It may be that all you’ve got strength for is to say “bless him, Lord” so then start with that. I recommend Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Wife to keep you going. Consider asking a friend to keep you accountable on this. 

Lead with kindness. Being mean back to someone who is mean to you is the natural reaction, but that’s not what God calls us to do. So even when it feels like walking uphill in a snowstorm, speak kind words (or fewer words when kind ones just can’t be found) and try to do kind things. 

Guard your heart. Being a lonely married woman is the loneliest lonely I’ve ever experienced; far more lonely than being single before marriage or even now being divorced. I don’t know why that is, but it is. This means that you are so very vulnerable. It’s vital that you not share your marriage problems with another man, married or unmarried, well-intentioned or not (unless, of course, it’s your pastor or a counselor). And if you notice yourself starting to feel something for another man, you need to put a stop to it immediately.  

Work on yourself. Do things to take care of yourself like exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. But also work on yourself emotionally. Get into counseling if you can afford it or find a mentor if you can’t. Join a recovery group or small group Bible study. Find someone you can share these things with because stuffing your feelings down will more than likely lead to an emotional blow-up somewhere down the road. 

This is a tough road you’re on. Some conflict when two people are living together day in and day out is normal. But we were not meant to live in constant conflict, under constant stress, with someone who doesn’t treat us well on a regular basis. So yes, it hurts and it’s so very hard. But you are not walking this road alone. God promises to never leave us or forsake us, and that includes you. 

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.