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Question (from Facebook community): “I believe I have biblical grounds to end my marriage, but I am choosing to stay. How do I stop feeling trapped though?”

If you are choosing to stay when you know you can leave, let me first say one of two things.

First, are you sure you shouldstay? If abuse or addiction or infidelity are running rampant and are placing you and your children in harm’s way on a regular basis, can you truly justify staying? I am not saying this to get you to doubt your decision but to make sure you have thoroughly thought through the consequences of your choices. And let me make sure I’m clear, I’m not saying I think someone in these kinds of situations should automatically divorce by any means, but a separation may be what’s needed first and foremost for safety purposes but secondly, it could be the wake-up call that might trigger repentance, change and a deep restoration.

However, secondly, if you’re still sure you should stay even though you could leave, I am proud of you, and I believe God can give you an extra measure of strength to not just endure but to thrive, if you surrender to him.

But say you’re in this place, you’ve made this decision, and yet, you still feel trapped.  I totally get that.  

But what we must remember is that God has given us free will.  You can leave.  But you have chosen to stay.  And chosen is the operative word here.

Listen to what God says about your choices:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. –Galatians 5:1-

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. –II Corinthians 3:17-

If you are walking with God, and you have sought wise counsel, and you have studied Scripture, and you have prayed about this, and you believe that for right now, though you can leave your marriage you are choosing to stay, then you are walking in freedom.  Then you have made the choice.

Pray. Ask God to help you feel less trapped and more alive in your circumstances. Ask him to bring light and life to your weary bones, to bring hope to your earthly circumstances.

Reminders. This may sound like an odd one, but telling yourself every once in a while, “You know you can leave if you really want to,” will take some of the air out of the trapped feeling.

Shift perspective
. Make a list of the all of the pros of staying, even if all you’re able to muster up is “it’s cheaper to stay”. Start with that. Maybe you’re able to continue being a stay-at-home mom if you stay a bit longer. Maybe your kids are so young that they have no idea what’s really going on and having their dad living with them for another year or so is what their hearts need. Maybe you have a character flaw that staying will work out of you more than walking away just yet ever could. I don’t know what your list is, but in every single circumstance we’re in, there is something we can be grateful for.

Just like you’re choosing to stay, you can choose how you look at your situation. Ask God to teach you right where you are, to give you the strength of your convictions, to give you joy in your choice. He will honor that.

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