Stay Married (aka Some of You May Stop Reading My Blog after Today Because You'll Be Mad at Me...and that's Okay) - Elisabeth Klein

This may seem like an odd post coming from a woman whose marriage has ended, but I think I might be perceived as being soft on divorce (despite my attempts to explain my stance repeatedly; or perhaps, because of).

So, let me say a few things (some of which I’ve said before):
I believe God created marriage as a covenant to last for the lifetime of the couple.
I believe God created marriage as a breathtaking picture of how Christ loves his church.
I believe God allows marriages to end when certain sins are committed.
I believe God would have wanted my marriage to be restored and remain intact.
I believe all marriages can be saved.
I believe God gives us free will, which means God and both parties must be working together for reconciliation to take place.
I believe that too many Christian marriages are ending in divorce when they shouldn’t be. I hear from many Christ-following women who are trying to stay in very difficult marriages.  That is the majority of women I come in contact with.  They are single-handedly trying to save their marriages and they are begging God to help them.  I applaud these women and I want to support them the best I can.

But then there is another category of woman, albeit the minority in my experience.  This is the woman whose husband has not been unfaithful.  This is the woman whose husband has not literally abandoned her.  This is the woman whose husband does not abuse her physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially or in any other way.  This is the woman whose husband does not have an addiction of any kind.

This woman has fallen out of love with her husband.  This woman never really loved her husband in the first place.  This woman doesn’t feel loved.  This woman married her husband for all the wrong reasons.  This woman isn’t trying to save her marriage.  This woman isn’t willing to take advice and make course corrections.  This woman has checked out.  This woman may have fallen in love with someone else already.  This woman is no longer happy.

I say this without having a specific woman in mind, and therefore not knowing of a specific situation, but I believe the above woman should stay married.  The Bible does not even have the phrase “fall in love” in it, which should tell us something.  The Bible doesn’t talk a whole lot about feelings when it comes to relationships, except to say things like this in Philippians 1 (Msg), “So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush.”  As Beth Moore says, “Sometimes, we cannot stand someone at breakfast and then love them again by lunch.”  Feelings are unpredictable and change with the wind.  Life decisions should not be based solely on feelings.  And I believe that God is far more concerned with our holiness than our happiness, (joy notwithstanding and an entirely different subject unto its own).

But the Bible is clear that “what God has brought together, no man should put asunder” (Mark 10:9).  And sometimes, and these are hard words for me to say and hard words for this woman to hear, but sometimes, you might be the “man” who is putting things asunder.   I believe no one should walk away from marriage without first getting as much help as they possibly can and trying their absolute hardest to keep it together.  I believe that we will all be held accountable for our choices at the end of our lives by a loving but fair God.  I believe that no longer being in love is not a reason to end a marriage.  I believe that not being happy is not a reason to end a marriage. I believe there are reasons for a marriage to end.  But I also believe there are many, many more reasons for a marriage to stay together.  God sees your heart.  He sees your restlessness and unhappiness.  He wants to turn things around.  But you’re going to have to let him.

 

 


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