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Is it possible to survive divorce emotionally as a christian? Divorce in the Christian community can be met with such criticism. Even without fully knowing the details, others have made comments that added hurt on an already aching heart.
I’m sure most mean well. They really do.
Even now, fully knowing my own situation has biblical grounds for divorce, I sometimes feel the shame. Like I’m wearing the Scarlett letter D on my chest, even though I shouldn’t, sometimes it’s there.
God hates divorce, BUT He hates other things too. Like sexual immorality, abusive behaviors, and endangering another person.
Let me start this off by saying I’m not a counseling nor pastor. I share these bible verses, tips and my heart from my own personal experience and what worked for me.
Let’s look at some Bible Verses on Divorce and fleeing from evil.
Bible Verses on Divorce
These are bible verses on divorce and how to handle cheating and/or abusive spouses/people.
- Mark 10:2-12
- Matthew 5:31-32
- Ephesians 5:33
- Hebrews 13:4
- Matthew 5:27-28
- Colossians 3:19
- Psalm 11:5
- 1 Peter 3:7
- 1 Corinthians 7:15
- 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
- Matthew 18:15-17
- Psalms 37:9
- Malachi 2:16-17
- Ephesians 5:3-5
- James 1:26
- 2 Thessalonians 3:6
Sometimes the wife of a cheating husband will seek advice and comfort from her pastor, priest or a member of the church only to leave feeling worse than before. I know I’ve personally been told if I was more submissive, prayed more, fasted more, gave him more sex, just stayed quiet etc than God will turn my marriage around.
Can you believe that? Laying the guilt and shame at the feet of the wife for the sins of her husband. I try to remind myself that these people are not trained in domestic abuse nor perhaps ongoing unrepentant sin from so called Christians and therefore can not give healthy biblical advice to the hurting spouse.
Biblical Reasons for Divorce
Of course infidelity is alway the first cited reason for a biblical divorce, but any abuse will have grounds as well.
I fully believe that even after an affair and even after abuse happens in a marriage there can be healing! With much prayer, repentance, counseling, sacrifice, grace and love from both parties.
However, if the sinning spouse continues his course, I fully believe God would not have his daughter stay in the abusive relationship.
- David fled from King Saul
- The Egyptians fled from Pharaoh
- Elijah fled from Jezebel
- Joseph took Mary and fled from King Herod
- Israelites fled from Babylon
If you feel in danger at all seek help, call the police if needed. It doesn’t have to mean your marriage is over, but a break, seeking counseling and connecting with God is often times needed before coming back together to discuss what the next step to take should be.
Tips on Surviving Divorce
“Sacrificing a person to save a relationship is not the gospel. The gospel is that Someone was sacrificed to free us from sin and bring us to God. We cannot always bear the relational punishment for someone else’s sin. We can forgive them, and will if we are a Christian, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with them. You can forgive someone and divorce them. Scripture commands forgiveness where there is repentance, but it never requires that a relationship be continued in the way that it was before covenant was shattered. ” – Gentle Reformation
Survive Divorce Emotionally
#1 Remember it is Not God’s Fault
It’s not God’s fault. I had to let go of the expectation that God must fix my marriage. Although vital and necessary in every Christian life, there is no amount of fasting nor praying that can force a wayward spouse to return. That decision must be left between him and God. Pray and fast for him, yes, but ultimately understand that if the wayward spouse doesn’t return to God, it is not your fault, nor is it God’s fault.
#2 You are Enough.
Through Christ you are enough. Do not allow yourself to get swept away with the idea that if you prayed more, fasted more, served your spouse more, catered to him more, if only you were prettier, if only you were skinner, if only you were better at this or better that than everything would be ok. Yes, do your part in the marriage as if working for the Lord, but not to the point of emotional exhaustion and damaging your self worth. Remember, Feelings are NOT Facts.
There is nothing that you could do or not do that will stop your spouse from cheating if he/she is determined to do so.
#3 Get a Christian Divorce Counselor
I had several sessions with a christian counselor and it was one of the best things I did to help me mentally, spiritually and emotionally at the beginning of the divorce process. A counselor can help you Survive Divorce Emotionally! I needed those sessions to help me re-establish my worth in Christ, steps to self love and self care, helping to release unwarranted guilt and shame I was carrying and work through some of the legit things I needed to work on within myself. Although this process was hard, it was well worth it in my opinion! Dealing is such an important part to healing.
#4 Remember Your Identity is in Christ
I tried for so long and so hard to save my marriage that without realizing it I lost who I was. My self worth. My value. My identity. All gone. Sacrificed to save my marriage. I didn’t understand boundaries and allowed myself to get lost to the point where I was a doormat. And all for the sake of what I thought was being a submissive Christian wife. I was wrong. Very wrong. I beg of you, know who you are in Christ, remind yourself everyday of your worth and value, know the scriptures for yourself on how husbands and wives should treat each-other and work on boundaries.
Boundaries are so vital to Survive Divorce Emotionally! I didn’t fully understand boundaries. And I certainly didn’t have any healthy ones in place. When your spouse is cheating and/or being abusive, it is even more vital to know what boundaries are healthy and needed in your life and marriage. The book Love Must be Tough by Dr James Dobson was one of the first books that helped me realize that me being a passive doormat wasn’t what God wanted for me, for my husband and for my marriage
#6 Work on Forgiving
This takes work. Sometimes several times a day kind-of work. Don’t let anyone make you feel or think it’s a one prayer thing to mark of your to-do list and it’s done. Deep pain will take work on healing. Forgiveness is an everyday, conscious decision you must make. The book The Process of Forgiveness by William Meninger, was a great book I read on working through forgiving. God does not want us to allow our un-forgiveness to turn to bitterness. Hebrews 12:15, Ephesians 4:31-32
Divorce is not the end of the road for your life. You can Survive Divorce Emotionally! Stay at the feet of Jesus as you seek healing, forgiveness and grace as you walk through this hard season. You are not alone. You are loved. God has plans for your life. Trust in God! Do not isolate yourself, instead keep good christian friends in your life to pray for you and encourage you.