Whether you grew up with divorced parents, or you yourself experienced the pain of divorce as an adult; we understand divorce is a reality for many families today. But what if there was a better way? What if you could save you and your family from a lot of heartache? My goal in this article is not to judge or condemn anyone, but instead it is to speak truth into some common misconceptions surrounding divorce. This list is by no means exhaustive and I could write a book on each one, but my hope is to shine light on some of the lies that are destroying our families today.
Lie #1- “It’s Their Fault!” It’s so easy to shift blame in our world today, but let’s be honest about this one. The faster we acknowledge that we bear some of the responsibility for our struggling marriage, the better. It’s time you and I stop being the victim and start taking responsibility for our own actions and reactions and commit to working on our own stuff. It’s also important to call out who the real enemy is in a marriage under attack. I work with men and women all the time who have this intense hatred for their spouse or their parents for what happened to their family. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage by now, “Unforgiveness is like YOU drinking poison and waiting for THEM to die”. No one ever goes into a marriage expecting to divorce, but it is the goal of Satan and he loves it if he can bind you in hate and unforgiveness. That’s why he’s called the “deceiver”.
Lie #2- “I Deserve to Be Happy!” Says WHO? If we followed this line of thinking, we could justify about any immature or selfish decision this side of the Rocky Mountains. We are living in a 24/7 instant gratification culture where our cravings can be satisfied in a second. I can shop online at Amazon and have it delivered same day to my door, while watching my favorite show on Netflix anytime I want after going to my favorite 24 hr Dunkin for a donut and big ice tea. Who am I kidding? I can even have Door Dash do that now. I don’t even have to leave my house. You get my point. Stop believing the lie that it’s all about your happiness today. What if God’s plan is to use a difficult relationship in your life to grow or bless you in a way that you can’t even imagine or see right now? There could be something so much more for you and maybe even for your marriage on the other side of this storm if you lean in and look up instead of walking out. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit I’ve seen working in couples who have gotten help and committed to weathering the storm together.
Lie #3-“The kids are better off, if we get a divorce.” I hear it from wounded parents on a regular basis who feel like divorce is the best way to protect their children from the same pain. In many families, the kids are in the center of a war zone getting hit from both sides. They are often pawns used by parents to manipulate, coerce, or punish their spouse. Can I just tell you, the best gift you can give your child is to model how two broken people in a messed-up world find hope, healing, and unconditional love. Does it sound too pie in the sky for you? It is, if you’re trying to do it alone. But that’s where a really big God comes in. Before you sign those divorce papers or take your ex to court, take some time to get wise biblical counsel. Sit down with a trained Christian professional who can walk you and your spouse through the process of reconciliation and maybe even restoration.
I realize there will be some who will read this who are in dangerous situations of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. In those cases, of course, you need to keep you and your kids safe and physically remove yourself from that environment. Take the time to seek professional help so that you know how to best help you and your children through this trauma. Don’t make any rash or big decisions in the heat of intense emotion. Nothing good comes out of that.
Lie #4- “Another relationship will take the pain away.” I see struggling married couples all the time jumping out of one difficult relationship and right into another. Sometimes even before the papers are served or the ink has dried. Can I just be totally transparent with you? That’s a really BAD idea!! There’s no way to sugar coat the baggage you drag with you from the failed marriage right into your new relationship. The hurts, the insecurities, the triggers, the lies...you bring it ALL with you and there’s no amount of sweet words and pretty flowers that can heal those wounds for you quickly. As a matter of fact, experts tell us that divorced men and women should give themselves three years before entering into another serious relationship. Yep, that’s what the experts say...three years! Trust me, you will be glad you gave yourself that time to heal your heart right and deal with the junk in your own trunk!
Lie #5-“I know what you’re going through, I’ve been divorced.” The temptation to compare is never ending and exhausting. Whether it’s a chat with a friend or looking at someone’s pictures on Facebook, comparing your life with someone else’s is a trap with no winners. Every marriage is unique, and there is no one cookie cutter answer for every difficult relationship. I’m not going to pretend I have walked in your shoes, and I definitely don’t want to minimize the difficulty you are going through right now. But please don’t look around and compare your deepest struggles with someone else’s highlight real. Lean in, look up, and trust in the promise that God has got a better plan for this storm you are in.
Don’t know how to lean in and look up? Contact us at rocksolidfamilies.org. We’d love to walk through this storm with you and help you get to the blessings and hope waiting for you on the other side!