Help – My marriage is in deep trouble…
When we read the “love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) in the Bible, we have to come to the conclusion that love is not a feeling, but a principle. In verse 5 it says that love “does not seek its own”, in other words love always puts others first. This very seldom happens in the case of a divorce or breakup. People think that if they can just get out of the relationship, everything will be fine, but this is almost never the case. What is left out of the equation is the children, of which you have two. Children need a mother and a father. There are always custody problems and visitation problems following a breakup, and the children suffer, and some do not recover. Replacing a good parent with a good stepparent is a rarity, so children often land up in a worse situation than before, even if the parents are better off. I guess you can see where this is going.
God is clear on the subject of divorce. Have a look at the following passages:
Matthew 19: 3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Matthew 5: 31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
1 Corinthians 7: 10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
You obviously loved your wife enough to sleep with her and have two children with her. If you come to God, He can restore that love, and make it better than it has ever been. In fact if you both give your lives over to Him completely, your relationship cannot fail! Jesus is not concerned with what you did in the past, the only thing that matters is that you reach out to Him and confess your sins to Him, and ask Him to accept you. He never turns anyone away, so you can be assured of salvation through His grace.
Remember that as a Christian man, you are the high priest of your family, and therefore responsible for their spiritual welfare. God expects you to love your wife and children so much that you will put their wellbeing, and especially their eternal salvation, ahead of your own wants.
John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You have a chance to be a family united in Jesus, with His love in you. This will ensure that you have a good life here on earth and a perfect life with Him in heaven one day. Is that not a better solution than causing huge pain and suffering, without the assurance that things will be better after a breakup?
Maybe before you take the final step of divorce you could see a Christian counsellor who will provide you with the tools to improve communication and how you see yourself and your wife. You could also follow some Bible principles to revive you relationship before you make your decision.
Here are a few short suggestions on how to make your marriage work:
1. Continue your courtship. What attracted you to her in the first place?
Proverbs 31:28 Her husband… praises her
1 Corinthians 7:34 She who is married cares… how she may please her husband
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another… in honour giving preference to one another
2. Never go to bed angry
Ephesians 4:26 Do not let the sun go down on your wrath
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another
Philippians 3:13 Forgetting those things which are behind
3. Keep Christ as the centre of your home
Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it
4. Pray together
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak
James 5:16 Pray for one another
5. Keep the family circle closed
Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery
Proverbs 31:11, 12 The heart of her husband safely trusts her. …She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
6. Criticism destroys love
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter towards them
Proverbs 21:19 Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.
The secret of a successful marriage lies not in having the right partner, but rather in being the right partner. Overlook faults, and search for good things. Only God can change people. God bless as you take your concerns to Him!
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