Ok, here goes. There’s no possible way that I can make everyone happy with this blog post. Truthfully, the only people who are going to be happy with this post are the ones who share my views. I’m kinda’ expecting some hate mail after this is published, and that’s fine. I’ll even try to listen to your opinion with an open mind!
My good friend, Christine, shared [Matt Walsh’s] opinion about divorce, and I was surprised with how much I agree with him in this particular subject. (Especially because I think Matt comes across as arrogant and self righteous with almost everything he says. I have no respect for that man, but I happen to agree with him in this one area). In this post, though, I’m going to take it a step further. Oh yes. I’m going to actually quote from the Bible. You might not like what you’re about to read; just a fair warning.
Before I really get into it, I want to preface with this honest, thought-out opinion: People change. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worst. THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN YOU’RE EXTREMELY UNHAPPY, and there will be times when you’re bored with the relationship. However, none of that is grounds for a divorce… If you take anything away from this post, remember this: unless marital unfaithfulness has occurred, divorce shouldn’t be an option. (Read Matthew 19:9 for more info).
**Update: Many people have brought up spousal abuse as being a legit reason to leave a marriage, and as someone who’s never experienced something so terrifying and life-threatening, I don’t know how you feel/felt. Never, in a million years, do I expect someone to stay in a relationship where people’s lives and health are in danger. And although I have yet to find scripture that speaks directly on abuse between a married man and woman (if you’ve found a reference, please share! I haven’t stopped looking, myself!) if I ever found myself in a life-threatening situation, especially where my daughter was in danger, then I believe I would leave. I don’t think I would hesitate. If you’ve left for the same reason, then I believe you did what you had to do to protect your precious child/children.**
Most of North America seems to have the same mindset when it comes to getting out of a marriage: “I’m not happy anymore. I deserve to be happy.” How completely selfish can we get, as a nation? What horrible examples we are passing on to future generations!! Instead of fleeing when times get difficult – dare I say it? – try praying about it. And don’t give up after a few months, or even years of prayer – I know from many other people’s testimonies how hard it is, but God can overcome. And I challenge you to start believing that: GOD CAN OVERCOME. He’s not a small, insignificant God.
(Bunny trail: People have shared with me that because of years of praying for their spouse consistently, they realized that God was transforming their own heart. Have you ever thought that God allows some of you to go through horrible times in your marriages because it may impact your heart and prayer life in such a way that you depend more on God? He is always striving to make us more like Him, and He’s not against using your marriage as one way to reach out to you.)
Before I continue, I want to say that I realize that I’ve only been married for 7 years, which isn’t a lot, but I’m not just giving you my opinion here. I’m going based off of The Bible. I want to add that Shawn and I have been through more than most still-married couples have. A lot can happen in 7 years, but after all is said and done, we stayed together. And trust me when I say that I know how hard it can get (and please don’t ask me to elaborate, because most of the time I don’t believe it’s helpful to indulge in reliving the past).
I want to wrap this up soon, but before I do, I want to take a moment to share with you something I saw yesterday that blew my mind. I am involved with a lot of photography groups on Facebook, and as I was scrolling through the news feed of one of my favorites, I saw a picture with two people in two separate life-sized bird cages. My first thought was: oh, that’s a neat concept! I wonder why they’re separated like that?… I think you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll continue anyway. The couple actually hired a photographer to take pictures to celebrate their separation.
This is where we are headed? Divorce parties and separation photo shoots? I can’t believe that anyone would want to document or celebrate such painful times. (And please, don’t fool yourself, someone always is in pain during a divorce. Whether it’s you, or your kids, or your parents, or your soon-to-be-ex, someone always gets hurt with a divorce.)
My point in writing this article is to encourage those who are single, about to get married, newly-weds, longly-weds (?), and separated that it’s not too late. Get some help: go to a Christian marriage counselor if you can. Pray together, read the bible together, pray for a change-of-heart for your spouse. It can get better, especially if you’re consistent in being selfless (<– that’s a biggie!), praying for your spouse and putting God first in your relationship. EVEN if you’re the only one who’s trying to make the marriage work.
Remember that in this day and age, with all the technology out there, we expect immediate results for almost everything. This won’t happen immediately (And yes, I’m speaking from experience here, Shawn and I have had problems for sure) but don’t give up!
Lastly, if you need or want to talk with someone, please contact me. Call, text, email, whatever! I really don’t care if it’s 3 AM, and I don’t know you personally! If I don’t answer, keep calling until I do, or leave me a text and/or Voicemail.
April Christensen (located in Colo Springs):
Don’t give up. There are people out there with the same story as you, and they’ve pulled through and rebuilt their marriage. You never know, we may have the same story! Don’t hesitate. Do it now. Call me.