Don’t Get Ready for Divorce

IHOR ZHAKUNETS
Divorce won’t sneak up on you. It will likely come from months and even years of ignoring biblical principles and the Holy Spirit. Please don’t.

1. Don’t make divorce a viable option. The apostle Paul encourages the Romans – “make no provision for the flesh” (13:14). Meaning, don’t give sin an inch. Don’t give it room to operate. Don’t give it the sunlight or water it needs to grow. Applying this to the task of protecting your marriage means not considering, dwelling, or talking about divorce, as even a remotely possible option. You made vows, toying with the idea of breaking them will not help you keep them.

2. Don’t practice getting divorced. It’s possible to have daily or weekly rehearsals for divorce. This happens to some degree every time we ignore one another, give each other the silent treatment, and refuse to reconcile as soon as possible. In these instances we use distance to wound the other. We pretend we are not in a one-flesh union and hold that posture as long as possible to inflict the pain of loss on our spouse. The distance, the separation, hurts and we use it as a weapon.

Unfortunately, many times these rehearsals are preparing couples for the actual thing. How many times of withdrawing will it take to get your heart used to the idea of not returning? How many hours of pouting will you need, before you realize you can do this indefinitely? How long can you go for without reconciling, before you forget what it feels like to be reconciled?

Don’t practice getting divorced. Don’t settle for this becoming a common occurrence in your marriage. Don’t make provision for the flesh. It will have consequences.

3. Don’t separate your marriage from the means of grace. God has given us spiritual disciplines as means to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ. They also serve to remove any provision for the flesh. Listening to God (Bible intake), speaking to God (prayer), and being with God’s people (fellowship and corporate worship) are how we grow up spiritually. All three are also essential to protecting your marriage.

You are not likely to find a couple who regularly spent time in the Word together, prayed together, and invited other Christians to disciple and encourage them as husband and wife, who ended up divorcing. Maybe they are out there but it would be an oddity. Why? Because that’s not the way God designed things to work.

When we grow closer to Christ through the means of grace, the natural result is we grow closer to everyone who is growing closer to Christ. If both you and your spouse are on this journey – the closer you get to Jesus the closer, better, and more enjoyable the marriage.

There is no way for sinful and broken human beings to fail proof their marriages. But not making provision for divorce or any other sin for that matter, will go a long way.
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