Jonnetta and Wes has spent most of the day together with us in a Marriage Intensive. After learning how each were contributors to the mess in their marriage and discovering actions each can take to make their marriage better than it had ever been, it was time for each spouse to make commitments going forward.
Jonnetta shut down. She was unsure about her commitment to do anything to strengthen the marriage. When we asked her what would help her know whether to move forward building a strong healthy marriage or divorcing, she said, “I’m waiting on God to give me that answer.”
Permission To Leave
Over the last decade as we have worked with close to 300 couples, one at a time, in our Marriage Intensive, we have heard this challenge by several stuck people. They want to leave their marriage, but because of their faith, they want God to tell them it is “OK”. Their head and heart are gone, but they are physically still in the marriage searching for a way to not feel guilty about leaving.
Hearing From God
If you are looking for God to tell you that it is time to divorce, here are a few tips for you to consider.
- God will not give you an answer that is different from what He has already spoken in His Word. If you understand what scripture says about whether you should stay or go and you sense that God has changed his mind and is telling you something different, that is not God talking to you.
- God is pro-marriage. Scripture provides for reasons you may divorce, but no scripture tells you to divorce. There is permission to divorce, under certain circumstances, but there is no requirement for divorce in scripture.
- God allows for separation. Scripture is also clear that if you need to separate for a time in pursuit of your relationship with God, you can do that. When a spouse is engaging in actions that reflect a dangerous relationship, or when a spouse is refusing to get the help they need for mental health or addiction issues, we have recommended a separation for a time as each pursues what God would have them do to strengthen their marriage. Separation can break an enabling cycle and spur the help that each spouse deeply needs that they cannot get while remaining in day-to-day interaction.
- Feeling guilt-free does not mean that God permitted it. Many of us engage in behaviors, that scripture defines as sin, without any remorse or feeling of guilt. The feeling of guilt can be removed while still engaging in the behavior. But the lack of guilty feelings does not change the fact that it is sin.
Wait on God to tell you to divorce and you will never have the marriage you want.
Wait on your spouse to change and you will never have the marriage you want.
The only way for you to have the marriage you want, and that God intended for you to have, is for you put your full heart into building it. You must commit, with every cell in your body to your marriage. You must take action to move toward your spouse and create it.
What do you have to say?
We love to hear from readers. Do you know someone who is waiting on an answer from God about whether to stay or go? What do you understand are the scriptural reasons for divorce? Do you agree that God will not answer with a response that is different from what the Bible says? What advice do you have for a spouse who is stuck? What other suggestions you would add to this article? Do you know someone you need to forward this article to?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2016. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.