As I lay in bed at 4am on our eight year wedding anniversary, I can’t help to think about the dreaded D word… divorce. You’re probably like, wait, what!? Why!?
This word is on my heart this day because we’ve considered it, so many of our friends have considered it, and quite a few of our friends have gone through with it. No one talks about it until it’s done, and it’s a thing of the past. I want to talk about it now. Not because we’re about to call it quits, but because we almost called it quits and decided not to.
I don’t know many people who’ve come out and shared their honest feelings on this unless they’ve taken the leap. I know when we were in the thick of it, I couldn’t find many examples online or people in my circles who could relate to what I was going through. What I was going through was a hard time relating with my spouse, forgiving his sins, and contemplating staying after the one I said I do to hurt me beyond what I ever thought I could bare.
Yes, many people get married and say “divorce is not an option”. “I’m not getting married to get a divorce” or “My spouse would never betray me”. But the reality is, divorce is a VERY real option. It’s an option because we all fall short. We make mistakes and we get caught up and lose sight of what we thought we wanted.
In the short time I’ve been married I’ve learned a few things marriage is not. Marriage is not created to make you happy, even though it can. Marriage is not created to check off a box of life goals that you’d like to accomplish. And marriage is definitely not created to have someone to be intimate with at your leisure.
A true relationship with Christ is one of deep forgiveness, grace, patience, and love. The same can be said about marriage. Christ gave Himself up for us. He forgave us of all our sins and continues to forgive us. He loves us unconditionally even when we’ve turned our backs on Him. He gives us grace on top of grace!
How many of us can say we extend this amount of love, forgiveness, and grace to our spouse? I know I sure can’t! And this is why I believe divorce is so much of an option today. We really don’t have the amount of patience, forgiveness, grace, and love to extend to another human being when we feel we’ve been wronged in some way. But, Christ does.
The only reason I’m still here is because Christ filled the enormous gap on where I fell short in forgiving my husband. As I worked through our hard season, I didn’t have peace about getting a divorce. I just didn’t. Even though divorce life through social media looked very appealing. Like… VERY appealing!
I wrestled with the questions of why me? Why now? And how dare he!? Through my wrestling with the Lord and not jumping until I heard from Him, I ended up seeing a clearer picture of what Christ did on the cross. How He forgave me when I clearly turned my back against Him. How He wiped away my wrongs and received me back like I did nothing wrong. How He still uses me despite my many flaws.
God granted me an even greater understanding of what I was gifted by Christ dying on the cross for my sins through this trial. That’s when I was even able to begin the process of considering forgiveness. By no means was this an easy task! I’ve learned that I’m not as holy and sanctified as I thought I was! That when life gets hard that’s when your faith is truly tested. The true test is will you hold firm to what the Bible says?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
I can honestly say, without a shadow of a doubt, this trial was all worth it. Worth it because I’ve gotten to see God redeem a marriage that was headed to divorce. I’ve gotten to see Him work in my heart and my husbands heart. I’ve gotten to see Him do many of the things His Word talks about. For that, I’m utterly grateful.
Today, on our 8 year anniversary, I’m happy that we didn’t get a divorce. I’m glad the Lord redeemed our marriage for what He intended it to be. A picture of Christ and His bride.
Full disclaimer: this post by no means is here to judge or condemn friends who are divorced or on the road to divorce. The Bible clearly states reasons where divorce is allowed. I’m sharing thoughts on this to give our perspective on our experience of wrestling with the option and deciding not to. And I definitely don’t feel qualified to give advice on the matter.