5 Essential Steps to Divorce Recovery
Divorce is a fact of life that can neither be ignored nor wished away. You or someone you know has been impacted by this life-altering reality. Yet God is not caught off-guard by divorce, and His Word is neither silent nor naïve on the subject.
Malachi 2:16 bluntly states that God hates divorce. He understands the hurt, loneliness, and frustration it brings. God loves, cares for, and desires the very best for His children. He wants couples to enjoy spiritual, sexual, and emotional intimacy, and research shows that a strong, loving, and committed marriage contributes to that trio of intimacy needs.
Another reason God hates divorce is because marriage is a living and breathing example of God’s love and commitment to you as His church, a member of His body of believers. When I married my wife Donna, she was my beautiful bride and I was her handsome (at least she thought so) bridegroom. Likewise, in your relationship with Christ, you are the bride and He is the bridegroom.
God also understands that divorce happens. While Jesus never encouraged divorce, He did provide an “out” in cases of adultery. (Matthew 19:9) This was permitted, not because God requires adultery to result in divorce and the death of another marriage, but because He understands the pain associated with adultery. Sexual sin stands in a class by itself (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Yet I know many cases where a person of strong faith, married to a person who was truly repentant of their sin, put together a brand new marriage built on trustworthy behavior, love, and commitment.
If your marriage has ended in divorce, your life isn’t over. Through forgiveness and reconciliation with God, a bright future and a healthy life are possible. Here are five essential steps to divorce recovery:
- Confession: Confess your sin to God first, and then go to those you have either hurt or disappointed and ask for their forgiveness.
- Guard Your Heart: Stay out of another romantic relationship, at least for a good long time.
- Accountability: Enter into an accountability relationship with a mature Christian of the same sex.
- Time: Expect the healing to take time.
- Discipline: Take care of your priorities. For example, if you have children, being a good parent is now your number one responsibility before God.