It has been said that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. When I began writing The Journey Principles Book, I had been in one of the most difficult seasons of my life, and that season was called divorce. That was the time when I did my best to dig deep and lean into God. If I am honest, I was really struggling with Him at that point. I was feeling unfulfilled in my marriage for a tremendous variety of reasons. I share openly and honestly about my struggle during that season in the book, so I will not repeat it here. However, I will share that I had planned on going back and rewriting that chapter because it was written when I was still bitter, angry and hurt.
The problem I ran into in rewriting the chapter is that it talks to people who are in that place, and who need to see that those feelings are a natural part of healing. Hurt is the seed that can grow into hope when watered properly. At the same time, our understanding of what marriage is or should be is often misinterpreted by what seems to be an endless variety of negative influences by almost every media source. Satan’s false interpretations enter our thought processes through vulnerabilities in the eyes of men and the emotions of women.
We frequently get requests for coaching from couples struggling in their marriage which is why we are writing and developing all kinds of new marriage resources to help everyone from healing from a divorce, preventing a divorce and knowing how to protect your marriage from a future divorce.
Here is why my heart goes out to all those in that area of life. I remember being criticized and abandoned by friends, family, and even a Pastor I considered a friend. The hurt, pain, and effects of divorce are greatly underestimated. Divorce HURTS everyone: all families and friends involved. It also robs individuals of a future hope. If you are struggling with this right now, please download this resource: Healing Through Love E- Book. It is free and my gift to you.
Many will argue about what the Biblical grounds for divorce are, and some will even go as far as condemning those who are divorcing. I am not going to debate that point, but rather let Jesus speak. Jesus never said it was ok to divorce, but He did say in two circumstances it would be permissible. He also stated that it was because of the hardness of the hearts of the divorcing couple. Regardless of our stance, I do know that in Jesus there is forgiveness, grace and mercy in dealing with divorce, but at the same time every effort MUST be made to sustain what has been ordained.
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Mathew 19:7-9 (NASB)
The question does not become about permissibility but instead the hardness of the heart. The decision to divorce is never easy and always has enormous pain and consequences attached to it. The false perception is that after the divorce the pain will end. The truth is that the pain is just beginning.
Before I share the 4 deceptions and discernments, I need to share the following. A husband is called to love his wife, but most husbands (including myself) have no idea how to truly love our wives until we are trained to.
- For Women Only… Please understand that from our earliest upbringing, men have been taught that providing for our family is the secret to their happiness, and we are completely surprised when we find out it is not true. We as men believe in our heart of hearts that because we sacrifice long hours and provide well, we are serving our family and deserve respect. The worst part is that we are terrified of telling you this because we want to be your knight in shining armor!
- Men… The perception that providing for our family is our only calling is an absolute and false lie that we often base our self-esteem on. All provision must come through the securities below to take real root in life. Our responsibility is far greater than provision alone, and what I am about to share has led me to a very happy family life. It is something I call “The Security Funnel”, and I have found that focused intentionality on this leads to peace and happiness in the home. I have learned to funnel all of my family decisions through these securities.
Men and Women…Please don’t be deceived into thinking that reinforcement of your personal self-esteem will bring you long-term happiness. True contentment and joy will only come from dedication to Jesus, each other and growing in these securities together with absolute intentionality.
In your Service,