What have you resolved to do differently this year? Lose weight? Get a better job? Break a bad habit? Maybe you plan to spend more time with your family or become more active in your church.
New Year’s Resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, but they have at least one thing in common—a desire for positive change. Some will seek happiness through divorce this year. Is breaking up a resolution couples must keep? Is divorce the right solution for every troubled marriage?
January is called “divorce month” by lawyers because of the high rate of filings compared to the rest of the year. According to the Doyle Law Group, “It is commonly found that married couples, especially those with children wish to avoid disturbing the winter holidays and often hope for a last-minute change in a partner’s behaviors.” This finding is interesting, but not all troubled marriages are required to participate in divorce month.
God is for lifelong marriage. When asked about divorce, Jesus said the couple is “no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6, NAS) Ending a marriage is a delicate subject among Christians. Some couples want to honor God in their decision. Others want to escape a miserable or dangerous situation regardless of the spiritual implications. Sometimes divorce is inevitable. For those who have walked (or are walking) this life-altering journey, be reminded that God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). Divorce is the breaking of a God-ordained covenant, and yet, He does not withhold His forgiveness or love from the divorcee.
If you are a Christian in a struggling marriage, determine if you have exhausted all efforts to reconcile. Let God teach you how to love with no strings attached. Seek help from a wise biblical counselor. Finally, remember God is with you in your journey (Psalm 94:14). Freelance writer, Alysse ElHage, cites a study by sociologists Paul Amato and Spencer James, who found “when couples stick together through difficult times, remain faithful to one another, and actively work to resolve problems, positive long-term outcomes (while not guaranteed) are common.” God’s resolve is stronger than ours. He built marriage to stand the test of time. God and time—the perfect combination for healing broken love.
This article first appeared in Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.