Why stand for your marriage?

A failing marriage can happen to anybody, even Christians. In fact, Christian marriages may even be more likely to experience hardships because they are a prime target for the enemy. Satan sees too much potential in these unions. The devil knows that if he can keep the believing husband and wife fighting with each other, then they’ll eventually lose sight of what really matters: Praising Jesus and spreading the gospel. When Satan attacks our marriages he is trying to use us as a tool to bring down God’s kingdom and thwart His plans.

So Christians are by no means exempt from marriage difficulties. The difference is or should be, how Christians respond when their husband or wife seeks divorce. Those people in a believing marriage have something motivating them to stand that unbelieving marriages don’t: Jesus.

Jesus chose us and gave us a firm foundation on which to base our stand. Through Him, we have the power to persevere through and overcome what would have ended a secular marriage. An unbeliever is more likely to give up on their marriage because they are motivated only by feelings or other things of the flesh. Unbelievers are also more likely to seek and find what the world says about divorce: the world believes divorce is totally acceptable, embraced, and often even encouraged. This country as a whole has become totally desensitized to divorce in what is no doubt an act of Satan.

As Christians, how should we respond when our husband or wife files for divorce? Seek God first. Keep praying, fasting, worshipping, and studying scripture. Ask God to convict you, change you and renew you, and pray the same for your spouse. Follow God’s word and not your feelings. Be careful not to make your spouse or reconciliation into an idol. Decide that you still want to follow Jesus no matter what happens. Don’t fall into the trap of treating God as a magical genie.

Reasons to Stand for Marriage Restoration

Is it your spouse motivating your stand? It could be at first, but this reason probably won’t last. When your husband or wife files for divorce it’s easy to grow bitter and resentful after the hurt sinks in. You will probably feel rejected and attacked; Maybe they blocked, threatened, or cheated on you. Once the situation escalates to this point, in the flesh they don’t deserve the stand and in your pride, you likely just want to walk away.

I think this reason is what most outsiders believe motivates standers. But it is a misperception to think that we are praying for restoration simply because we miss our spouse. Consider it: How do people react when they hear that your husband or wife files for an unwanted divorce? They probably take pity on you and think that you miss him/her and are lonely and miserable alone. Maybe they even think that you’re a little crazy and desperate to want someone that doesn’t want you back.

This perception operates under the assumption that its feelings motivating the stand.

Feelings do not last. Feelings are fickle, feelings change and fade over time or even overnight, feelings can’t always be trusted. And you can’t use your every feeling and whim to dictate your actions, especially when those feelings would lead you to do something against God’s word. We need to build our lives on something more stable.

Maybe you can relate to all the chaos and drama in the mind of this stander: “Sometimes I feel super sentimental and miss her so much it hurts. Sometimes I feel so angry at her that the romantic feelings are gone. Sometimes I feel like I’d do literally anything just for a phone call or text. Sometimes I feel like I hate her and I’m better off without her. Sometimes I feel like I need to be with her this instant or I’ll explode. Sometimes, like right now, I’m kinda emotionless and don’t really feel at all.”

Or maybe you can relate to the words of this stander: “In moments of weakness I have considered alternative paths in life. Paths that don’t include her, that would be easier and even more desirable. We’ve entangled ourselves so far into conflict that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to resolve even when we both want to. I can understand why so many in secular marriages simply give up and end it this way.”

Standers do not not choose to stand because they need their spouse or because it’s the easy path. They can’t choose to stand because of their feelings. We can not always trust our feelings, but we can trust God’s word and that’s what should motivate our stand.

God does not make mistakes on who He chooses for our covenant spouse. God joined your marriage together for a purpose, even if you can’t see it, even if it feels painful and hopeless right now. You still choose to be obedient to your creator and trust that His plan is greater than your own. You didn’t only make your covenant to your husband or wife, you made your covenant to God first. And you can do everything in your power to keep that covenant and persevere through this.

1 Corinthians 6:1-6

If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgement instead of before the Lord’s people?…Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned by the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court–and this in front of unbelievers! 

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled with her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:39

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:28-33

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church–for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the who will become one flesh.”

Malachi 2:16

“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Mark 10:11-12

He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

Matthew 19:4-6

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Romans 7:2-3

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is laive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

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AuthorAshley Gerstle

God Bless