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Marriage Devotion Day 9 – Dating to Divorce and How We Got There

Marriage Devotion Day 9 – Dating to Divorce and How We Got There

If you put two sinners in a room (home) for an extended period with no plan for escape, you can expect problems. There may be a lot of love along the way, but there will also be problems. It’s unavoidable. If the lovers aren’t careful, they can go from dating to divorce like many others. But they don’t have to, which I address in this devotion.

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If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:8-10).

The dating couple can break-up and go on to their next relationship. Vocational relationships are similar. If you don’t like your boss or the environment you work in, you can move on to the next thing. Marriage is different. Though it’s easy to get into these relationships, there is no acceptable escape plan other than death (Matthew 19:8). Sadly, too many couples ignore their hearts’ hardness and create another goal; it’s called divorce.

By the time two people enter a dating relationship, they come together with their special, unique baggage: fallen shaping influences given to them by Adam, others, and their poor personal choices. After you mix their baggage with the other’s, there is no way to avoid sinful combustion in the home. The implication is that we are sinners. We not only came from our respective mothers’ wombs speaking lies (Psalm 58:3), but we created a whole lot of baggage before we met our spouses. Some of this baggage was our doing, while other people heaped the rest of it upon us. Either way, we come together with our spouses with an eclectic mix of struggles, temptations, quirks, and flaws.

Perhaps you did not perceive all the issues during your dating relationship. Maybe your pre-marriage counseling was inadequate. Too often, there is no one with the courage, grace, wisdom, or competence to speak into the lives of engaged couples. To tell the truth, you were “in love,” so there was very little anyone could say to you anyway, right? You left your baggage at the dating door and didn’t pick it up again until you were six months into your marriage. If you have been a wise and humble couple, you have sought help for your marriage because you know the best sanctification happens in a community.

Sometimes couples do not seek help soon enough, and after being married for more than a decade, they cannot keep their problems under wraps. Their marriage problems begin to escape their ability to keep them quiet. As the couple’s nest is emptying because their children become older, they are still without a sin plan. The children are no longer a distraction, and the struggling couple has to decide between four options.

  • Find help.
  • Get a divorce.
  • Find other distractions like ministry, hobbies, or grandchildren.
  • Coexist in a house that is not a home, waiting on one of them to die.

My appeal to any couple in trouble, regardless of their marriage length, is to get help. God’s grace is more significant than your problems, no matter how complex you think your issues are. The Bible has a lot to say about working through conflict. There is a plan for sin, and it begins with the gospel. The only requirement is humility (James 4:6). Though you may have started on the wrong foot, it does not mean you have to stay that way. God came to redeem and restore what you cannot fix. Redeeming broken things is at the heart of the gospel. I appeal to you to get help today!

Time to Reflect

  1. Are you still surprised that your spouse sins? If so, why are you surprised?
  2. Rather than being frustrated by your spouse’s failures, what is one way you can cooperate with God in helping your spouse change (Galatians 6:1-2)?

Practical Suggestion

Write out a specific and practical plan based on your reflections.

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