So many people today have gone or are going through the pain of divorce. The age at which they get divorces has risen from the 30s and 40s to now more marriages end when spouses enter their 50s. For women in their 50s the ability to find jobs and acclimate to independent living is made much more difficult and can leave them stranded in poverty with minimum wage paying jobs.
For divorced women, the husbands who made a covenant to love, cherish, lead, and protect them abandoned them instead. The very person both men and women trusted to walk with them through the joys and trials of life is now their worst enemy. The excruciating pain of those experiences often leaves them with the belief that they could never forgive and/or get on the other side of their anger. In that place, they will often seek out a church and begin to build a relationship with God. As they heal and move on in life, they can feel the tug of desire for companionship, which can be confusing to them. After all the pain they have gone through they do not want to do anything foolish, and they wonder why they would desire a relationship after going through so much pain.
As men and women grow in their relationship with the Lord and experience His sweet intimacy, they wonder why they still crave marriage. Their hearts ask the question, “Why is the Lord not enough?” They also fear that they might fall back into the foolish behaviors of the past. More than anything, they do not want to do something that would sacrifice their relationship with the Lord. Their hearts ask if it is possible for them to ever be in a relationship with someone who is faithful, trustworthy, and honorable. The big question in their minds is if there is anyone out there functioning as God would call them to function?
Our God is a God of relationship. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one God; three persons, one God, functioning in perfect unity. God is a relational being, and men and women are created in His image, created for relationship. It is for that reason that they face the desire for relationship and the fear of the pain of relationship.
Why would God create men and women for relationships that are not pain and trial free? Doesn’t God want His children to be happy? In truth, God wants His children to be holy. Relational pain and trials teach believers that they cannot do life independent of God. The conflicts and troubles of life drive believers to cling to the Lord, dependant on His strength and endurance. And, it is in this process that they grow to be more like Christ.
God’s way of growing up the character of believers is often found within the context of relationship. Marriage is the crucible God uses to grow the character of His children to reflect His image. Are they jumping out of the fire before God has a chance to mold them into His image? The painful consequences of not enduring, resolving, and being dependant on the Lord are experienced by all who have gone through a divorce.
A committed study of God’s Word (Joshua 1:8) will make a person wiser in their choices of a marriage partner, redeeming the pain of the past, and healing the fear of loving again. How much would it change the prospects for an enduring marriage if believers entered in to it with a vision of becoming more like Christ and helping each other to become more like Christ? How much would it change everything if they together fought the enemies of sin and Satan, rather than each other (2 Corinthians 11:2-3)?
For a marriage to prosper and thrive it is going to take the strength of character that only comes from the Lord. If believers don’t have a vision for their marriages will they marry for selfish reasons and become a statistic of the culture?
How are you going to fortify yourself to reflect God’s image in your relationship choices and eventually marriage?