Dear Church- Please Stop Getting Divorced for Stupid Reasons

Dear Church,

Please stop getting divorced for stupid reasons. I know, who am I, to define stupid- ESPECIALLY since I’m divorced? This is precisely why I write you today. I have lived the heartbreak of divorce and it this pain that I seek to protect you from.

I realize that no one signs their name on the dotted line of divorce papers thinking that their reasons for wanting a divorce are stupid. But can I tell you that on the nights that I sat in my car in the driveway of my house, sobbing, after dropping off my son at his Dad’s for the weekend—too heartbroken to go inside without him—that my list of viable justifications was much shorter than I might have previously thought? In light of that pain, much of it was just plain STUPID.

Now, at the end of the day, I stand by the decision that I made as one that couldn’t be avoided for reasons that can’t be shared here without telling a story that isn’t mine alone to tell and social media isn’t the place for that. But I will say this: When I hear women at church who’ve never so much as left their sweet babies in the church nursery talk about leaving their husbands because they aren’t attracted to them anymore, my heart breaks.

I’ve spent much of my life working in ministry in some form or fashion and the same stupid reasons for divorce have been shared with me over and over again. They are usually some variation of the following:

  1. We aren’t in love anymore. Unless you made some serious modifications to your vows, this has nothing to do with the till death do we part commitment that you made to one another. Feelings come and go. Do the work that created those feelings in the first place. Having feelings of love is great, honoring the commitment you made before God is even better.
  2. I’m not attracted to him anymore. Spend some time doing the things that made you attracted to one another in the beginning. Pick out a super sexy cologne or new outfit for him. Write down, think about and praise God daily for all of his positive attributes.
  3. I’m in love with someone else. This is the stupidest and most selfish of them all. If you can have feelings of love for someone else, you can most certainly have them for your spouse. It will take work and time, sacrifice and commitment. Stop cultivating love with this other person and start cultivating it with your spouse. You may always care about this other person, but don’t buy the lie that you are “meant to be with him.” God’s will is for the marriage you are in to succeed. He does not bless relationships birthed in sin.
  4. We’re just not happy. Use the resources available to you to work on your marriage, knowing that the ultimate goal of marriage is holiness, not happiness. There will be seasons of intense happiness… and other seasons.
  5. It was never God’s will in the first place. That may well be true, but you are married now and we serve a God who redeems.I fully recognize that there are cases of unsafe, abusive and truly toxic marriages. That is not what this letter is addressing. This letter is for the folks who are bored and looking for an excuse to bolt—the wife hoping that her spouse cheats first so that she can leave and still be considered the “good guy.”My husband and I are both divorced and remarried. We both married young and for the wrong reasons. I was searching for identity and to complete myself. He was checking off an item on his timeline to do list. Now remarried, we have a child together, in addition to children from our first marriages. I will never forget the night it hit me that our children would spend half of their lives apart from one another, because of the choices that we had made. Church, I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy.

Stop getting divorced for stupid reasons-please, I’m begging you.

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