Relationship - Divorce

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
— Galatians 5:22-23

-2.1 million marriages and 986 thousand divorces took place in the EU (28 member states) in 2011.[1]

-In the UK, 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce. It is also estimated that 34% of marriages are expected to end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.[2]

-In the U.S., for those couples who married in the 1960s and 70s: The divorce rate for those couples was about 40 to 45 percent, according to an analysis from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[3]

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It was a cold winter’s day in 2010 as I waited outside the Kentish Town Tube stop for a friend to pick me up for dinner. We were discussing the topic of divorce, and he mentioned something that caught my attention. He said: “When I look at my friends who come from divorced homes they’re just different.”

When a relationship ends it's sad- it’s sad for the couple, for the children, friends, and family. Believe me, I know. I am a product of it like so many others.

I don’t seek to paint the scarlet letter A on those who have divorced. Your divorce or your marriage woes are none of my business. But, as I have tried to point out these past few weeks with the theme of “relationship,” when Jesus isn’t Lord over our lives, our relationship with God is affected. And believe it or not, our relationship with ourselves is affected. And then inevitably, our relationship with others is affected.


Marriage isn’t easy. As Rick Warren states: “It’s work but it’s worth it.” When you put two people together there will be problems. It takes maturity, it takes a lot of prayer, it takes walking with God, and it takes exhibiting the Fruits of the Spirit to make marriage what God intended it to be. If people would just mature, meaning if they would resolve to exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit in their relationship with their partner; deal with past brokenness (baggage) from the past; work through their marriage challenges; as well as try to understand their partner’s Psychological Type- and how that fits in with their own psychological type; act selflessly; and resolve to NEVER DIVORCE then that might lessen “divorce talk” language in marriages.[4]

When you marry then that person becomes “THE ONE.” And God is holding both people to their marriage vows, even on the days that one or both wish they hadn’t of married the other person. God hates brokenness.[5] 

  • We should strive to not marry someone we know isn’t right for us, thinking that things will work out and fall into place, because this decision-making could lead to an unhappy marriage or to divorce.
  • We should strive not to marry someone because of his or her looks or accomplishments, because this decision-making could lead to an unhappy marriage or to divorce.

They say opposites attract but do they stay together- when we marry someone who has no moral religious base and we do, or they don’t want kids and we do, or who has a different outlook on life than we do?

According to a study done by The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, “Marriages are more likely to last if you love and trust your wife, have a generally good relationship, and want to make it to work.”[6]

As a divorced friend pointed out to me this week, listening is one key factor in a marriage. She stated, “When a husband or wife stop listening to each other, their partners voices lose their special sound, and everything that they cared about in their partner loses its shine, therefore all the nasty stuff (psychological, physical, and spiritual abuse) becomes ok.”  

I leave you with the words of DrDavid Jeremiah, who has written concisely on the topic of divorce:

In the book What My Parents Did Right, Bible teacher Jill Briscoe wrote of how her parents maintained their commitment to each other without ever considering divorce an option. “My sister and I knew that Mom and Dad enjoyed being married, would stay married, and hoped we’d do the same. Differences they had were kept between them and worked out in the context of the promises they made to each other and to God on their wedding day. There was no option out!”

Marriage is knowing and loving each other while, at the same time, knowing and loving God. The resources we need for a healthy home are the same as the ones we need for everyday living—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These—the fruit of the Spirit—come with maturity; and spiritual maturity comes from our walk with God through Jesus.

Make sure you’re growing in Christ, and He will help you keep your marriage alive and strong. What your marriage needs is—Him!

“When the doors on a marriage are shut and bolted and a fire breaks out, all your time and energy goes to putting out the flames.” -Jill Briscoe

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Happy Friday xx

If you want to turn to the Bible for further reading on Divorce:

-God speaks, through the Prophet Malachi extensively on divorce in Malachi 2.

-Jesus speaks about divorce in Matthew 19, when he referred to Moses allowing divorce with the Israelites.

-Paul speaks about divorce in 1 Corinthians 7.

[1] “Euro Stat,“ Marriage and Divorce Statistics. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Marriage_and_divorce_statistics

[2] Office of National Statistics for England and Wales “What Percentage of Marriage Ends in Divorce,” http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/divorces-in-england-and-wales/2011/sty-what-percentage-of-marriages-end-in-divorce.html

[3] Ali Eves, The Truth About Divorce Rates, http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/divorce-statistics

[4] Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ typological approach to personality.

[5] Malachi 2:16

[6] Ali Eves, The Truth About Divorce Rates, http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/divorce-statistics