My husband told me of a game-changing thought he had a few years ago. It astonished me when I first heard it! But I had already seen how it had improved his attitude toward me and our marriage.
It was just this: Divorce is really an option.
I’ll tell you that scared me! I had grown up being told and believing that divorce is so ugly, so sinful that there is no way I would ever even consider divorce as a viable option—about as viable as murder or adultery. But the last decade or so has shown me time and time again that divorce is more and more common in our churches, even the ones who preach adamantly against it.
So, when my husband told me that he considered divorcing me as a viable option, I freaked out! Then he explained what he meant. He said that before this game-changer, he thought of divorce in the same way I had—not an option. It wasn’t thought of. But it made other sins seem more possible: adultery, abuse, bitterness.
When he decided to choose divorce instead of these other options, he said it actually freed him to be a better husband. When he realized it was actually possible that I might divorce him, and he saw it as a distinct possibility, it motivated him to want to do everything he could to make our marriage better so that I wouldn’t want to divorce him. Does that make sense?
What does this mean for you?
So, even though divorce is a possibility, it isn’t really. It’s a motivator to not get a divorce: to work out our differing opinions, to put each other first more often, to communicate and unite deeper and more satisfying than ever before.
So, how can you this shocking statement to improve your marriage? You can use it like my husband did: If you don’t want your spouse to divorce you—or even consider it—work hard at your relationship. I’ll be explaining more about that in a future blog post, but for now, here are three actions you can take today to defeat divorce (or at least, lessen the likelihood for it):
1. Show love even when you don’t feel love.
2. Choose to do one small act of kindness for your spouse.
3. Choose one area that your spouse has mentioned as bugging him and work on it. Show him you heard him, his opinion matters to you, and you’re humble enough to try something different.
I hope this has given you a new way to think about your marriage. Don’t consider divorce just because you’re unhappy, or you think your needs aren’t being met, or your husband isn’t the man you fell in love with. Believe me, I’ve felt all those things. But consider divorce as a looming possibility if you don’t make some changes.
You be the one to make the first change. Yes, marriage is a two-way street, but sometimes one person has to blaze the trail of kindness and submission for a while, until the spouse begins to change their heart. Don’t try to change his heart for him; that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. Just be the best wife you can be right now.
Join the conversation: What is one thing you can do today to improve your marriage? Pick one of the three actions and do it today. Tell us which one you’re going to do in the comments below, or in our Facebook group, Practical Living for Christian Women.