…I truly believe that God is in the business of protecting and loving His children, ALL His children, single and married, AND He is in the business of protecting, growing and nurturing marriages. Sometimes, He can do both. Sometimes the marriage has to be sacrificed for the benefit of His children. But, God can and will redeem both His children and the marriage wherever possible. I believe that is first and foremost His goal and objective. Christian marriages speak too loudly to the world of God’s covenant and His grace to have this be an either the marriage/or His children situation.
My mother left my father just after I married – I had come back from honeymoon all glowing and happy, and she took one look at me (literally) and moved out my father’s house. And two high-profile Christian leaders told her it as okay, God was on her side. Here’s the thing though: my mother wanted to leave the day she got married. All that had happened is that someone finally gave her permission to go based on their view of the Word of God. My Dad was never abusive, not addicted to anything, a bit distant because of his work and not too involved in family life but he was a good provider and father for us and these people who advised her didn’t even have the decency to talk to my Dad (in fact, it is my understanding they didn’t even know who he was). She wanted out, because she was unhappy and wanted more. More that my Dad could not possibly give her. And when she saw how happy I was after my honeymoon, she just left. Not a burden I would wish anyone to carry. It has taken me years to finally understand that my mom’s leaving was not God’s desire. If my mom had been patient, God would’ve redeemed my dad and their marriage (my Dad has since become a Christian and is heavily involved in the church – just what she always wanted). But, she didn’t wait. Now, she is married to a Jewish man, who does not share her faith, and they are battling financially and at the age of 63, she will still need to work the next 20 years to pay off their mortgage. My dad is fully retired and enjoying life at home.
Being unhappy in a marriage is not reason enough to leave. Battling in marriage is not reason enough to leave. Having a distant husband, an overweight wife, a workaholic spouse, etc, etc, etc are not reasons to leave; they are not reasons to break a marriage covenant before God.
However, being abused – whether spiritually, emotionally or physically – only the people IN the marriage can truly decide what to do (preferably after receiving counselling). And then know that we are absolutely the most important people to God (as we all are), because He hurts when we hurt. He weeps when we weep. He is with us, He is loving us, He is always on our side. But, whatever the situation, and whatever our circumstances, know that God is always on our side. And He loves us so deeply that I often don’t think we’ll be able to comprehend His love in this world – not completely, anyway.
And I think that is the most important thing. Love!
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”