Marriage Counselor Advises Getting A Divorce
A frantic call came from a distraught mother in Dallas, “My son Bill, and his wife Carla who live in Houston have an appointment with a lawyer and are going to file for a divorce on Friday. But they promised to see a Christian marriage counselor if I could find one who could meet with them. My pastor knows you and has referred couples from our church to your ministry. Would you be able to meet with them?”
To be very honest, my counseling schedule at the time was completely booked. I didn’t have room for any additional appointments on my schedule that day. But before I could say no, this heavily burdened mother added the magic words, “They have three children”. I knew I could not turn down a challenge like that.
When the couple arrived at my office, they were obviously just fulfilling an obligation to Bill’s mother, before throwing in the towel on a marriage of fourteen years. When I asked them to tell me what they perceived their marital issues to be, Bill started out by saying, “Sir, please forgive us for wasting your time, but I honestly believe there is really nothing that can save this marriage”. To prove his point he continued, “We’ve been to several Marriage Counselors, and nothing has helped. In fact, one counselor gave us a psychological test and advised us that we were so incompatible we should consider getting a divorce!”
My adrenaline kicked in because I knew that whoever came to that conclusion obviously did not understand the power of God. Then Bill gave me the best lead-in I’ve ever had when he asked, “So based on your professional opinion, what do you think of that advice?”
I replied, “Well, what I or any other counselor thinks isn’t what’s really important”. (Of course, I didn’t want to tell them it was some of the worst advice I had ever heard.) I said, “What’s most important is what God says about it. “Turning to Malachi 2:16, I read these words: ““For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So, guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” … I’ll never forget Bill’s response – with a sneer on his face he challenged, ” You mean God wants us to be this miserable the rest of our lives?”
“No, “I explained, God wants you to be happy together, but it will never come by failing to follow his plan and precepts. Since God is the author of marriage, he intended it to be loving, intimate and fulfilling. In addition, He wants that for you more than you could ever know.”
Although they were Christians, Bill and Carla were not experiencing love, intimacy, and fulfillment. They were leaving God out of their lives and marriage. They weren’t following some of God’s fundamental principles. After three hours of counseling with them, we prayed together. They decided to go to work on making the necessary changes to rebuild their relationship. Today they enjoy a loving relationship.
While we were praying, I suddenly realized they were coming to “a new beginning” in their marriage. That’s how it is with so many couples we work with. Many of them begin their marriages with God. Often, when a couple decides to get married and has a wedding, the minister pronounces the couple man and wife, and he leads them in a statement of their vows where they promise “to love, honor and cherish each other for as long as they both shall live,” followed by a prayer for God’s blessings on their new marriage. But truthfully, happiness in marriage is not based on a wedding ceremony, or a minister’s prayer. Marriage is based on a couple’s continued commitment to learn and follow God and His plan for marriage.
Almost every marriage, at some point, faces a time of crisis. One or both spouses think they cannot endure the conflict and pain any longer. What they don’t realize, is that this is not a time to give up hope. Remember, despite anger, frustration, hopelessness, or opting for divorce there is a way to turn your marriage around. Regardless of how you or your spouse feel toward each other now, or how troubled and hopeless you have become if you seek Godly counsel, it IS possible to work through your marital problems. Like hundreds of couples that we’ve worked with, you’ll discover that God has a plan for marriage. His plan is for fixing and restoring a broken-down marriage. This includes resolving conflict, healing the past, and restoring love and intimacy.