• Dathan Belanger

Understanding Divorce and How We Can Support a Friend Through It

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Photo by Zoriana Stakhniv on Unsplash

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to divorce

One common myth is that half of all marriages end in divorce. The true divorce rate is actually closer to 40% percent. Very good odds though if your betting on a dice roll with a casino.

According to the CDC Centers for Disease Control, which has an extensive data collection, the divorce rate in the US has been in sharp decline since 2000. However, this information can be misleading since the marriage rate has also declined.

Still, divorce as a percentage of marriage has fallen in recent years. According to Focus on the Family.com, the divorce rate in the church is comparable to society at large.

Particularly in modern times the covenant of marriage is under attack and we need to counter it, However, if divorce does occur we need to be able to encourage, support and most of all be loving to those that go through it. It is my hope the following article is helpful to you.

God, the Creator of humankind has shared his plan for marriage as a long-lasting covenant between Husband and Wife. God knows what is best for us and if we stray from his plan the outcomes can be damaging.

God wants us to be married

Jesus informs us concerning the significance of marriage. Mathew 19:3–6 says “A few Pharisees came to Him to test Him. “Is it legal for a man to separate from his better half for any and each reason?” “Haven’t you read,” Jesus answered. “That toward the starting the Creator made them male and female, and stated, hence, a man will leave his dad and mom and be joined to his significant other, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Marriage is a pledge that should not be taken lightly. I see marriage as two hard wooden sticks representing man and woman that can not twist together around each other. It is an impossible task but with God nothing is impossible. God acts as the water that can soften the sticks so they can be woven together.

Does the bible give any situation where divorce is permitted?

It is a generally accepted interpretation among the church that passages indicate there are a couple of situations in which God allows a marriage to end. In the case of unrepentant immorality and when a believer is deserted by an unbelieving spouse.

Besides breaking the holy covenant of marriage there are many additional fallouts with divorce

Let’s discuss the damages to us emotionally, financially, and our children.

Emotionally dealing with divorce is similar to mourning a loved one that has passed away. For some, it is a scar that will never heal. Friendships will be lost and tears will be shed. Many extended families of marriage feel they need to take sides. For others, the relationship is cut because there never was a strong anchor, to begin with. The majority of close friends may be sympathetic at first but eventually, sympathy will wear out.

Financially divorce is devastating. Marriage is a great path for wealth building. Divorce, on the other hand, is not. Financial assets and debt acquired during a marriage are divided between the former spouses. Both spouses will suffer. About one-third of women who own a home and have children will lose their current dwelling when they divorce. A majority of men will experience a tremendous drop in their standard of living. Divorce-related payments such as alimony, Child support, and a separate home and the possible loss of an ex-wife’s income total up.

The children of divorce will endure the most damage with their parents separating. Children will spend less time with their parents. A parent who may need to work full time that previously stayed at home or worked only part-time after the divorce. Children with divorced parents often cannot afford opportunities previously doted on them such as summer camps, music lessons, sports, etc. because of limited income.

As believers that practice forgiveness, we can help our friends in their time of great need.

These are some important keys that you should remember

First, you should reach out and communicate support. Let your friends know that they are not alone. If you know both then try to maintain a relationship with both.

Listen. Do not be quick to judge or offer your opinions. Do not shame. Your friend is hurting. The last thing they want to hear is “tough it out” or hear the mistakes they made. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 (NIV) Do not gossip. Your friend has confided in you, do not share any information unless you are given permission.

Finally, ask how you can pray for them. What they need and what you think they need may be entirely different. Encourage them to get involved in the church. Fellowship with the church family provides encouragement and reminds them they are not alone. I have personally witnessed the horror of divorce.

As Christians, we need to understand divorce to lower the divorce rates and show the love of God to those that go through it.

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