The Married Dead: When Divorce Looks Imminent

– This is a Feature Guest Post by Stephen Miller – 

There is an epidemic in this country and people are becoming walking zombies, the statistics are high.  Families are abandoned, homes destroyed, children left to try to pick up the pieces without one parent or the other.

DEAD FINAL

Men are walking away in droves and women are trying to prove they are independent enough to live this life “without a man” that they unwittingly subject their children to the torture of wondering if the next guy through the door could possibly be dad, when he’s just more than likely looking for a quick fix to suspend the longings and the cravings for what God intended us to have within Marriage, intimacy.

Women need it, men need it, and God designed it like a fire to be contained within a fireplace held together by two bands of Gold or precious metals, but when let out, it is destructive and harmful and an epidemic of zombie apocalypse proportions.   Men are seeking women, women are seeking men and kids are seeking daddies, and God is waiting for all of them to seek Him.

 Divorce has become the norm.

Why is the divorce rate inside the church so close to the divorce rate outside of the church?  Maybe people inside the church, the body of Christ, as well as people outside the church all have a warped view of love and what God intended when He designed us and then commanded us to love one another.

Somewhere over the years, through the centuries, we lost sight of God’s intentions for love as a means to be Christ-like to others, and we have twisted it to mean a way we receive pleasure and self-satisfying desires.  No longer taking on the definition of Agape, the Greek word that almost every use of the word love in the New Testament can be traced to, which is unconditional; God’s love, and replacing it with Eros which is the Greek root of the English word Erotic meaning the tingles accompanying sexual attraction or arousal.

We have simultaneously removed God’s intentions for love and replaced it with a twisted view.  Which brings me to the number one reason that we find through our marriage ministry that most couples divorce……..eros, or lack of eros.  The tingles they don’t receive from their spouse any longer, or the tingles they do receive from someone else.

Since we are on Manturity and I’m talking to mainly guys, take a look at your own marriage for a moment (provided you are married) and let’s take inventory.  Don’t worry, no one is in your head, you don’t have to speak it out, but have you contemplated divorce?  If the answer is yes, let’s move to the why.  Think about it, boil it down to one sentence.  No matter your answer, it probably sounds like this when boiled down.  “She isn’t meeting my needs to my satisfaction”.  Then, depending upon how far down this trail you’ve traveled, you may have someone else in mind that you believe at this moment will meet your needs to your satisfaction.

Although I am primarily in marriage ministry, serving as a Family Life Pastor, a Marriage small group ministry leader, a men’s ministry leader, as well as serving in Marriage Restored as a presenter and Florida Administrator. I understand that no matter what we do and say, there are a few marriages that just aren’t going to make it.  Some that probably shouldn’t go on.  Some that are so destructive that men and women need years of healing when they break away.  But most divorces, most failed marriages can and should be saved.  That is where we need to focus to lower the divorce rate in this country.  Those that simply walk out because they have a twisted view of love or their spouse does and either one or both are self-seeking.

Men are walking around within their relationships like Zombies.  They look alive, they probably go to work every day, they feed, they growl, they desire!  What they lack is intimacy.  If you are contemplating divorce, have you looked at yourself?  Have you sought God, or are you just flying by the seat of your pants?  In other words being ruled by your emotions.

Here’s five areas to rate yourself before you should ever consider divorce.  Be brutally honest.  Your lives and your children’s lives are on the line.  This is not a time for immaturity or selfishness. Time to Man up!

1) Have you led your home well?

Spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, intellectually, how have you led your home?  You are most certainly a leader, you’re either a good leader or a bad leader.  You are the CEO, like it or not.  It may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility. (If you’re a bad leader, you can improve!)

2) Have you loved your wife well?

“Steve, you don’t know my wife, she’s hard to love”.  You picked her.   You promised to have and to hold her and to protect her in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, she is your responsibility.  I didn’t say this was easy.  It is a challenge, but you can do it.

3) How’s your relationship with God?

Are you a man who chases the heart of God?  Do you die to selfishness daily?  Do you spend time in study and in prayer?  Do you display the fruits of the Spirit?

4) Do you know what the deepest attainable desire of your wife’s heart is?

If you don’t know, you should!  Find out and work towards it!

5) When was the last time you set personal goals for your family?

Without a vision, the people perish.  Without a vision of a future together, you can forget you have one or easily write yourself out of it.

Men, it’s time to take a stand, take a firm hold of our responsibilities, set a course for the future, lead our wives and our families and change the statistical nightmare of the “divorce apocalypse” in our country, and in our church.  Let’s take our families back!

How did you rate? What is one area mentioned above that you could start improving in your marriage this week?

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Steves Bio PicStephen Miller is a Family Life Pastor at Crystal River Church of God, an ordained minister in the Church of God, the Men’s Ministry leader of Warriors with a Covenant and a Married Life Small group marriage ministry leader. Steve and his wife Jessica present regularly for the Marriage Restored Conference. You can read more of his work at Marriage Encounter and read his book “Fight for Her! A Marriage in Crisis and God’s Intervention.”

  • FatherVision

    Good stuff here. Though the title makes it sound like it’s concerned with divorce, I see this article as being about stepping up your game in marriage. I’m nowhere near divorce, but I still think the five questions at the end are extremely useful. I would encourage every man, no matter the condition of his marriage, to ask and answer those questions. Good stuff!

    • Steve_Miller

      I absolutely agree Father Vision! The same stuff that makes a marriage great can also bring you back from the precipice of divorce, funny how that works? 🙂 Thanks for the input!

  • Lisa

    I love this Pastor Steve my marriage would not have survived without putting God first! You and your beautiful wife have been an instrustment in our marriage! God always puts the perfect people in your life! I pray everyday for your ministry and u use these tools and wisdom that you provided us everyday! Marriage works you just need to hold on and put God first.

  • Tune My Heart Lord Jesus

    If I fail at #1,2,4 and 5 can I even count my victory in #3?

    • Steve_Miller

      Ahhhh, and the question, can you be in right standing with God and in wrong standing with your spouse? Or is being open to God essential to being open with my spouse? 1st Peter 3:7 plays a role in the answer there somewhere. However the above questions are in no particular order. Thanks!

      • Tune My Heart Lord Jesus

        Ah, but sometimes the “weaker” partner comes armed with weapons I will not use including [mild] physical assault, major verbal abuse and time-limited hearing dysfunction (cannot converse for hours about this or any other subject) before apologizing and I find myself seemingly unfairly burdened by “seventy times seven” one-way forgiveness. And I must wonder, is it me or she? I thank God for my dose of grace, such as it is.

        • Steve_Miller

          Tune, I will pray for your situation, I recognize not every relationship is black and white. Although, Jesus can change your situation, I have faith for it because I’ve experienced it. (My own!) Prayer works.

          • Tune My Heart Lord Jesus

            He is faithful. Thanks, brother!