Here in Jamaica I’m apart of a ministry called the Love March Movement which is a Christian organization run by young adults thatexists to speak and act boldly, creatively and prayerfully, in love, to protect and restore sexual purity, marriage and family within the borders of our nation.
It is apart of the organizations culture to love what God loves and hate what He hates. One of the many things God explicitly says he hates in his word is divorce (Malachi chapter 2 verse 16) and so to us the word ‘divorce’ is a curse word quite like the F word if you know what I mean.
So, when we discuss it or talk about it in our presentations, we refer to it as “The D word”.
I’m the only child for my parents who have lived in animosity toward each other for all my life.For a long time I didn’t know how to answer the questions about whether they were divorced or not, because I never saw them go through a legal process of ending their marriage.
I finally got clarity in November of 2018 that my father did legally divorce my mother in 2006 but against my mothers wishes and without her involvement. My father handed me the document for me to hand it to my mother on his behalf which was a cowardly move, but it has made my resolve to plunge myself into the pursuit of God’s heart even stronger than ever before.
I want to ensure I fully understand God’s intentions behind inventing marriage in the first place so that I don’t make the same mistakes.
Why Do Couples Divorce?
In a nutshell couples divorce because one or both involved have hardened their hearts toward the other, that’s essentially what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 19when the Pharisees asked him about divorce.
All relationships are unique in their own way; however, all couples face the same struggles regarding money, household chores, child rearing, sex, In-laws, quality time, differences in basic beliefsand practices, etc. How a couple handle their differences will determine how happy they are in their relationship and ultimately whether they divorce or not.
God hates divorce.How many of us have asked why does God hate divorce? I doubt many people give thought to that, with marriages even within the church failing just as quickly as they start, it is fair to say people are way more concerned about their personal feelings than they are about God’s feelings.
Most people don’t recognize that subjecting ourselves to the heart ache of divorce also crushes the heart of God, who has made a covenant with us and wants us to honour the covenant we have made with our spouse.
People get divorced for a plethora of reasons from infidelity to verbal/physical abuse, to lack of communication resulting in the 2 growing apart, to a wife growing sick and tired of her husband’s bad habit of leaving things lying around the house, the reasons are endless.
The best way to mitigate against divorce is to get to the roots of the weeds that exist in all relationships and those rootsare SELFISHNESS and PRIDE.
Selfishness is at the very core of what sin is, that’s why it is said repeatedly in the epistles that “love fulfils the law” and Jesus said there is no greater law than the command to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves.
One of the characteristics mentioned in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 where Paul explains love is that “love is not self-seeking.”It is near impossible to be absolutely selfless in all situations, however, recognizing that if you claim to love your spouse you should always aim to put them before yourself and you actually do as much as you can, this act alone will go a far way in protecting your marriage against “The D Word”.
Can you imagine a relationship where both husband and wife are always seeking to serve the other person out of love? Can you imagine a marriage like that failing? I highly doubt you can.
As humans we make mistakes even with the best of intentions, and we say things that may unintentionally hurt our spouse. At the very core of unforgiveness is pride. When insulted or offended we naturally become defensive as if we don’t make mistakes as well, as if we have never needed forgiveness and won’t ever need forgiveness from our spouse.
Pride is responsible for what is known among relationship experts as the four horsemen of the apocalypse, they are contempt, stonewalling, criticism, and defensiveness. When these behaviours become the modus operandi of a relationship it is pretty much doomed to fail.
So not only must we always seek to put our spouse above ourselves we must also recognize that our spouse may at times forget to put us before themselves and extend grace toward them.
We must give them the benefit of the doubt, and believe they are not trying to hurt us in the things they do and say that may be offensive. We must be quick to forgive and never take revenge, in doing this we protect our marriages from “The D Word” (Divorce).
Darren Salmon is a 27 year old young man from Kingston, Jamaica where he read for his Bachelor of Science degree in BioTechnology at the University of West Indies. He became a follower of Jesus when he was 10 and has since developed a ministry of Christian Poetry for which he has gained a godly reputation. He became a young writer with Christian Today through the recommendation of Stacy-Ann Smith an established and award-winning young writer.
To read Darren’s previous articles visit his weebly site at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/darren-salmon.html
Darren Salmon is a young man from Kingston, Jamaica where he read for his Bachelor of Science degree in BioTechnology at the University of West Indies. He became a follower of Jesus when he was 10 and has since developed a ministry of Christian Poetry for which he has gained a godly reputation. Darren is husband to the lovely Mrs. Kimberley Salmon (previously Morgan), another talented young writer with Christian Today. Darren is a joint 1st place recipient of the Tronson award for international young writers with Christian Today for the year 2019. To read Darren’s previous articles visit his weebly site at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/darren-salmon.html