Unfortunately, thousands of people around the world are trying to save their marriages, but their spouses are unwilling and have thrown in the towel. In addition to leading someone into a horrible tailspin of depression and hopelessness, a slew of health problems can ensue because of the mental and emotional stress caused by the divorce proceedings.
So, what are you (a Christian) to do if they’re trapped in this type of situation without any hope of preserving their family? Is it possible to live the way that God wants you to live in the midst of the chaos? Can you live the “Abundant Life” that Jesus spoke of when your family and marriage has been stripped from you?
I think so. In fact, I know so! How do I know?
- First, because the Bible says so.
- Secondly, because I’ve known people who can testify to it!
Although I’d prefer to give you a step-by-step guide guaranteeing that you or a loved-one going through a divorce will survive unscathed, it simply doesn’t exist. However, what I can offer you is THE best way to approach the situation. If walked out Biblically, the peace that Paul speaks of that surpasses all understanding can truly guard you mind and heart in Christ Jesus! Then, and only then, is living the Abundant Life possible during what can prove to be the most challenging event of your life.
The Lord’s Prayer: Your Guide to Peace
To find THE way to experiencing the Abundant Life during a divorce, you need to look no further than Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Let me illustrate:
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
If living the Abundant Life in the midst of a divorce is going to be possible it must be birthed, bathed, and seasoned in prayer and worship. The 100th Psalm reminds us that, to do this, we must “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.” Be sure to make prayer and worship not only a daily habit, but also a several-times-a-day habit.
Remember: “Pray without ceasing!” (I Thes 5:17)
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
It IS God’s will for you NOT to suffer, but to enjoy the Abundant Life! That’s why Jesus came and died for your sins (John 10:10). Ask God for the Abundant Life during this troubling season of your life. If you have wronged your spouse or have acted out in an ungodly way, apologize to them and confess your sin to God. Not only is He is faithful and just to forgive you, He will cleanse you of all unrighteousness and clean your slate so that you can indeed live Abundantly in Christ! (I John 1:9).
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
It is interesting to note that, in the same breath, Christ prays for daily provision in the form of food and forgiveness of sins. And not only forgiveness of sins, but also forgiveness at the same level that it has doled out by Himself!
In a time of divorce it is critical to forgive your spouse of their sins from the past once and for all, and to keep on forgiving them for all the wrongs and hurts that they are laying upon you during the divorce proceedings. As Jesus alludes to in this passage, it is not something that is done once, but daily if needed.
To emphasize the necessity of forgiveness, Jesus added:
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (v. 14-15
The key to Abundant Life during a divorce is not allowing yourself to be held in bondage to unforgiveness, because to release your spouse of their “debts” to you. Ask God to help you forgive, and then let them go into His Hands, and enjoy peace.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Maybe now more than ever, you’ll be tempted to be angry at or even hate your spouse. If this is watered with time and unforgiveness, then a root of bitterness may spring up and take root in your soul.
“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:14-16)
Like unforgiveness, a root of bitterness will cause you to suffer more spiritual and emotional trauma than you can ever afflict upon your spouse. Pluck it these roots with forgiveness, love and by praying for your spouse earnestly.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
And finally, as we began we shall finish; in prayer and worship. Jesus says to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking and knock and keep on knocking.
If our Savior could have experienced the Abundant Life by praying for His enemies and by turning the other cheek as they persecuted Him, trust Him that He can help you do the same during this season!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
~ John 10:10
Health coach, life coach, author and speaker, Eric L. Zielinski is a Chiropractor who continues to seek out ways to influence the world toward achieving the Abundant Life. Eric’s work can be seen in a wide variety of venues including Christian, health/wellness, and academic peer-reviewed literature. Eric lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife Sabrina and three children. Visit Eric on his website at DrEricZ.com.