If Your Light Has Gone Out {and you’re pondering divorce}

I haven’t written much lately because I’ve been struggling to process something that I read. Let me start this post by saying that I fully realize that we all approach our decision-making differently, and God calls us all to different paths, and honestly, I don’t expect this post to win me too many new friends. That being said, the Bible is very clear about a lot of things, especially divorce.

I read an article a few weeks ago, called “My Light Went Out” about a lady who was pondering a divorce. According to the post, she begged God to let her know what she should do.

I took from that statement that she’s a Christian, but maybe I’m wrong.

The article goes on to detail her marriage, and according to her admission, there were
*3 boys
*no black eyes
*no adultery (in fact she called him a kind man and a good father)
*no gambling
yet she was dying inside. She was lonely. Her friends told her that her light went out. 

So she was pondering divorce, and against the advice of friends and family, she left her marriage and chose herself. (Her words, not mine.)

After the decision was made, she shares that she heard what she needed to hear from her favorite author. Basically the advice was a list of reasons that someone might leave their husband. The end of the excerpt she shared reads,
“Go, because you want to. Because wanting to leave is enough.”

Not only that, but she was able to find the good in the situation. She has a list of “10 gifts of a messy divorce”.

If you find yourself pondering divorce, if you feel that your light has gone out, please read this encouragement first.

Friends, hold on tight….

*She begged God to tell her what to do.
*There had been, according to her admission, no adultery, so therefore no biblical reason to divorce.
*Yet her favorite author wrote a long list of reasons as to why someone should leave their marriage and she accepted that.

Excuse me…. If you’re begging God to tell you what to do, have you tried reading your Bible?

Shouldn’t God be your favorite author?

I realize that we all have authors we like to read, our own list of favorite books.

But, I also realize that it’s easier to take the advice we want instead of the advice that is actually right, which often seems more difficult.

This article has been on my mind for several weeks. I cannot get it out of my head.

I think I’m mad at the author. It has really bothered me that she described her “perfect life” (her words, not mine) and then goes on to say that she chose herself, and as a result her children are happier because they have a mother who is happy.

*     *     *     *     * 

I know that God gives a way out in certain situations in marriage. Not everyone will stay. I almost didn’t.

I don’t expect everyone to want to stay in a marriage where there has been difficulty. (And if you’re experiencing abuse, you should certainly do what you need to in order to get some distance and safety.)

But if we are calling ourselves Christians, then we need to be following what God tells us in His Word. 

Not only that, but God doesn’t force us out of our troubled marriages. The guidelines are there for if someone chooses to leave their marriage. They are not there because someone has to leave their marriage if there are problems.

In my specific situation, I really felt like this was the last (final) option for my husband to get his life straightened out.

So while the Bible very clearly gave me a way out, I chose not to take it.

Why?

Redemption

No, not mine. My husband’s.

I have a husband who has struggled severely with some major issues and this is his chance to get it right – to learn that a life isn’t lost because of mistakes, to learn that God can bring beauty from the ashes.

This has been the toughest fight of my life.

Believe me when I tell you that I feel like my light went out.

I might be able to understand where the author was coming from…if she had troubles in her marriage.
(Please note – that comment is based on reading her article, where she lists loneliness as the major issue, and 6 years of marriage counseling hadn’t fixed it.) But by all accounts, including hers, it was a good life.

I’m glad she’s happy – please don’t misunderstand that.

But I’m disappointed for her, that she had to leave the will of God in order to find happiness.

Friends, God will never EVER take us outside of His will and His truth in order for us to find happiness. It just won’t happen.

So while this article has really stayed in my head, I’m ready to let it go.

Why?

Redemption. 

No, not mine. The unbeliever’s.

Friends, we serve a God who can.
Plain and simple.
He can. 

Yes, He may choose to answer differently than we hope, but I have to count on the promises of God.

And so, though it’s not the popular choice, I choose to stand for redemption.

Though I may stand alone at times, I stand for redemption.

Though my family’s situation is “too messy” for some to want to deal with, I stand for redemption.

Why?

Because I know what’s at stake. I know what comes at the end of it all.

Heaven or hell. Life or death.

Maybe you’re struggling in your marriage right now. Can I just encourage you to please, please spend time with the Lord. Search the Scripture. Take time – take days, weeks, however long it takes – until you are sure that you have a solid answer from God.

Meanwhile, though others may take the easy way out, the selfish way out – even though it’s not justified biblically – I’ll be here, standing for redemption.

Because no sin is too great, and no sinner is too lost.

I came across this quote recently, and all I can say is, YES.

Spurgeon quote

I hope you’ve been around here enough to know my heart – to know that I understand the struggles of marriage. I know the hurt and pain that a spouse can cause. I am fully aware that there are long “dry patches” in a marriage where a spouse is struggling or unhappy.

I know the pain that can be caused by years of secrets. I know the trauma that is induced when life suddenly falls apart on a perfectly normal Wednesday.

I also know that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18

I believe God created us for a purpose. I believe He longs for us to have full joy in and through Him.

And that’s precisely why this article has bothered me so much – this lady has purposely stepped outside the will of God. While she might be happy for now, I don’t think she’s where God wants her.

If her post is completely truthful, then I believe she’s in the wrong. I do not believe that she should have gotten a divorce – just like most everyone else, according to her article.

Friends, we have to wake up. Complacency is a slow, quiet killer. I know because I struggle there, too.

We’ve had to start attending a new church – because according to some people, some sins are just too messy to deal with. My kids struggle to transition to the new church. The times are not what we’re used to. The service is different from what we’re accustomed to, AND we don’t have many friends there yet. It’s very challenging. And often, it’s easier to just stay home.

So I know the struggle with complacency. I know the struggle with those times when things just seem to never go your way.

But, friends, please hear me, please hear my heart:

Stepping outside of God’s boundaries may bring happiness temporarily, but it is sin.

It is sin packaged in “happiness” but it’s still sin.

God hasn’t called me to win the world to Him. He’s called me to be faithful inside my home – to walk this road with my husband (though it’s dark and scary), and to help in raising our children.

He’s called me to follow Him. To be obedient. To share redemption.

I’m thankful for the quote from Spurgeon, to be able to share just how strongly I feel about this.

I don’t have a huge platform, but I have faith.

Friend, if you are contemplating divorce, or if you know someone who is, be sure – be so very sure – that you are within God’s will. I don’t expect that He will call us all to stay.

But I don’t want to miss this opportunity to remind you – and me – to stay in God’s will.

Obey Him. Even if it’s not what you want to do. Even if your favorite author writes a beautiful, flowing list of why you should leave. Even if your light has gone out.

Sometimes we need to survive that temporary darkness and let God meet us there, so that we don’t have to endure an eternal darkness.

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

 

Sharing at Grace & Truth

Comments

  1. Just want you to know that I’m standing here saying, “Amen!” with you. That took some courage, friend, and I’m proud to know you! 🙂
    Jen recently posted…When You Need a Fresh Perspective of Your GoliathMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you! Thank you for being a friend, a sister, and a warrior. Love you!

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  2. Thank you for speaking truth, Becky. It’s been a hard truth for you to live out but such a joy to watch you as you’ve fought for redemption. Your reward is in safe keeping with the One who you are trusting hard in. {{Hugs}}

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Your words are a blessing – “your reward is in safe keeping”…God has been reminding me of this lately. No matter what happens here, my focus needs to stay on the eternal value. Thank you for being a tremendous blessing in my life!

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  3. Thank you for your standing firm on Gods truth about this! God Bless, protect and prosper you and all that you love. I’m also standing up for Gods truth about divorce and interceding for my one flesh husband whom has lost his way in a web of lies and deceit. Redemption, reconciliation and Gods restoring love is my hope for him and our marriage.
    Grace and Blessings to you Mrs Rebekkah, with all the love I have in my heart for Jesus,
    Mrs Valerie Rucks

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Praying with you, Valerie. Asking God to encourage you, protect you, heal you and overwhelm you with His love and faithfulness! Thank you for sharing this here.

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  4. Check out Larry Billota’s Chaos kid explanation. It helps to understand what most likely is going on in the mind and heart of this troubled lady, as well as millions of others. I’m not excusing what she’s done.
    I agree that she may be happy now, but who’s to say that her relationship with her exhusband won’t be renewed in time.
    And I doubt very seriously that her children are happy about this regardless of their ages.
    We don’t yet know the end of the story.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I fully agree – I’m sure the children aren’t happy, overall. Another friend just lost his 4 children to divorce and an out-of-state move. The emotions he described were nothing like happiness. Really makes me feel like she hasn’t shared the whole story. I’m praying that their relationship – the whole family’s – is restored.

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  5. I will simply say…Amen!

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  6. Vivian Wade says:

    This landed in my email a couple of days after returning from a disastrous what was meant to be a 2 night celebration of 19 years of marriage. My husband left after one night when I tried to talk to him about something (sex) he didn’t want to talk about We have survived so far…just….through a marriage of plenty of difficulties. My bipolar disorder. Along the way I became born again and God has transformed my life. Praise God. My husband has serious alcohol issues…has not YET joined me on my walk with God….our teenagers are surviving. I am ever tempted to say ‘enough no more can’t do this’ …..seeking and searching God’s desire when there are 3 in this relationship me my husband and alcohol…….

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Praying with you, Vivian! These are all hard things to overcome.
    Keep in mind – there are 4 in your relationship, because God is with you! Keep praying, keep trusting, and rest in God. Allow God to love you most, to encourage your heart and to work in HIS timing!

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  7. I am so blessed by God thru you . I keep asking God for direction for wisdom for restoration. The day I recieved this email i was at the point of just calling it quits . I feel like my husband wants out and Im fighting so much to save it . But I honestly dont want a divorce but i dont want him being or talking with other girls . Please pray for us I also know God is in the business of miracles and restoration. Thank you and God bless

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I’m praying for you. I totally understand this. The hardest part of all this is that we – you and I – can only control ourselves. We can’t control the other person in the relationship. But we can pray. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie War Room, but I would encourage you to. I need to watch it again, too – encouragement to pray, to pray God’s promises back to Him, to pray over our family. Prayer so often seems like the last resort – no, it’s so much more. It’s the BEST thing we can do. the BEST!!! Praying with you!

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  8. Wow! Thank you for standing strong in your marriage. Your testimony touches my heart and I know it will bring hope to many women who are struggling with doubt.
    Valerie recently posted…For Better or For Kids: Book ReviewMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you – I truly appreciate the encouragement. It’s definitely needed! God is good!

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  9. Vivian Wade says:

    Thank you for your encouragement

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you – I appreciate your kind words!

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  10. Becky, I’m with you. You are 100% dead on. “God will never EVER take us outside of His will and His truth in order for us to find happiness.” Marriage isn’t about our happiness. It’s about God’s glory. And our uppermost desire to glorify HIM and not ourselves. Praying for you, friend! Thank you for your stand and your open testimony!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I think that’s what upset me so much about the article – the choosing of self over God’s will. Thank you for your encouragement!

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  11. I’m so much with you here, my friend. SO much. It’s one thing to write well about this hard stuff; it’s an entirely different thing to LIVE it well, and you happen to do both in a breathtakingly beautiful, humble way. I can only say that it has been a supreme blessing to “watch” you from afar, to pray for you and your entire family, to rejoice with you in God’s ongoing redemption work, and to cheer you on as you exhort other spouses to follow you as you follow Christ.

    It’s a true joy to feature this post at A Divine Encounter on Friday. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!
    Jennifer recently posted…Fighting Distractions ~ Grace & Truth (Week 83)My Profile

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  12. What a refreshing and honest post, I have struggled for the past 10 years with husband and alcohol and then my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia what a mess I have prayed so hard and long and fortunately have listened to God who placed Christian counsellors in my path, and I stayed, now husband seeing a Christian counselor also maybe we will get back on track or not but I have stayed the course and run a good race as Paul says, thanks you for reaffirming that it was the thing to do and keep praying for the Spirit to move in my husbands life 🙂

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  13. Sin always has its season of pleasure (Heb. 11:25) – which generally gives the appearance of happiness.

    Thank you for posting this. I plan to share it with a friend who is dealing with another friend of hers who is in the process of abandoning her marriage due to some failures of her husband. I am hoping that my friend will be able to find some resources here to help the lady see that she can help her husband instead of abandoning him, especially since he is apparently seeking redemption at this point.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I will be praying very specifically for this situation, Mary. Thank you for sharing it with me. I pray that God will really work in her heart – your friend and her other friend. May Jesus make clear the way for redemption, according to His will.

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  14. Stephanie Chapma says:

    I found this post on Pinterest in the midst of a 32-year marriage and my husband admitting to an affair 13 years ago that he had lied to me about – even renewing our vows for our 30th anniversary carrying this lie. Our children are all grown now, but at the time we had a 10th grader and 3 in elementary school and he fully intended to leave me. I can see God’s hand in things that happened that kept our family intact, but I am struggling to get past the lies and dishonesty, and the fact that he was having sex with her and me both. Thank you for this! I needed to know that a long marriage can overcome an affair with Christ being given the glory!

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  15. I’m struggling with this right now. I filed for divorce but I just can’t have him served with the papers. It doesn’t seem right. He has sought out other women, moved out of our home, financially withheld, verbally abusive. I’m not perfect, I’ve used hurtful words to him. I still can’t go through with the divorce. I don’t know exactly why I feel this way but it just doesn’t feel over. I pray but I think I’m missing Gods answers. So I pray more and I just wait. Waiting is hard, maybe that is Gods answer for now..wait.

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