Restored and Redeemed

Has your marriage been restored? Restored & Redeemed is a devotional for those in a restored marriage.

How to Break the Cycle of Divorce

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

My now-husband and I sat in our Pastor’s office during one of many pre-counseling appointments. During one appointment, we verbally stated that divorce would never be an option. While my husband’s parents had never divorced, I lived through it and didn’t want that to happen to our marriage. It felt like an option we should take off the table before it became a discussion later in life.

Did that declaration made by two kids, barely in their 20’s, keep us from marriage problems? I’m not sure, but we are over twenty-five years into our marriage and still going strong, so I think removing the exit door may have helped us persevere through struggles.

Deciding that divorce would not be an option for us was a guardrail we set up in our lives. You probably drive down the road and don’t pay much attention to the guardrails set up for your protection. Fortunately, my car has never bounced off a guardrail, but I know if I were to need a correcting hand while driving down the highway, that guardrail is ready to serve. Guardrails exist before we need them.

If you are reading this devotional intended for restored couples, I assume you have a marriage that has walked through restoration. That looks different for everyone. Some couples are restored after a divorce, others after a physical time of separation. Wherever you are in the restoration journey, it is essential to look at the past and figure out which mistakes could have been prevented in your life if you had a guardrail in place ahead of time.

Do you ever hear about people who have fallen into sin in their marriage and wonder, “How did they ever let that happen?” It is micro-decisions that lead to sin. Things like confiding in someone other than your spouse or spending some extra time getting ready each morning to impress someone at work. The enemy is subtle and can use things we think are innocent to begin destroying a family.

I want to see divorce eradicated! Enough is enough. The enemy has stolen too much from our families. Let’s start making decisions and putting plans in place to stop the cycle of divorce. Don’t get so comfortable in restoration that you stop praying and fighting for your marriage.

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.  Proverbs 27:12

Your marriage may not be fully restored and healthy today, but right now, you can make decisions and set up guardrails to protect your family. Don’t give the enemy a foothold in your marriage.

  1. Shift your focus – We talked about the most popular paint color for cars on the way to church one day. My family decided it must be white. From that moment on, it seemed like every car that drove past us was white. I’m not sure our experiment was scientifically correct, but we saw them because we were looking for white cars.

In your marriage, where is your focus? Are you looking for how your spouse blesses you, or are you looking for dirty clothes on the floor and bad attitudes? Shift your focus.

I leave my husband little notes where he can find them at random times. I may shove one deep in his dresser or place one in his car console. They are one or two sentences of affirmation. When writing these notes, I look for the good in my husband.

What are some practical ways you can shift your focus in your marriage?

  1. Have a guardrail date – Plan a time to go out with your spouse and discuss the guardrails you should have in your marriage. Maybe you don’t have any and need to put some in place. What can you do together to protect your family? Then, once your guardrails are in place, make it a point to check in and decide if any adjustments need to be made.

Here are some guardrail topics you could discuss:

    • Entertainment – How can you and your spouse stay pure in your entertainment choices? According to a study done by Barna, 56% of American divorcesinvolve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites. Set up controls on your cable and cell phones to protect your marriage.

    • Work Relationships – Are there guardrails that need to be put in place to protect your marriage concerning your career? For example, I know of one man who travels for work often. He will never ask a coworker of the opposite sex to dine with him alone. He either eats alone or in a group.

    • Intentionality in your relationship – You are either growing together in your marriage or growing apart. You can plan to do activities that will help strengthen your relationship. Things like doing a couple’s devotion together, setting aside time for date night, making intimacy a priority, and eating together at a table. Just the habit of sitting down every night and talking to one another with the TV off can help strengthen your relationship muscles.

Sit down with your spouse and review the guardrails you have in your marriage. Be intentional about areas that the enemy could use for destruction.

God bless,

 

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