The definition: the annual celebration of the day a divorce is finalized.
The new normal is to celebrate divorce. I’ve seen people go all out by purchasing cakes, inviting numerous friends and laughing and making light of ending their marriage. Do I have a problem with this you ask: MOST DEFINITELY!!!
How many times have you attended an ‘I failed out of school party’ or an ‘I got fired party’? These are rare because they’re not worth celebrating, and neither is a divorce.
I begin by sharing this is my opinion, I’m entitled to it just as you are to yours. My purpose is not to offend but rather to share a differing perspective. Feel free to share yours.
As I was saying, I totally disagree with the idea of celebrating divorce. Marriage is a sacred relationship. It requires vowing to be faithful and true to one individual and making that vow before God and a bunch of witnesses. Divorce is an admittance that you are not willing or able to do the work involved in living up to that vow. I realize it happens and many times for reasons that are out of the control of one of the individuals involved, however the reality is divorce still signifies a failure or a loss. It signifies the death of the love that was once so vibrant, exciting and overwhelming.
The average wedding costs $29,000 and the average divorce costs $20,000.
In opposition to these alarming costs, the average counseling session costs $100, the average Bible costs $20, the average church offering is $10 and pastoral counseling and relationship building are free. We are willing to put tons of money into the wedding and the divorce, however we don’t utilize the marriage building resources until it’s too late.
And here comes my list for divorce proofing your marriage:
-get counseling early and often. Premarital counseling and mentorship is vital. You need someone who will address the difficult questions and issues that a couple caught up in puppy love can’t seem to imagine could ever happen to them. Most couples wait until they’re on the verge of divorce before seeking counseling. It’s the last resort. Rather than waiting until there’s a problem why not be proactive and sit down with an impartial third party on a regular basis. My husband and I do what he terms a ‘marriage tune up’ once a year just to make sure we are on the same page. This also arms us with resources and strategies to improve our relationship.
-get married friends. Surround your marriage with other healthy couples. Develop friendships with these couples and limit your time with singles. I know this sounds crazy but singles have freedoms that married individuals do not. I don’t want it to sound like marriage is a prison which is the image society sells. I do however want to be honest in recognizing that the hardest part of marriage is taking two independent individuals and having them become one. There are some compromises that must be made. Surrounding yourself with singles often creates tempting situations and unnecessary disagreements with your spouse. Married couples understand the compromise you’ve made, but they also see the benefit these compromises afford you.
For a quick side bar: I have a friend who together with her spouse have decided they will not participate in the popular social media platforms so many of us access daily. This works for them and while singles may say this is silly, any married woman who has ever had to question the young lady on her husband’s timeline saying how much she misses him, or any husband who has ever been offended by the man who tells his wife they need to get together, it can be helpful.
Growth groups and dating circles are great ways to develop married friendships. Hold a monthly (bi-monthly or even annual) activity for couples to do together. It grants adult time, relationships with other like minded individuals, it give the ladies girl-time and the men guy-time, but allows you to have fun and grow together rather than apart.
- get with God. Allow God to be the head of your life and your marriage. Read your Bible together and apart. Pray together as often as possible. You may consider joining a Bible study or taking classes together to increase your Biblical knowledge as a team. The most important factor in a marriage is the God-factor. Let him take control and be willing to trust God in all decisions and disagreements. Putting God first reminds you that you are not in control.
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate
Mark 10:9, New King James Version