This is what I call “the divorce lie”. Or my flesh screaming. Either way you want to look at it is fine. Have you heard that new song Monster by Eminem? I love the lyrics “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed. Get along with the voices inside of my head”. Sidebar: I told pastor bling and his paralegal wife that I know good and well that I hear the voice of the enemy and sometimes even agree with him. The voice says things like this: if I had known it was going to be this hard (usually dealing with blended family hell on earth issues), I would not have gotten married. I would have been better off staying single. My kids and I were fine before we walked into this mess. I would be better off alone. Have you ever heard those thoughts? I have. (And for the record, he is not the problem. It would be nice to be able to say “he did this” and “he said that” but no, he’s on target 99% of the time and does the right thing. It’s just the life we live.)
So, are those thoughts (1) from God, (2) from the enemy, or (3) from my screaming flesh and free will? At the end of the day, does it matter who’s voice it is or what I do about the voice? For me it helps to look at it from multiple angles.
Back to the lyrics “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed. Get along with the voices inside of my head”. I love those lyrics because they (1) address the fact that people hear the enemy’s voice (he’s a liar and deceiver that is here to steal, kill, and destroy) and (2) that we can actually agree with (“get along with”) those voices. Now, I don’t like the lyrics “you’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath” because I am still Praying for Marshall Mathers even if he asks me not to.
The Bible teaches us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. But better yet, it’s a warfare verse that says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5. So, let’s demolish this argument together shall we. When I have the thought “I would be better off single” is that from God or the enemy?
Well, interestingly enough, according to the “Principals of Marriage” found at 1 Corinthians Chapter 7, it is better to remain single if you are already single. “So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows – it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.” 1 Cor 7:8-9. I know this verse well. It was one of my “notecard versus” that lived on my nightstand before I met my husband. But I chose marriage. And once I did, I entered into a covenant before God to be married so now our relationship is governed by “but for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband….” 1 Cor 7:10. So, there you have it. I’ve heard the enemy’s argument (better off single) but I’ve also heard God’s command “a wife must not leave her husband.” So, what should I do. If anything?
DISCLAIMER: I know we have family law clients with legal restraining orders who are being physically beaten and spiritually abused by their husbands. If that’s you, I am NOT blogging to you. Please refer to What the Bible Says About Domestic Abuse.
For the rest of us who are not being abused (broken bones, blood, etc) let’s break down this issue a little more. I tend to think that the voice I hear so clearly is, in fact, the voice of the enemy. At least that’s where it starts and then I nod in agreement and then add to it. The Bible does say that “it is better to stay unmarried”. But if I allow that sentence to take root, I will actually be twisting the meaning of that verse to fit my situation. For example, I can take “it is better to remain unmarried” and change it to “you would be better off single” and change that to “so you should get divorced” and that is not the same thing at all is it? Sure, if I were unmarried it would be fine to remain unmarried. But, since I am married, I am required to stay married to my husband.
Regardless of WHY people may want freedom, the answer is still obedience to God’s word and to put actions to those wedding vows of “for richer or poorer and for better or worse”. Sure, it’s all great during richer and better but what about during poorer or worse?
Now, let’s talk resources. Girl talk time. Here are my favorite things to feed my spirit (because it’s really a spiritual issue) during the difficult times.
The Book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (see The Truth About Marriage – Part II)
Pastor Duane Sheriff’s FREE family sermon series including The Purpose of Marriage, Love is Taught Not Caught, Areas of Marital Breakdown, (security, finances, communication, sex, forgiveness etc), Building Strong Marriages, and Home Improvement I, II and III. You can watch these online OR you can order the actual physical CDs and they will send them to you free. They don’t even charge shipping and handling. That ministry believes that building strong families is one of the most important responsibilities of the church and they will do anything they can to help your marriage and your family succeed (not only did I attend their series but have counseled free of charge with their care pastors when my family was in need. Amazing amazing ministry).
So, do you ever have that thought that “you’d be better of single”? I know I do. But, I don’t run from it. I acknowledge it, deal with it, and confess it to at least one accountability person (oh and all of the blogging world since I’m so shy and private).
My final advice is to get a sitter and take a date night or even better take a vacation together. Go back to the basics.
Social media hugs to all. Hope you enjoy the fabulous resources. I know I will.