This article is in response to the many searches used to find this site. This isn’t meant for anyone in particular, because I don’t know WHO is searching, but I know there are quite a few who search daily. I’m going to address this question based on what I know of God’s character, and what I’ve experienced in my own walk with Him. However, I encourage you to search the scriptures and your heart and spend much time in prayer. In other words, don’t just take my word for it.
First, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Does God love you? [yes]
- Does He want love from you? [yes]
- Is forced love true love? [no]
- Would God ever strong-arm you into loving Him? [no]
- Would God force you to obey Him, or does He let you make that choice? [choice]
Now that we’ve laid out the groundwork, ask yourself this important question: do you really want restoration for your marriage, or do you just expect the Lord to work a miracle by fixing everything to give you what your heart desires? You know that the Lord is not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do.
The decisions we make, and the actions that come from those decisions, are our fruit, and from our fruits we can tell the kind of seed they came from. In other words, our fruit tells everyone who we are. Jesus tells us that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit (and vice versa) so in this case, the Lord is not going to miraculously alter your fruit and make your marriage work, unless you really want your marriage to work. If we are to recognize who the believers are by their fruit, as the Bible says, then the Lord is not going to tamper with your fruit (which makes known the desires of your heart) because then, we would not truly know.
There is another thing to consider: If you have a problem with your partner, then the one who needs to change is ….. you. The Lord is not going to change someone else simply because we don’t like how they are. Instead, He will work on our hearts so that we are more able to love our partner the way that Jesus loves His bride. The only way that God is going to change another person to suit you is through diligent prayer, by you, on their behalf.
You’ve heard that saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”; this is a secular phrase that’s rooted in a biblical principle. In this case, the principle that scripture speaks of is not about you being like your earthly parents; but rather is talking about you being like your master, the deity you serve (whether God, or the evil one). If you do something God hates, in this case divorce, then this desire could not come from God because we know He that hates divorce. Divorce is a worldly fruit from a worldly seed, while a desire to remain faithful to your spouse is a Godly fruit that comes from a Godly seed.
Here’s a visual…..
When a seed is planted, it is hidden under the surface, like the roots in this picture. Only the person who planted the seed knows what kind of tree was planted, and what kind of fruit that tree will eventually produce. No one else knows what kind of tree it is until it begins to grow and ‘bear fruit’. Then, the fruit we bear will reveal that which was previously hidden under the surface. If God planted the seed, our “tree” will be rooted in Him and our fruit will be Godly. Godly fruit is a sign that we are obedient to Him.
We cannot claim we are rooted in God if our tree produces a different (ungodly) fruit. God won’t fix or change that different fruit, because it is not His to change. This requires addressing the ROOT of the problem. You must be rooted in the Lord, and draw nourishment from Him before you can produce good fruit… and until you are rooted in the Lord you cannot produce good fruit!
What if God told me to marry someone even though I’m already married?
Let’s say your spouse is a top-notch doodie-head. Let’s say they haven’t loved you for years and have done horrible things to you. Do you think God would want you, the believer, the sever that relationship with a divorce? Let’s look at this from God’s perspective….our marriage is a picture of God’s love for us, exemplified by His Son Yeshua (Jesus). We have sinned against God many times, yet He doesn’t turn His back on us. If we repent, He forgives us and restores our relationship with Him; and if we do not repent, He does not treat us as castaways but is always ready to welcome us back when we do turn back to Him. If we are to be like Yeshua, then we should respond like Yeshua. God would never tell us to discard our current spouse and look for another because that goes against His character and divorce is not a picture of what Yeshua has done for us.
Disclaimer: if that person is dangerous and is a threat to you or your children, then you are to remove yourself from the situation by separation. Not divorce, but separation. This is why even the worst sinner can forgiven; because Yeshua is always ready to forgive us and welcome us, if we repent of our sins. Just think, if Yeshua wasn’t patient with us, and divorced us just because we are not quite the person He wants us to be (thus closing the door of reconciliation permanently), then we would ALL be doomed.
What about infidelity? Can I Divorce then?
A marriage is a contract or a covenant with terms (the marriage vows) and penalties for breaking those terms (broken fellowship with Father and, from a worldly perspective, divorce) if the contract is broken. God never condones divorce but a provision was made for us to divorce due to our “hard hearts.”
Now, marriage is a two-way contract. You and your spouse have a covenant with each other, and more importantly, with GOD. So if your spouse breaks the contract by infidelity, does this give you, the believer, license to break YOUR contract or vow by divorcing them? The answer is: NO.
Again, did Yeshua divorce us or close the door to reconciliation because we committed infidelity, that is; ‘fornicated’ with other gods? No. No matter what sin we’ve committed, He will never turn His back on us and divorce us! As His followers, we are to follow His example. Remember, your spouse will be held accountable for THEIR part in breaking the covenant, but that does not void out the covenant that YOU have made before the Lord and TO the Lord.
To put it another way…
A marriage contract is made towards the other person, and to God. You have promised that person, and God, that you will honor them, cherish them etc. If your spouse cheats on you, then they have dishonored both you and God! Does that action give you the right to break the contract YOU made to your spouse, and to God, based on what THEY have done? Of course not! You are to hold up your end of the contract so that you may be found righteous in His sight. Our actions should never depend on what someone else does because we will all be judged on what we do, not on what someone does to us!
Am I supposed to put my life on hold and wait around until they come around, IF they come around at all?
In order to answer this, we have to ask other questions.
- Why are we here?
- Are we here to serve the Lord?
- Or are we here for our own happiness?
- Do you find your happiness in God, or man?
If you see being faithful to your marriage covenant as “putting your life on hold”, then you have to ask yourself; what is your true source of happiness? If you are truly close to God and have that strong connection with Him, then you already know that He fulfills everything, and He leaves us wanting for nothing. (You know, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want)!
If you are truly close to God, you realize that no one person is capable of fulfilling all of your desires like the Father can. And you won’t understand this unless you have experienced that close connection with the Father. Until you do have that closeness with the Father, you will view this ‘waiting period’, this being faithful to God and your spouse, as something burdensome. Our goal should never be the obtaining of a Godly husband or wife, but it should always be on obedience to the Father, and our relationship with Him.
The Lord’s primary goal for every believer is for you to desire and love Him fully and with all your heart. For Him to be your EVERYTHING. If you think another person is the medium in which to obtain these things, then you are looking in the wrong place. Because of this faulty expectation, this thinking that another sinner can give you happiness, your relationships will always come up short of expectations. When you are content in the Lord, then no person (or material thing) in this world will cause that contentment to be disturbed.
So, should you wait around for your spouse to come back, begging for forgiveness? Actually, this has nothing to do with your cheating spouse. It’s all about you, and your heart. You are to continue to serve the Lord and continue in obedience, being content with His provision. Hopefully, you were content in the Lord before your marriage went bad.
It doesn’t make any difference what goes on around you. You are to seek His face and abide in Him… no matter what. If you are put into a trial with a cheating spouse, your response to that trial is: you are to wait on the Lord and remain obedient to Him. That means; do not get a divorce, do not cheat on your spouse, and do realize that true happiness and contentment does not come from your spouse, but from your Father in heaven. For a truly spirit-filled believer, if we cling to the Lord like we’re supposed to, then we can withstand anything Satan throws at us.