Divorce – In Process

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Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
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Scriptures
Hope
Help
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Conversations
Starters
    • Looking back, why did you originally get married?  What did you think it was going to be like?
    • Would you mind telling me a little about what has led you to the point of seeking a divorce? Any big milestone events, or more a series of small steps?
    • What are you most hoping to accomplish or avoid by seeking a divorce?
    • What steps have you taken before to restore your marriage?  Why do you think those steps were unsuccessful?
    • What do you believe God wants?  Do you still believe He is able to do the impossible?
    • As you’ve been considering divorce, who outside your marriage has influenced your decision?  What have they been saying?
    • How far has the divorce process advanced?
    • If you don’t mind me asking, are either you or your spouse involved in another relationship outside the marriage?
    • Have you considered the full impact on your children if you go through with this divorce?  Could we discuss that together?
    • Looking ahead, have you ever thought about how you will feel if/when another person becomes your child’s stepparent?
    • Would you be open to pushing the “pause button” on the divorce and giving God one last chance to restore your marriage?
    • I believe that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Jesus Christ.  Can you tell me about that part of your life and how it’s impacting your decisions?
    • How can I be an encouragement to you right now?
Deeper Questions
    • Where do you believe you stand in relation to the Bible’s teaching on divorce?  Are you aware of what the Bible says? Reference “What Does the Bible Say About Divorce? When is it Allowed?” and perhaps read & discuss it together.
    • What are the major areas of disagreement or conflict in your marriage?  What steps have you take to resolve those?
    • Have you counted the real costs of divorce—legal, financial, emotional, kids?  I’d love to help you think through those issues if you would you be willing to take some time to do that. (see “Before Your Divorce” broadcast)
    • What are the major things you need to ask your spouse forgiveness for?  Are you willing to do that?
    • What actions do you feel that your spouse needs to ask your forgiveness for?  Have they shown a willingness to do that?
    • What do you consider to be the major barriers to reconciliation in your marriage?  What needs to happen to begin to tear down those barriers?  Are you open to working through those even if it means a significant time commitment?
    • How are your finances?  Is financial stress a contributing factor in your marriage being in trouble?  How so?
    • Are you involved in another relationship?  Are you willing to give that up to restore your marriage?  Why or why not?
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Resources
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • DivorceCare Help and healing for the hurt of separation and divorce
  • DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) Helping children recover from the hurt of divorce
Books
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Encouragement
Quotes
  • - Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus, Intimate Issues, p. 10

    “To God, forever does not mean ‘for as long as the marriage works.’  Forever means for the rest of your lives.  God sees our vows as life-binding and permanent (Numbers 30:1-2; Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 5:33.37).”

  • - Jim Talley, Reconcilable Differences, p. 13

    “People make their biggest mistake when they feel they can deal with the moral and emotional parts simply by walking out and saying they are not in love anymore… Sooner or later their miscalculation catches up with them.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 40-41

    “One of the cruelest and most self-condemning remarks I’ve ever heard is the one that men often use when they leave their wives for another woman: ‘The truth is, I’ve never loved you.’  This is meant to be an attack on the wife—saying in effect, ‘The truth is, I’ve never found you lovable.’  But put in a Christian context, it’s a confession of the man’s utter failure to be a Christian.  If he hasn’t loved his wife, it is not his wife’s fault, but his.  Jesus calls us to love even the unlovable—even our enemies!—so a man who says ‘I’ve never loved you’ is a man who is saying essentially this: ‘I’ve never acted like a Christian’.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 107

    “When I hear of couples who break up after just three or four years, I feel sad because they haven’t even begun to experience what being married is really like … Becoming one—in the deepest, most intimate sense—takes time.  It’s a journey that never really ends, but it takes at least the span of a decade for the sense of intimacy to really display itself in the marriage relationship.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 115

    “It’s a lot easier to trash the marriage and for both parties to flee the difficulty of reconstructing the relationship.   Yet to divorce now means that you only take all this unfinished business with you.  It will require you to work on this by yourself.  Should you refuse and try to bury it, it will contaminate all future relationships you might develop … But for those who have done the difficult work, it’s all been worth it.”

  • - Dennis & Barbara Rainey, Starting Your Marriage Right, p. 9

    “Marriage is the union of two imperfect people who, in their selfishness, sinfulness, and demands of each other, will cause disappointment and hurt.  You must lay aside those difficulties and hold fast to forgiveness, love, and Christ’s command to love even those who don’t at times appear to love you.”

  • - Nancy Anderson, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, p. 52

    “When our marriage fell apart, it happened through my taking one little step at a time.  I made tiny choices that all added up to two huge choices.  I had to choose between my husband and my boyfriend, and I had to choose between God’s will and my own.  Be warned that each emotional step you take will either be toward your spouse or away from him or her.  Choose wisely.”

  • - George Kenworthy, Before the Last Resort, p. 12-13

    “No matter what your situation, I’m confident that there is hope for any marriage—as long as you are willing to believe that God, through His Spirit and His Word, can powerfully change your lives.”

  • - George Kenworthy, Before the Last Resort, p. 161-162

    “Obeying God’s commands is the best thing you can do for your own sake, for the sake of your family, and for the glory of God.  This means that even when a marriage looks hopeless and painful, the best thing that we can do if we want to experience God’s goodness in our lives is to do what He clearly states is His will.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 97

    “Dating is largely a dance in which you always try to put the best face forward—hardly a good preparation for the inevitable self-disclosure implied in marriage.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many marriages end in divorce largely because one or both partners are running from their own revealed weaknesses as much as they are running from something they can’t tolerate in their spouse.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 58

    “Our real opponent is not on the opposite side of the bed, but within our hearts.  Our enemy is the desires of our flesh that oppose the desire of the Spirit.  This is the fiercest and only true enemy of our marriage.”

  • - Bill Elliff, Forgiveness: Healing the Harbored Hurts of Your Heart,” p. 20

    “God only allows two people at a time in the boxing ring.  If you want to get into the ring and try to fight your own battles, God will let you.  But He’ll get out.  If you want God to fight your battles for you, then you must get out of the ring … And stay out.”

  • - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 96

    “Behind virtually every case of marital dissatisfaction lies unrepented sin.  Couples don’t fall out of love so much as they fall out of repentance.”

  • - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Singled Out for Him, p. 11-12

    “I have come to believe that you and I can manage to acquire almost anything we are determined to have.  If we want to be married badly enough, we can find someone who will marry us.  If an unhappy spouse wants to get out of marriage badly enough, he or she can get out.  But we need to be reminded of how dangerous it is to insist that God give us our own will.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p.40

    “The cross makes a stunning statement about husbands and wives: we are sinners and our only hope is grace.  Without a clear awareness of sin, we will evaluate our conflicts outside of the biblical story–the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross–thus eliminating any basis for true understanding, true reconciliation, or true change.”

Next Steps
    • Seek wise counsel from your pastor or a local Christian counselor
    • Consider couple counseling if your spouse is willing
    • Take time out to count the full cost of divorce—legal, financial, emotional, kids. Think through those issues by listening to and discussing the “Before Your Divorce” broadcast with your spouse or a trusted mentor.
    • Ask your spouse to attend a Weekend To Remember getaway together, even if as
      a last resort
    • Examine yourself in view of God’s Word to see if there is a way you can reach out to your spouse one more time
    • If you are the husband, consider connecting with other men in a Men’s Fraternity group for accountability and support
    • Take a look at the biblical roles of a husband and a wife and consider how those are being fulfilled in your relationship.
    • When anger or bitterness persists, be willing to forgive.  Good marriages are often the story of two great forgivers.
    • Take some time to meditate on the hope and help scriptures.
    • Fully trust in God and give your burdens to Him daily.
    • Read some of the Helpful Articles or even go through the Hope, Help and Healing study with your mentor.
    • Talk openly and often with your spouse and/or your mentor about how your children are processing what is happening around them.  You may want to seek biblical counseling for the kids as well.
    • Be involved in a local, Bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability.
    • Determine how you can apply Romans 12:18 to your life right now, determining to live at peace with your spouse “as far as it depends on you.”