SO, I’M DIVORCED: NOW WHAT?
Last week I started talking about life after divorce. One key component to keeping your life on track after a divorce is to continue disciplining your children. If you haven’t read episode one, please do so. I discussed why this is so important for the parent and the child both.
Today I will talk about the second key to keeping your life on track after divorce:
NUMBER TWO: Don’t rush into another marriage.
Statistics show that the divorce rate for second marriages is significantly higher than the divorce rate of first marriages. A whopping 70% of second marriages end in divorce. Why? Obviously, there are many factors, but let’s discuss a few common reasons.
Before I even talk about the details, I must ask you “Did you exit your first marriage in a biblical way?” The Bible gives some latitude on leaving your spouse. Speak to your pastor to see what those latitudes are and ask him for help if you did not leave on biblical terms. God wants to bless you in your future but he won’t if you ignore his boundaries and guardrails. Exiting a marriage un-biblically isn’t the end of the world but it needs reconciled. Many pastors would say “See if you can reconcile to your spouse” however if your spouse has remarried, they would simply say “Repent to God for your decisions and move forward….we can’t change the past”. See what your pastor would say.
Remember, God hates divorce because he loves you and your children. Divorce was never a part of his plan. That’s why it’s so difficult and tumultuous. There is life after divorce but it comes at a cost. Keep your chin up and keep honoring the Lord. He will bless you.
Now that we covered that, let’s move into your future.
1. Many relationships after divorce happen “on the rebound”. Getting into a relationship too soon means you have not given yourself enough time to heal from the first failed relationship. When this occurs, hurt feelings and distrust are often carried into the new relationship, sabotaging the relationship from the start. As a general rule, I suggest you don’t date for at least one year after a divorce. Focus on you and your children.
2. Unrealistic expectations in the new marriage are another reason for it to end in divorce. Many strive to avoid the same complications from the first marriage only to have them surface in other ways in the second marriage.
3. Children can also be the reason second marriages end. Creating bonds in a blended family is not an easy task. The marriage itself isn’t the only relationship trying to cope with the turmoil caused by the previous marriage. If conflict arises in the new marriage and they don’t share any children, it may be easier to call it quits.
4. Be very picky with the next spouse. Are they devout Christians? Do they want to live a biblical life before and after marriage? Are they healthy and at least one year removed from their divorce?
Start courting them with your guard up very high. Try not to be alone with them until you trust their stability and their faith. (you can find out a lot on the phone, emails, etc.)
It is critical to be honest with yourself about your feelings and expectations. Seek biblical counseling and allow yourself time to heal before entering into another serious relationship. Experience doesn’t count when it comes to marriage/remarriage.
Come back next week for the third, and final episode on keeping your life on track after divorce.
Pam & I pray blessings over you and your family.