From May 30, 2010
How to Break Up Without Getting Divorced:
I realize that some of you are sitting there with gaping-wide mouths as you read the title of my “How-to“. That’s ok- it was meant for shock factor. Keep reading and it’ll make more sense.
According to a study conducted by the Barna Group, about 33% of all American adults have been divorced at least once. Will you be one of them?
I’m going to assume at this point you’re thinking that that would never happen to you. Think again, sister. That divorce statistic I mentioned earlier- that 33%- is true for American Christians, too.
If you didn’t just gasp, you either know too much or something is really wrong with you. 33% is a shocking statistic- it’s one in every three people. That’s either your best friend, your sister or you. Got it. Shocking. So, what can you do to increase your chances of not becoming one of those people?
First, realize that marriage in itself is a blessing from God. And don’t accept that blessing lightly, girlfriend! It’s not a free trial offer that you can cancel after two months. God meant for your marriage to last from “I do” until death, not from “I do” until “I don’t”.
But, let’s assume you already know that. What else can you do?
Know what you’re getting into before you get into it. Do you know who it was that said, “I wish I’d known that before I married him”? It was your great-grandma. Your eighth grade math teacher. Your youth minister’s wife. That feisty cat lady down the street. It was almost every woman who ever said “I do”. But why did they say that?
The answer is simple: when those women met their future husbands, they stepped into a temporary alternate reality where every conflict could be resolved with flowers, where Sunday afternoon naps were replaced with hours of intimate cuddling, where every hour they spent without their man was like enduring five hours of dental work. In essence, they did it because they were blinded by “love”.
No, I don’t mean agape love- the type that is never ending and will always withstand the test of time and trials and temptations and failures. I mean the kind of love that whispers in your ear, “Look at him. He’s perfect and flawless and absolutely wonderful in every way.” Or for some it says, “I love him just like he is, but there are a few things I’ll change once we’re married.” Or for others it says, “Who am I kidding? I’ll never be able to do any better.” My response to that destructive little demon in your ear? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Ok, so where’s this all going?
I’ll tell you. There’s a good chance that at some point in time you will get married. And, quite frankly, I hope you do. In fact, I hope you and your husband have a wonderful God-centered marriage with as few upsetting moments as is humanly possible. So, in order to increase your chances of having that kind of marriage, I offer you this tip: The best time to break up with a guy you’re not compatible with is before you marry him.
Let me reword that in case it didn’t sink in: If you’re dating the wrong guy, break up with him now before it’s too late. It will be easier on you legally, emotionally, financially, spiritually and socially.
Now, there are thousands- perhaps millions- of happily married couples living in this world today who would never dream of getting divorced. So I’m certainly not trying to discourage you from getting married. I’m simply trying to discourage you from marrying the wrong guy.
So, let’s assume you’re not sure how to identify the “wrong guy”. That’s where I’m here to help, sister!
There are three types of dangerous pre-marital relationships (blinding alternate realities) that you might step into when you’re dating someone. I want to identify and address those. I’m certain that there are a gazillion more, but I’m sticking to these three for now. (Also, keep in mind that not all pre-martial relationships are dangerous, so kudos to those people.)
Tomorrow’s blinding alternate reality: Prince Charming