Divorce – I Have One Question

by Alli


Songs have been sung about it, poems written about it and parties thrown in it’s honor.  There’s even specialty divorce party planners.

It’s been said that almost 50% of all marriages end in divorce!  According to the US Census Bureau, half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage!

Sadly, that 50% divorce rate is the same among Christians as well.  I’m always saddened when someone in our church congregation gets divorced!

Who Gets the Church

Some divorces are amicable, some are cray cray and some ex couples go for the jugular when it comes to splitting properties and all their accumulated stuff.  But I have one question!

Who Gets the Church?When a couple gets divorced, one spouse will get to keep some of the friends, a few friends will remain with the soon to be ex and some friends abandon them all together.  But who keeps the church?  Because you know that they will no longer feel comfortable attending the same church!

Divorce - I Have One Question

I bet you’ve never thought about that, have you?  As a pastor’s wife, I’ve seen couples that have been married and in church for years split up over “irreconcilable differences.”  And inevitably, one of the church goers is no more.  And sometimes neither of the divorced couple attend church any longer.

I know that divorce is a serious topic, but sometimes when I’m providing marriage counseling and one of the partners is hardheaded and will not relent or forgive and I know that the marriage is headed straight to divorce court, I’ve wanted to say, “I have one question! Who gets the church?”  And, to be totally honest, sometimes I’ve wanted to add to one of them, “I hope it’s you because I’ve really grown close to you and I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone!”

Sometimes children that have grown up in the church from the time they were infants and dedicated to the Lord and now in their teen years, become a product of divorce and they, unfortunately, go with the parent that “didn’t get the church” and children we’ve known all of their lives are suddenly uprooted and planted somewhere else.  It’s sad, for us, for the parents and for the kids.

[Tweet “Divorce always leaves destruction in it’s path.  Someone is always left hurting.”]

So, I’ll leave you with this:

Love is a decision.  And some people change their mind about love as often as they change their clothing.  And love hurts when it turns into hate!

My parents’ divorce left me with a lot of sadness and pain and acting, and especially humor, was my way of dealing with all that. -Jennifer Aniston

I hate failure and that divorce was a Number One failure in my eyes. It was the worst period of my life. Neither Desi nor I have been the same since, physically or mentally. -Lucille Ball

When people divorce, it’s always such a tragedy. At the same time, if people stay together it can be even worse. – Monica Bellucci

What are your thoughts on divorce?








Christina June 23, 2014 - 8:04 am

Love IS a decision… that’s why it hurts so much when one of the partners stops loving. VERY good post.

Alli June 23, 2014 - 10:48 am

So true, someone always gets hurt!

Chris kilbury June 23, 2014 - 8:47 am

We didn’t get to choose who kept the church. The pastor kindly asked Frank not to come back, said it was upsetting other members for him to be there. I didn’t think much of it at the time…I grew up in that church….it was mine! However, as I got older and thought back on it..what gave me the right? I may have been going once a month my whole life but I was not a member. My husband was. A very active member. Years later the pastor apologized to him. Now neither of us attend that church.

Alli June 23, 2014 - 10:47 am

I’m glad the pastor apologized – better late than never!

Madaline June 23, 2014 - 9:09 am

Such a great point – and I’ve never even thought about it before! I’ve actually met people who tell me that they are marrying someone knowing it MIGHT end in divorce! WHAT?! This is insane to me – divorce should be the last last last option – not one that is totally ok happening even before the marriage! Insane.

Btw following you on bloglovin’. No clue why i haven’t before!

Alli June 23, 2014 - 10:44 am

Totally agree – divorce should be the last option.

Louida June 23, 2014 - 10:48 am

I went through a nasty divorce with my parents and went with the parent that wasn’t into church which was my mother. Church was something I never thought about when people split from each other, this is really something to think about and a eye opener. Great post Alli!

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:51 pm

I had never thought about it, either, until I saw it happen several times and I really missed the person that didn’t get the church.

Lisa June 23, 2014 - 10:58 am

We recently found out that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are planning to get a divorce. It is surprising and not surprising at the same time, but they have a 1 year old little girl and I worry about her. I’ve never experienced a divorce in my immediately family so I’m lost on how to deal with it. Thanks for writing this!

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:50 pm

That is sad, especially when a child is involved. Prayers for you and your family!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication June 23, 2014 - 11:08 am

1. I am SO THANKFUL that my husband’s parents and my parents are both still together – both have been married more than 30 years. I think it’s a very rare example for us to have, for sure.

2. On the other hand, my younger sister is divorced, and that was a horrible thing for her and our family as a whole to have to walk through, so we’re pretty sensitive to that kind of thing.

3. I understand that sometimes there are circumstances in which divorce is warranted (none of us know what goes on behind closed doors in someone else’s home) but my husband and I have not even allowed it to be an option for us. As far as we’re concerned, it just ain’t gonna happen.

4. I’ve hurt terribly watching dear friends of ours in the church go through divorce, and the separate from the church body it causes, as well. That’s a horrible thing. And actually, just last night, our church began a program called Divorce Care, to help anyone who is going through or has been through divorce. I hope it does well – it’s so needed!

Okay, I’ll shut up now 🙂

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:49 pm

I need to check into that program, Kristen. A program like that is so needed in the church today! Don’t ever shut up! You have lots of wisdom to share! 🙂

When my husband and I got married, we made a decision that the word “divorce” would never be spoken in our home and that it would never be an option. We are certainly not perfect, but we have worked hard to make our marriage work.

Shirley Wood June 23, 2014 - 11:09 am

The topic of divorce is indeed a hot topic. I recently witnessed the exact situation you described. She kept the church, he vanished.
When I got divorced in 1992, I left my church. My pastor had actually said to me that there was no hope for my husband. (He had become addicted to drugs, we lost everything we had including our vehicles and home. That is when I divorced him.) I thought, my goodness, if my pastor doesn’t believe God will heal/deliver my husband, he can’t be my pastor. There has got to be hope! Even though I had divorced, I had lost faith in my pastor because of that statement.

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:45 pm

I’m so sorry for what you went through, Shirley! I’m so glad that God never gives up on us! When we are counseling couples that are having problems, I always tell them that there is nothing impossible for God!

Annette June 23, 2014 - 11:18 am

Almost 2 years ago, I made the decision to pack most of our things and take my 2 year old daughter, leaving my husband due to some very serious issues we were having. I returned 2 days later, after my husband promised to go to therapy with me and resolve the issue(s) I left over. I had confided all of our issues to my pastor and his wife months in advance and ended up angry because they gave advice (stick it out and trust in God) that I felt was unsound. It ended up affecting my desire to attend church and my attendance and participation suffered.
Several months after my return “home”, unbeknownst to me, my husband arranged for the pastor’s wife to pick me up after a surgical procedure to give me a ride home when he could not. (I was so angry!) As I was stuck in the car, my sister-in-Christ gave me some hard loving!! There wasn’t much I could do but sit and listen. At first, I went into defense mode, but I knew it was MY heart that was the problem in this situation. As we pulled into the driveway, I was in tears. I was still angry, but I was listening and God was working on my heart. The lesson I learned that day: Just because my marriage wasn’t going the way I wanted it to at the time didn’t give me the right to walk away, even if there were some REALLY HARD and SCARY things happening. I had no right to expect someone else to fix my marriage or hold them accountable for the lack of change in my husband. It took a few days for me to fully wrap my head around all of this and a few weeks for me to approach our pastor and ask for his forgiveness.
Almost 2 years later, my husband and I are STILL in therapy. The issues I left over are still present and I’m not sure how/if they’ll ever resolve. However, I have resolved to love my husband in spite of them. It is a VERY difficult choice most days and I am not successful in my endeavor some days. I pray for God to renew my love and passion for Him and my husband so that my daughter will grow up in a two parent family.
In our case, at least currently, we ALL get the church!
Oh, and by the way… I tease our pastor’s wife regularly about giving tough love. She jokes that she knew I’d have to listen since I’d be stuck in the car and having been given some pretty heavy drugs, I probably wouldn’t get physical. lol Since that afternoon, we’ve become quite close. I’m so grateful that she loved me enough to set me straight. We all need brothers and sisters like that!

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:43 pm

Yes, we do need people that will speak the truth into our lives even if it hurts our feelings at the time. I’m so glad that you and your husband are so committed to your marriage. God bless your family!

Renee @ Renew Your Space June 23, 2014 - 2:02 pm

That is so sad. You never think of repercussions of the divorce that will have an effect on social aspects and livelihood. Great thoughts to ponder.

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:41 pm

The thought came to me as I was riding down the road one day and I was thinking of a particular couple that was having marital problems. As I was praying for them, the thought came to me, “If they do end up divorcing, who will get the church?”

Anna @ Northern Homestead June 23, 2014 - 2:28 pm

This winter our care group as a whole went through the marriage course from Paul Tripp “What did you expect”. We too witnessed some scary divorce situations and new we had to do something, not just sit there and hope it will not happen to one of us. This was such a blessing! I would highly recommend it!

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:39 pm

Sounds great! My husband and I do a month long teaching at least once a year and we cover hot topics: marriage, remarriage, dating, relationships, etc. We also do extensive premarital counseling with couples planning their marriage. I believe that we need to do as much as possible to save marriages before they even begin! The course you mentioned sounds great! I’ll check it out!

Tara Brelinsky June 23, 2014 - 3:04 pm

As a child of divorce, I can attest the harm it does. I never knew my parents as a couple, but I watched the repeated destruction of family after family as my father remarried, remarried and remarried. While grown-ups may be able to form and unformed attachments, it isn’t so easy for children. It took my many years to recognize the damage I carried into my own marriage (I simply thought women cared more about marriage than men). Additionally, it negatively affected my understanding of God as an unconditional, forgiving Father.

As an aside, my husband and I (who just celebrated 22 years of marriage) teach Natural Family Planning. NFP literally saved our marriage. Why? Because it taught us how to communicate, respect each other and love fully. In fact, couples who practice NFP have a recorded divorce rate of less than 5% (compared with 50% in the general population). We love teaching young couples because we are helping them really prepare for marriage. You can read more about this on my blog http://brelinskyville.blogspot.com/2013/03/marks-of-true-love-marriage-like-no.html

Thanks for address this tough and necessary topic.

Alli June 23, 2014 - 7:36 pm

NFP sounds like a wonderful tool! I’m heading over to your blog to check it out. You are so right, divorce hurts, especially when kids are involved.

Ricci June 23, 2014 - 9:42 pm

I never thought about that before. My cousins parents divorced when we were little and all still going to the same church and I remember my Aunt still going to our church. I guess because it was her home church before his? Great post…you always make me think!! LOL!!

Alli June 24, 2014 - 7:05 am

I do know of one couple that divorced and still attended the same church. They all had Sunday dinner together, too. But it takes special people to be able to get along that well after a divorce. Your aunt must be one special lady!

aimee fauci June 23, 2014 - 10:25 pm

My thoughts on divorce… Like I tell my 25 yr old daughter: Once you are married you are married! Unless your husband is beating you, cheating on you, abusing you or abusing himself in a serious way and not getting help… you will be together forever! If you argue, you don’t leave for a night out.. you sit there and deal w it… –I’m tough…. that’s probably why I’ve been married so long.. Gosh.. I hope she listens to me.

Alli June 24, 2014 - 7:03 am

Preach it, girl! 🙂 I tell my kids the same thing: Marriage is for life! Work it out (unless there is abuse) and hang in there!

Reginia Cordell June 24, 2014 - 1:26 am

My parents divorced and I know divorce all too well.

It wasn’t a bitter divorce but a sad one.

Who gets the church is a relevant question?

It’s hard to determine because the church is the anchor for many Christian families.

Such an engaging topic. I hope that you’ll do more on this.

LifeAsAConvert June 25, 2014 - 12:18 am

I’m terrified of divorce so I’ve never been married.

Alli June 25, 2014 - 6:14 am

Marriage is work, but it’s also a whole lot of fun! I’ve been married 32 years and I’ve loved being married.

Laura Connell June 27, 2014 - 7:55 am

It’s been 5 years for me and I’m still recovering from my divorce. My situation it different because I became a believer after my divorce – my ex doesn’t attend church or believe in God. To answer your question, I’ve seen it’s usually the person who has family at the church.

As an aside, that marriage stat covers ALL marriages (ie. 2nd and 3rd). First marriages actually have an almost 70% rate of success, but subsequent marriages fare far worse so once they are averaged together we get the 50% rate.

Heather June 27, 2014 - 9:11 am

I’m a pastor’s wife too and I’ve noticed that far too many times, no one gets the church. I’ve also noticed there are far too many pastors who will agree to marry couples without walking with them through any counseling whatsoever. We must as a church body start before the beginning and continue to work diligently to help our husbands and wives remain as just that. Good post!

Alli June 28, 2014 - 6:30 am

We provide extensive counseling and the couple has to fill out a long questionnaire (alone and no sharing) before we begin the counseling sessions. It’s designed to pinpoint potential problems. Of course, nothing is 100% fail proof. I totally agree that we need to work diligently to help husbands and wives remain together.

Cannon Law January 22, 2019 - 7:07 am

I’ve never thought about that indeed! Thanks!

VM Family Law October 22, 2020 - 10:08 pm

Great content and helpful insights on the cases of divorce. It’s really hard if someone is experiencing it.


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