Should I consider remarrying my ex-spouse for the sake of our child? We are both Christians, but we recently got divorced. Over the past few weeks I've become increasingly concerned about the impact of this family breakup upon our preschooler. What do you think I should do?
You didn't describe any of the specific issues that led to your divorce, but we can easily imagine that they included an appreciable amount of anger and bitterness. If you and your former spouse are both willing to lay those feelings aside and move beyond the hurts and resentments of the past, then there's a chance that you may be able to put your relationship back together again. You are right on target in supposing that this would be in your child's best interests. What's more, the Bible tells us that God hates divorce, and so we can safely assume that reconciliation is well within the parameters of His perfect will for your lives. Then again, the Lord grants each of us free will, and if your ex-spouse has no desire to continue the relationship there really isn't much you can do to change their mind.
You can always pray, of course, and this we would strongly urge you to do. Perhaps you've already been asking God to do a miracle in your former spouse's heart, thus opening the way to reconciliation. If so, don't forget to pray about the condition of your heart as well. When separation or divorce occurs it's common for each of the spouses to focus on the changes the other party needs to make rather than engaging in the frank self-evaluation that is always necessary for genuine growth and healing to take place. Have you been pleading with the Lord to show you the areas where you need to alter your attitudes or behavior? Are you aware of the ways that you may have contributed to the breakup of your marriage? If not, examine yourself honestly and ask your heavenly Father to grant you eyes to see clearly into the intentions and motives of your own inner thoughts.
The next step would be to join a therapy group led by a Christian counselor or a divorce recovery class at a local church. In a small-group setting where honesty, openness, and vulnerability are stressed, you will begin to see some of your own blind spots. You'll be exposed to personality characteristics and behavior patterns that others see, but that you may be unaware of. The Bible describes this as "iron sharpening iron" (Proverbs 27:17). It can be a painful process as God "burrs off" the rough edges of our hearts, but if we're willing to stick with it, it can lead to tremendous growth and healing.
If your former spouse is willing to undergo the same rigorous process of self-examination, the time may eventually arrive when the two of you are ready to seek counseling together. At that point, you can begin to take some definite steps toward restoring your marriage. This will take time, patience, and a great deal of wisdom and discernment, but we believe your efforts can be successful if both of you are prepared to do the hard work required. For advice and guidance, we'd strongly encourage you to contact our Counseling department for a free over-the-phone consultation. Our counselors can also provide you with referrals to licensed family therapists and good divorce recovery groups in your local area.
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