On a number of occasions I have heard someone say to me, “Did you hear about so and so? They are getting a divorce!” And every time, it grieves me. When I ask what they have done to help, they most often say something like: “Oh I couldn’t help. I wouldn’t know what to do.” I am even more saddened after that!
There is always at least something we can do. Here are some ideas:
This is the something that we can always do!
- Pray for God to intervene. There is an enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy our marriages and families. We must ask God to rout the enemy in the couple’s life!
- Pray for conviction–for the couple to clearly discern right from wrong.
- Pray for wisdom–that God would give you and others wisdom to share and the couple would be open to listening.
- Pray for them to re-gain vision. What could their story be five years from now if they sought to do whatever it took to get there?
2. Show yourself strong on their behalf!
Make time to connect with them and listen to their story. It needs to be heard and understood by someone who doesn’t take sides, yet cares enough to listen.
- Maybe you (wife) can listen to the story of the woman and you (husband) can listen to the guy’s story.
- Maybe you cry with them.
- Maybe you show anger–not at either of the spouses, but at what the Enemy has done to destroy the home.
- Maybe you exhort or plead with them both to get help.
- Maybe you offer to pay the first counseling session or more.
- Maybe you watch their children when they are in counseling, or to give them time together to talk.
When seeking to intervene, don’t be afraid to offend someone, make them angry, or appear nosey. A marriage and family is at stake! Generations will be affected! Everyone around them will be too! What you say or do just might stop them from sliding any further down a destructive slope, and enable them to climb their way back up.
3. Be familiar with resources available to extend help.
- Here are some great resources we recommend.
- Here are some great marriage conferences we recommend.
- Get familiar with a good Christian Counselor or therapist that you could recommend. One way to do this is ask your Pastor who he refers to. Google Christian Marriage Counselor in your area and ask to visit with them to get to know them. If they are not willing to do that, go on to the next one!
(Incidentally, for everyone in the Wichita area, I have been asked several times recently if I am still doing marriage counseling. I am! Though I am writing and teaching more, my counseling practice is still a large part of my focus. IN ADDITION, I am now offering coaching for couples who want to hone their skills at using the PLEDGE Guide for processing conflict and building their family into a safe haven where love is the rule. You can learn more about the coaching process here.)
Two final thoughts:
Most marriages today are not breaking up because of major issues like affairs or abuse, but because of average levels of conflict, or a growing sense of distance and not knowing what to do about it. Whether this is the case of you or your friends, or there are indeed major wrongs that have taken place, there is always hope when both parties are willing to do the work necessary to restore the relationship. One study found that those who were once unhappy but resolved to stay married and work together on their relationship, were happier five years later than those who had given up and divorced.
Remember the Bible says we are a family! We are one body! When one part of your body is hurting, the other parts of your body come to its aid! The same is supposed to be true for us as the body of Christ. If we see a marriage in trouble, we must quickly come alongside to offer all we can to give hope and help!
Question: What other ideas do you have about how we can offer hope and help to those around us who are struggling in their marriage and family? You can leave a comment by clicking here.