Chapter 13 "He Guides Me"
“And His name will be called
Prince of Peace.”
My wife is filing for divorce; what should I do?
How do I find someone to defend me?
How can I protect myself and especially my children?
People who know about your situation may have been advising you to get a good Christian lawyer to protect you, your assets, and your children. It could be a Christian friend, a counselor or even your pastor. When I was divorcing Erin, she said that’s when she found the “Mighty Counselor!” This is what she found in her Bible when she was searching for what God had to say on this subject. These are the principles she has shared with countless others who found that following these principles turned their situation around and brought peace where there once was war.
It shall not approach you. “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.” Matt. 5:38-48. You may be worried that our wife will “take you to the cleaners” if you don’t retain an attorney. But if you act like she’s your enemy and fight, she’ll fight back. Hasn’t she in the past?
Many people share their “horror stories” about someone they knew lost everything to frighten you into getting a good lawyer. Just remember, “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you.” Ps. 91:7. Instead, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21. Based on what Erin went through and the others who have followed this same path towards peace, we advise anyone who wants to restore their marriage to release their attorney and trust God ALONE to deliver and protect them.
Dare go before the unrighteous versus saints? “Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?” 1Cor. 6:1. This is a very firm Scripture. Would you dare God? If you merely show up in court, you are standing “before the unrighteous.”
In most states you would not violate the law if you didn’t show up in court if you were served with divorce papers. You merely lose by default. Some states make you sign a waiver that you will not appear, and in others you must neither sign the papers nor show up. Check it out and don’t just take one person’s word for it if they tell you you “have to” do anything. (Our Facing Divorce book will help you with many of your questions.)
Rather be wronged or defrauded. This was one of the first verses the Lord showed Erin when she realized that she would be losing everything she wanted if she didn’t fight me in court. “Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that your brethren.” 1Cor. 6:7-8. God says it is better that you are wronged and defrauded (cheated or tricked).
If you don’t allow yourself to be wronged, your wife will end up angry and bitter. If you don’t allow yourself to be backed up to the Red Sea, you will never see God’s power of deliverance! Remember that the “cares and riches of the world will choke the Word!” (Matt. 13:22)
We are told through Scripture that Demas left Paul because the cares of the world choked the Word from him. The following verse tells us how… “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Matt. 13:22. Scripture says specifically that it was because of “worry” and because of “riches.” Don’t worry about or get caught up with money or possessions. What it really comes down to is this, are your possessions worth more than your wife and your marriage?
We shall judge angels. “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?” 1Cor. 6:2-3. God is mocking us, showing us how petty and insignificant the matters of this world are in comparison to our life with Him.
Matters of this life. “If then you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?” 1Cor. 6:4. The courts today do not follow Biblical teachings as they did when this country was founded. As a result, we have rulings and burdens placed upon believers that neither God nor our founding fathers had in mind. If you choose the courts to help you, you will choose their judgment over God’s protection and provisions.
Before unbelievers. “I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?” 1Cor. 6:5.
A defeat for you. Don’t get a lawyer. If you have one, dismiss him or her. “Actually, then it is already a defeat for you, that you should have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” 1Cor. 6:7. If you go into court with your spouse, it is already a defeat for you. You may get the terms and conditions that are written in the divorce papers, but you will lose your wife!
No one will see the Lord. “Pursue peace with all men, and sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Heb. 12:14-15. If you wish to act as Jesus acted (who was totally innocent) remember that He “opened not His mouth in defense,” 1Pet. 2:23. God can begin to work in your wife’s life because you are planting seeds of life and no longer giving Satan fuel for destruction (see 1Pet. 3:1).
We want our wives to see Jesus’ ways in us. We quench the work of the Holy Spirit when we do the things we “want to” instead of what we “ought to.” Do it God’s way!
Put away. “Let all bitterness, wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away with all malice.” Eph. 4:31. If you have a lawyer, slander and wrath WILL take place. This is what divorce is all about. You must put it away from you. It doesn’t matter if you have a “Christian” attorney or not – all “deliverance by man is in vain”! “O, give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain.” Ps. 108:12-13.
You have this promise from God: “When a man’s ways [your ways] are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Prov. 16:7.
Take refuge in the Lord. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Ps. 118:8. A lawyer is no substitute for the Lord. If you think you can have both a lawyer and God’s protection the following verse explains that they are opposing one another. “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust IS the Lord.” Jer. 17:5-8. We have found that you can either be blessed or cursed. You must decide. Erin decided that she really could only trust the Lord and He delivered her because of her faith in trusting Him alone.
Cease striving. “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:8-10. Put it in His hands. Stop wringing your hands about it; stop discussing it with everyone. Be still! If your wife has already begun divorce proceedings, and you have already humbled yourself and turned from your wicked ways, then follow these steps:
Called us to peace. Tell your wife that you do not want the divorce, but that you will not stand in her way (Ps. 1:1) and that you will NOT contest the divorce either. Tell her that you don’t “blame her” for wanting to divorce you. Tell her that you will still love her (if the “hate wall” is down), no matter what she chooses to do. “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave…but God has called us to peace.” 2Cor. 7:15.
Sweetness of speech. Again, be sure to tell your wife that you will not contest or fight her in the divorce and that you won’t get a lawyer for yourself. (If you have a lawyer, tell your wife that you will dismiss him or her.) Tell your wife that you trust her and know from her past that she will be fair, and that she will do what she believes is right for you and your children. The only way to win the war that is raging against your marriage is with kindness! “Sweetness of speech adds persuasiveness.” Prov. 6:24.
I hate divorce. Tell your wife that you have made so many mistakes in the past that you don’t want to make any more (humility in action). You hope that she will allow you NOT to sign the divorce papers because you have made so many mistakes. Seek the Lord for how He wants to deliver you and the words that He wants you to speak to your wife.
Remember, the Lord said, “I hate divorce.” Of course if she persists in your signing, agree to sign and then pray diligently that the Lord will stop her from pursuing you to sign. If you are not the same disagreeable man that you were, and your wife sees a humble and meek husband, then she will not continue to press. Don’t offer suggestions to try and please your wife; this is displeasing to the Lord. Seek the Lord!
Nothing is impossible. However, if you have participated in the divorce procedure, all is not lost. Ask the Lord’s forgiveness and your wife’s forgiveness also. Demonstrate your desire to have the family together by dropping any and all legal action or protection. God will begin to heal right now: “With God nothing is impossible.” Matt 19:26.
Again, if you have retained a lawyer, dismiss him or her immediately if you want the Best to defend you. Then pray, “Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help us in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this, O Lord, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee.” 2Chron. 14:11.
Harder to be won. If you have already been through a divorce, bitterness and resentment and extreme anger are probably what your wife feels toward you now. Pray that God will forgive your transgressions and blot out the bad memories she has (Ps. 9:5) and replace them with good thoughts. Pray harder and be kinder (again, sweetness of speech adds persuasiveness) at every opportunity that you may have with your wife to win her back. Remember, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.” Prov. 18:19.
Then I could bear it. God does understand what you are going through. Read some of Ps. 55; He’s speaking directly to you. Beginning in verse 6, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. I would hasten to my place of refuge, from the stormy wind and tempest.” Vs. 12-14: “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend, we who had sweet fellowship together….”
Steal, and kill, and destroy. If you have “flown away” go back home. Satan is in his glory because he has again managed to divide and conquer! Take back the ground that he stole from you; he is a thief! “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Give God the victory and the testimony by turning this around for His glory! Instead of throwing away “your cross” (your troubled marriage), pick it up again and follow Him!
Take up his cross daily. “And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ ” Luke 9:23. Be sure that your cross isn’t heavier than He has designed for you; take off all your lack of forgiveness and bitterness. It’s a heavy weight to carry and, eventually, you won’t be able to continue to carry it. You may not even be able to lift it up now, to begin to follow Him.
Take off any “works of the flesh.” The flesh will wear you out and break you down. Let go and let God restore. Use this time to fellowship with the Lord! If your cross feels too heavy to bear, there are burdens on your cross that you have put there. He does not lie and He has promised that He wouldn’t give us more than we could bear!
There is no one besides Thee. Now let us together pray as Asa prayed in 2Chron. 14:11: “Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee.”
Don’t follow the world’s way; trust only in Him. I promise you that He will never let you down. Only as you compromise or look to the flesh for strength and protection will things go awry. Still, it may take going through the fire of endurance (with Him) to reach the victory He has waiting for you. Will you pick up your cross and follow Him?
How much faith do you have? Do you have the faith to step out and allow the Lord to fight for you without a lawyer? Please pray for the strength to put all your trust in Jesus – He won’t let you down!
Personal commitment: to trust God alone. “Based on what I have learned in Scripture, I commit to trusting the Lord to fight for me in this battle. I will release my attorney (if I have one) and I will not show up in court (unless I will be in contempt).”
What to Do When Facing Divorce
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