Q: I want to get married, but my parents had a terrible marriage and got divorced. Does my parents’ divorce mean my marriage is more likely to end in divorce?
A: Some of the most teachable people we know have been through their parents’ divorce. God has taken those experiences and, through his grace, given a new start for their own marriages. You will have to be teachable—that is key. You will have to unlearn some attitudes or assumptions that you may bring into your marriage—because what you saw as you were growing up obviously didn’t work.
Like most couples, you face pressures from life’s many inconvenient, tragic, or evil circumstances. Sometimes a variety of pressures pile up on you all at once. Sometimes tragedy hits with the force of a wrecking ball, then goes away. Other times the same nagging pressure can hover like a dark cloud for months or even years. It’s not a matter of if your marriage will face pressure; it’s just a question of when.
If you want to divorce-proof your marriage against the storms and struggles of life, if you want a deeper bond and a richer friendship, you need what we call “persevering love.” It’s the kind of love that triumphs over trials and grows stronger when you are most vulnerable. Persevering love doesn’t just hang on through calamity by its fingernails; it hangs in there and thrives. It’s the kind of love described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:7: “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” Persevering love bonds marriages together like super glue and keeps them from falling apart.
We encourage you to be very wise as you consider marriage, seek God’s will carefully, and be ready to stand strong. You may be more tempted to consider divorce as an option because you’ve seen it happen, but don’t do it. Break the pattern of your parents’ divorce, give your kids what you didn’t have, and above all learn to work everything out together.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It’s available in our online bookstore!