Marriage is Hard. Divorce is Hard. Choose Your Hard.
Maybe you have heard this quote, “Choose your hard,” first coined by Devon Brough.
I understand what he is trying to communicate, but I also want to be cautious not to say we always have a choice. We always have a choice in how we respond to life circumstances, but we do not have the power to determine what others choose.
In terms of marriage, a spouse may be in an addiction that is destroying the family or has chosen to have an affair. Choices like these made by a family member impact the family in cataclysmic ways. As a result, difficult decisions need to be made by those affected. Intervention led by an intervention counselor may be necessary, or attending a marriage intensive. However, not everyone is willing to receive or get help. Sadly, this is how divorces occur.
John Ortberg wrote an excellent article on this subject. In his article, John notes divorce may be the direction a spouse needs to take when there has been willful and unrepented adultery, abuse, or abandonment.
However, when the choice to stay married or get divorced comes into a conversation due to the normal and sometimes extra-normal challenges of life, this statement should be deeply considered:
“Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard. Choose your hard.”
Here are some thoughts that need to be given thorough consideration:
1. Scripture compels us to be faithful to the marital covenant we entered on our wedding day when it declares:
“Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Matthew 19:6
2. The average time a couple is married before divorce is eight years. Give a lot of consideration to recharging your marriage regularly, especially after those early years give way to the responsibilities of children, work, and other life challenges.
3. Divorce is expensive. The average divorce proceedings costs $7,000, but that is only the beginning. This is followed by supporting two households and all involved with the new living arrangements.
4. The divorce rate for first-time marriages is growing, but the divorce rate for 2nd, 3rd, etc. marriages is exponentially higher. The adage, “Everywhere I go, there I am,” comes into play. We bring our baggage with us into each new relationship we engage in. If you are carrying baggage, get some help. Consider getting some counseling.
This truth stands: both marriage and divorce are hard. We need to commit to the hard work needed to address both. I encourage you to seek God, get counseling if needed, or connect with a trusted Christian friend who is unafraid to challenge you. Above all, listen to God’s Word and Spirit before making any life-long decision.