Sign Me Up for an Ugly Divorce, Please!

I don't think you'll ever hear this in pre-marital counseling: "We'd like to love each other, get married, have kids, start arguing, lose respect, and then go through an ugly divorce!" When nobody desires this initially, why does it happen at such an alarming rate? Those of us who counsel couples in crisis hear the same justifications over and over again for breaking the marriage covenant . . . it seems the trailhead to divorce is strewn with lies people begin to embrace.

This isn’t just a twenty-first century phenomenon. Rebuking the Israelites for their callous treatment of the covenant of marriage, Malachi accused them of "dealing treacherously" (Mal. 2:13-17). Treachery is falsehood; it's saying one thing and doing another. It's making a promise that you don't keep . . . it's deception.

It's vital to identify these lies and counteract this deception with God's truth—truth that will set us free!


LIE: My happiness is the supreme goal of marriage (God just wants me happy!).

TRUTH: God’s glory and others good is the goal of marriage.

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).


LIE: When love is gone, the marriage is over.

TRUTH: Loss of love teaches me to access God’s love.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love . . .” (Gal. 5:22).


LIE: My private immorality doesn’t affect my marriage.
TRUTH: Oneness is hijacked by sexual immorality.

“Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, ‘The two shall become one flesh.’ Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 7:16—18).


LIE: A wrong start justifies a wrong step (divorce).
TRUTH: It’s never right (or helpful) to do wrong.

“God can work all things together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).


LIE: A sinful failure demands divorce.
TRUTH: God can fix our failures.

“Forgive one another just as God, in Christ, has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).


LIE: Incompatibility justifies divorce.
TRUTH: My mate’s weaknesses are the pathway to my growth.

“ . . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone . . .” (Col. 3:12-13).


LIE: Breaking the covenant won’t hurt me or my children.
TRUTH: Wrong choices affect everything and everyone.

“The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).


LIE: There are some marriages God can’t fix.
TRUTH: If both spouses cooperate, any marriage is fixable.

“All things are possible with God” (Matt. 10:27).


About the Author

Bill Elliff

Bill Elliff

Bill Elliff is the Directional Pastor of The Summit Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is a frequent conference speaker, writer, and consultant to churches, drawing from more than fifty years of pastoring and revival ministry. He is the Pastor/Church … read more …

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