The Sorrow of Christmas (and Broken Marriages)

On Christmas day this year, whilst standing in church singing a carol, an overwhelming feeling of sorrow enveloped me and the tears started to stream down my face. No matter how hard I tried to stop crying, the tears still fell.

As I stood there I thought of all those families that were suffering from the havoc and pain that divorce wreaks.The father and husband, waking up alone in an apartment, because he had moved out of the house. The wife and children, waking up in the house, without their dad and husband there, to share in the opening of Christmas presents and to celebrate, together, the birth of our Savior.

All the step-brothers and sisters, half-brothers and sisters, who were sharing the day with only one of their parents because the other parent was busy celebrating with a new family.
As I stood in church, my heart was breaking for all these families.

My parents got divorced when I was twelve and this particular Christmas morning was the first time that my father had been physically present to join in the ritual of opening presents in the morning. For thirty-nine years he had not been present in my life on Christmas day.
Our oldest daughter is nine-teen years old and this was the first time in her and her siblings’ lives that they had their grandfather celebrating Christmas morning with them.

Divorce leaves a legacy of hurt and pain that affects future generations. If you are considering marriage or are newly married, don’t ever think that divorce is an option for you.

I acknowledge that there are some very legitimate reasons for getting a divorce. Where there is verbal or physical abuse, alcoholism or drug abuse or when a spouse has had an extra-marital affair. However, now-a-days, more and more Christian marriages are breaking down and ending in divorce because “the couple have fallen out of love”, “they have nothing in common anymore”, “they don’t like each other anymore”, “they are not willing to compromise with each other”.

These are pathetic excuses to end a marriage. If you, as a couple, are both believers in Jesus Christ and follow His teachings and the above are some of the excuses you are using to get a divorce, you are going directly against what God has ordained for you. If you are newly married or thinking of getting married think very carefully about the following words spoken by God in Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”.

When you get married you take an oath before God to stay married “until death do us part”.

In a Quaker marriage the couple say “until it shall please the Lord by death to separate us”
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James 5:12 says “…do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No’, no, or you will be condemned.”

Divorce between couples, who love the Lord, makes a mockery of their faith. As believers we are called to develop and grow in love, self-control, servant-hood, grace, patience, humility, courage, faithfulness, hope and many more characteristics. If we are living as believers, and there are no external factors affecting our marriages, then divorce is just not an option!

You cannot be living in love, servant-hood, grace and humility and be considering a divorce.
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As believers we are called to have faith “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1).

We have to have faith in God that He will restore our marriages and the only way He can do that is if we are prepared to humble ourselves before our spouse, seek help from a professional, go for counseling, commit to praying together, forgive each other. Search the Scriptures together about what God says about marriage and loving each other. Bear in mind these words in Malachi 2:16 “I hate divorce”, says the Lord God of Israel……So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith”.

Philippians 2:13 states “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” and then commit to memory the following verses: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since, as members of one body you were called to peace.” Colossians 3:12-15

I speak from experience. My husband and I were going to get divorced in our seventh year of marriage. Humanly speaking, the marriage was dead and buried and my husband and I held out no hope that it could be saved. God, however, restored our marriage and this year we celebrated 22 years together. Our children know that one of the biggest miracles they will ever witness in their lives is their father and my marriage!

Love, in a marriage, is not just a feeling. It is an active act of your will – to continue to love your spouse when the first flush of love wears off, when you are irritated or angry with them. You need to actively work at your marriage, pray for your marriage, pray for your spouse and pray for yourself.

God can restore marriages that look doomed from our human perspective.

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Noelene Curry lives in Cape Town, South Africa with her Irish husband, three daughters, one dog and two rabbits. Noelene is a public speaker and author of God’s Promise for Families and All God's Stones. Her passion in life is for couples, not just to stay married, but to be happily married. She loves reading, walking, traveling and bush camping. You'll find Noelene writing about God’s redeeming love and His ability to restore people and relationships at

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