I’m a big fan for marriage, even second marriages. Why? Because although God despises divorce, He loves family, and is more concerned about our character. He uses tests, trials and yes, even divorce. Why? Because he likes to redeem life from death.
If you’re married, keep it that way. Love your spouse like Christ loved the church, sacrificing everything for her. However, should the divorce bug bite, there is still hope for a second go around.
If you’re single, keep it that way, until you are ready. When is that? Hopefully soon. But keep reading, you have something to gain from this lesson as well.
Although the statistics are discouraging for second marriages -- and even worse for third marriages -- marital bliss is possible if done God's way. The time before or between marriages can provide opportunity to rediscover yourself, heal from the past and prepare for your true love of your life. For divorced God's men -- or “marital ‘tweeners” -- I want to encourage you to use this time wisely, and prepare for the next phase in life because if you re-marry, you are in for an even wilder ride than the first.
So why are second marriage statistics so discouraging? Because too often guys rebound, towing their character issues right into the next relationship. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you repeat the problem and when you hit the first iceberg, you sink like the Titanic. Unfortunately, most men fear facing themselves in a mirror, admitting mistakes, and growing in maturity as Godly men. Pride gets in the way.
In Proverbs 16:18, the Bible succinctly explains the danger of pride. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Here are some practical steps to prepare marital ‘tweeners for marriage re-birth, as well as for single men who desire to be yoked.
- Focus on Jesus. He is your friend and He promises to never stop loving you or leave you. The more you grow closer to God, the greater man you will be. Besides, women are attracted to Godly men who are solid as a rock. If you’re not already in a small group, get in one NOW! Go to Bible studies. Get involved in church. Journal your journey with Christ. Surround yourself with safe men and family. Don’t become idle. Pray about everything without ceasing.
- Focus on your kids. If you have children from the previous marriage, divorce is one of the biggest life-changing events in their lives. I recommend you and your spouse agree to putting the children’s well-being as a top value, avoid putting them in “he said, she said” situations, and agree to communicate to the kids as one. One message. One messenger. Then, show respect to their mother in all situations. Your children are watching, and this isn’t the time for you to act like one.
- Keep it in your pants. For most men, particularly ‘tweeners, sexual temptation can lure you into relationships too early, open the porn gate from hell, or get you into trouble. This is not the time to experiment with your sex life. God’s way is to save sex for marriage, and He has good reason for it.
- Be patient. Don’t rush into another relationship. Instead give yourself some time to sort things out and let the divorce repercussions settle. Clearly identify what you are looking for in a mate, so you can rule out any posers.
- Work on your character. Traits like integrity, trust, communication, overcoming adversity, parenting, keeping priorities and keeping your word are essential to successful marriages.
- Work on your health. Establish a goal, and go for it. Lose weight. Hike a mountain. Get stronger. You will end up looking and feeling great! And, consider working on your mental health. There’s no shame is getting counseling or therapy for any links missing in your chain. And, shore up your financial health. Divorce can devastate credit, cash, assets, and retirements. So use this time to get your feet back firmly on the ground.
A loving marriage is something to aspire to. It’s one of the most incredible gifts God has given to us. But you have to be ready.
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Kenny Luck is the president and founder of Every Man Ministries. As the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church in California, Kenny has found the proven way to improve men’s ministries around the world. Sleeping Giant is this blueprint, and gives men the tools they need to lead and understand their own men’s ministry. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.