Who to Call Instead of the Lawyer

Tis the season…for divorce filings. Right after the holidays, people (roughly two-thirds women) will call a lawyer to “explore” how to free themselves from the misery of their marriage.

The first thing the “helpful and understanding” lawyer will do is give advice that is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what needs to happen: “don’t talk to your spouse about this.” Unfortunately,  divide-and-conquer pays their bills, not reconciliation.

Please understand I’m not minimizing:

  • your hurt
  • all you’ve done “to make this work”
  • how unloving or disrespectful your spouse is
  • how unappreciative and unsupportive they are
  • how many prayers have gone unanswered
  • or….fill in the blank.

However, terminating any chance for constructive communication is NOT the answer. “But all we do is argue! We can’t talk without name calling, blame, and hurt.” That may be true, but get real help.

1)   An organization called Focus on the Family‘s sole purpose is to strengthen families. For forty years they’ve had people you can talk to for free. Their number is 800-232-6459. They have a wealth of resources that can help marriages that are even tougher than yours, but more important, they provide a listening ear.

2)   Find a couple that has been married for at least 30 years, treat them to coffee, and spill your guts. An outside and long-term perspective is crucial at this time. Very often you’ll find these couples have weathered storms similar or worse than yours.

3)   Commit or recommit yourself to God. If you’ve never accepted Jesus as your Savior, listen to His words, ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Jesus can help you.

If Jesus is your Savior, act on the words of Psalm 61 verse 2, “when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”2 That rock is Jesus Christ. With God all things are possible. That can include changing your heart and/or the heart of your spouse.

Lastly, if your parents are divorced, please look over the resources on our resource page. Learn how the collapse of your parents’ marriage is greatly affecting how you see yourself, your spouse, and your own marriage. Before you call the lawyer, commit that you will never do to your kids what your parents did to you!

This is the most important blog of the year to share, because the person who needs this information hasn’t told you. In fact they haven’t told anyone. So let’s work together to stop the next wave of divorces…and adult children of divorce.

1Matthew 11:28-30, The Message Bible
2King James Version

Divorce by Tony Guyton



What is a Normal Family?

Josh hasn’t spoken to his dad in 3 years. Sarah refuses to come to Thanksgiving dinner this year. Divorced families? Nope. Families by bass_nrollEveryday run-of-the-mill families.

One of the problems adults with divorced parents have is the trap of thinking “normal” means “perfect.” When raised with the image of a family that often looks more like a face in a carnival’s fun-house mirror, it’s easy to believe the myth that intact families are problem free.

Granted, parental divorce can add layers of complications and chaos that can make normal look like a dot on the horizon. For example, those from intact families don’t have to decide which parent they “love” and which they “hate” based on who gets them during the prime Thanksgiving hours versus Thanksgiving morning or the day after. However intact families are not problemless. Most are just problem-less.

Family Feet by Jeff GoldenWhen we start to dream of the normal (perfect) family we need to ask:

  • Do intact families have disagreements and tensions?
  • Do intact families have siblings that don’t get along?
  • Do parents in intact families ever fight and sulk?

The answer is “Yes.” Behind their Sunday smiles is the true reality show. Consequently, we must not shoot for a “normal” that doesn’t exist. But what do we aim for?

  • First, we must pursue wholeness in our self.  Jesus said to “love your neighbor as yourselves.”1 Many adult children of divorce don’t love themselves in a healthy biblical way. We’re bound by fears, anger, father hunger, and anxieties that must be dealt with. Click here for resources that can help. Click here for audios and videos on the impact of parental divorce.
  • Second, many of us need to learn how to have a healthy marriage. Fortunately, strong marriage-building programs are out there. Love and Respect and love_and_respect logoFamily Life’s “I still do,” “Weekend to Remember,” and “The Art of Marriage” seminars are just a couple of the strong marriage tools that are available.
  • Third, many of us need to learn how to raise children in a healthy way. There are a wealth of resources at Focus on the Family for moms, dads, stepmoms, and stepdads.
  • Lastly, prior to Jesus talking about loving ourselves and neighbors, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”2

Bible with Cross Shadow David Campbell FCC ( A, $, @) 337522540_8eb3c1f974_oBeing committed to and spending time with God in prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship with other believers builds and strengthens our relationship with God and the foundation for the biblical wholeness.

Will these steps guarantee a perfect family? Nope. Not even a normal one. But it will foster a loving relationship between a husband and wife who can provide a divorce-free (or second divorce-free) home for their kids.

1Matthew 22:39, NIV
2Matthew 22:38, ESV

Families by bass nroll
Family Feet by Jeff Golden
Bible with Cross by David Campbell