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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - A Candid Conversation on Divorce

Joyce Meyer - A Candid Conversation on Divorce

Joyce Meyer - A Candid Conversation on Divorce
TOPICS: Marriage, Divorce, Relationships
Joyce Meyer - A Candid Conversation on Divorce

Hi everyone. Welcome to "Enjoying Everyday Life". Today, Joyce and I are having a candid conversation. It's an intimate discussion about divorce and we invite you to join us as we talk about this. It's such an important discussion to have. And as we do this, we want you to know the good thing about this conversation is it comes with no judgment, no condemnation, only love and restoration from God, as we really explore what happens in people's lives when they're dealing with the aftermath of divorce or walking through a potential divorce. Our hope is that this will help save marriages and bring healing to those dealing with the pain of divorce.

Ginger Stache: Well, Joyce, this is a candid conversation that will impact many lives. And I think it's a really important thing for us to talk about because it's such a big part of our society. And we're just going to get honest and talk about divorce today.

Joyce Meyer: Yeah, when you told me that's what you wanted to talk about, I was like, "Oh..."

Ginger Stache: Well, the great thing about you talking about this is you understand it from both sides. Because we're gonna talk about what God's word says.

Joyce Meyer: Right.

Ginger Stache: And you've also walked through it.

Joyce Meyer: Right. Well, first of all, I just want to say to our viewers that some of you probably aren't gonna like some of the things that I say, but instead of just getting mad and turning me off, everything I'm going to share is from the Word of God. It's just not my opinion. And so, I really pray that if you are a person who's serious about your relationship with God, that you will listen to this all the way through. Let me next say that I've been divorced. I was divorced when I was 22. And I did have scriptural grounds for divorce, although at that time in my life I wasn't really a walkin' with God, so I probably would have done it either way. But my husband at that time, cheated on me all the time. He ran around with other women and just a lot of other things. He ended up going to prison for writing bad checks, but we have such a problem today with divorce. And it's not just outside the church. It's in the church. And God hates divorce.

Now, he doesn't hate divorces, but he does hate divorce. And we need to do everything we possibly can to make our marriages work and not just be so quick to give up. So, I'm gonna start by just reading a couple of scriptures here. Mark 10:2-12, that's ten verses, hopefully everybody can focus that long. "And some pharisees came up, and, in order to test him and try to find a weakness in him, asked him, 'is it lawful for a man to dismiss and repudiate and divorce his wife'? And he answered them, 'what did Moses command you'? They replied, 'Moses allowed a man to write a bill of divorce and to put her away'. But Jesus said to them, 'because of your hardness of heart, your condition of insensibility to the call of God, he wrote you this precept in your law. But...'" so, he allowed it because of the hardness of people's heart, but it was never his will from the beginning. Some people ask questions about the perfect will of God, compared to the permissive will of God. God's not gonna turn against you. You're not gonna lose your salvation if you get a divorce.

But if you really wanna be obedient to God and do things his way, you're gonna make certain that you have biblical grounds to get a divorce. "'but from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For that reason, a man shall leave behind his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and cleave closely to her permanently'". What the Amplified Bible says, for better or worse, sickness and health till death do us part. People don't take vows seriously enough. God tells us to keep our vows. It's a very important thing. "'And the two shall become one flesh and they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has united and joined together, let not man separate or divide'. And indoors the disciples questioned him again about this subject". And this is the part people are not gonna like. "And he said to them, 'whoever dismisses, repudiates, and divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her: and if a woman dismisses, repudiates, and divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery'".

So, the thing that I think a lot of people don't think about, Ginger, is they don't... They make an emotional decision, "I don't love you anymore". Well, love is not a feeling to start with. Maybe some of those people never knew what love was to start with. Love is a decision you make about how you're gonna treat somebody. And we were on TBN last week, Dave and I, doing an interview with Matt and Laurie Crouch. And I asked Dave during this interview how he was able to stay with me the first several years of our marriage, because I had been sexually abused and I had so many problems in my personality. And I mean, I was so hard to get along with, and sarcastic, and controlling, and felt sorry for myself, and bad temper. And I mean, you just name it, you know, I did it.

Now, thankfully, Dave was pretty easygoing, but he said, "Well", this was what he said. He said, "Well, I knew that marriage was for life. So", he said, "I never even once thought about divorcing you". And there's so many people today that that's the first place their mind goes. "Well, I'm out of here". And I think because there is so much divorce inside the church, people are beginning to think there's not a problem with it. And it's, like I said, this is not about God not loving you anymore or turning against you, or it's just, it's not the thing that pleases God. And when God joins something together, when those two become one, just think for a minute about how painful and hard it would be to separate that now and tear it apart.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, that 'one flesh' word. Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: It's gonna be...

Ginger Stache: It's a ripping.

Joyce Meyer: It's gonna be hard.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: And boy, especially if there are children involved. And I'm sorry if some people don't like this, but yes, sometimes if for no other reason, you need to stay together for your kids because most children think that it's their fault some way, somehow, if they would have been better if, if, if, if. And it's very, very challenging for children. But I got this off the web and it's from crosswalk.Com. So, I'll say it again, in case you want to look it up: crosswalk.Com, "Ten hidden consequences of divorce (especially if you have kids)". So, I think a lot of times people don't think about the consequences. Don't you? I think they just, they make a decision.

Ginger Stache: It's very difficult to think about the future when we're in a current situation where we're hurting.

Joyce Meyer: And you haven't gone through these consequences yet.

Ginger Stache: Exactly.

Joyce Meyer: So, you may think it's no big deal.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: But first of all, there's gonna be grief. You know, normally both people don't want this divorce. It's one or the other. If there are children, it's gonna cause everybody grief. It's gonna cause even extended family members grief. So, getting a divorce may eliminate one kind of pain, but it's gonna give you another kind. And just think, if Dave would have left me. I wouldn't be sitting here today doing what I'm doing. And so, how do you know, maybe if you stick with somebody and do it for the Lord and continue to be a good example, not try to preach to them all the time, but just live in front of them a good example, which Dave did for me. I mean, he was peaceful. He loved me when I would let him. But he didn't, he never one time threatened that he was gonna leave me. He didn't try to make me be afraid. And another thing...

Ginger Stache: You just said, though, "When I let him". I think that's really important, because a lot of people are in marriages where the other person's not always letting them.

Joyce Meyer: I didn't, know how to receive love. To be honest, when I married Dave, Ginger, I didn't have slightest idea what love was. You know, anybody that had ever told me they love me did nothing but hurt me.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: And I didn't, I mean, the night that Dave told me he loved me and wanted to marry me, I couldn't even say it back because I didn't know what it was.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: And here again, people make, they think it's a feeling. And it's gotta be much more than that. If that's all it is, is a feeling, those feelings are going to go away. You're gonna, that's gonna...

Ginger Stache: They fluctuate.

Joyce Meyer: Yeah. That's going to wear out.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: But one of the things that Dave did for me that was so important was he continued to have joy in his life. He even told me one time, he said, "I've tried everything to keep you happy and it's obvious that you are determined to be unhappy. And so, I'm gonna go ahead and enjoy my life". Well, of course, that just made me furious. But seeing him enjoy his life made me eventually realize what I could have if I would just let God change me.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, and his joy wasn't based on what you did.

Joyce Meyer: No, he wasn't codependent on me.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: And a lot of people are codependent. It's like, "If you get up happy today, I'll be happy. But if you wake up in a bad mood, now I'm gonna be in a bad mood all day". And don't get married with the idea in mind, "Now, it's your job to keep me happy". We need to do just the opposite. "What can I do to make you happy"? And if you do that, then God will move and make you happy. But it causes grief, it causes trauma. You still have to have a relationship with the ex-spouse if there's children involved. And that can get very touchy and challenging. Financial stress, because now you don't have the same income that you had before. Emotional problems result from it, not only for you but for your children. The chance of another divorce. I mean, the statistics and I don't know exactly what they are right now. I don't have them in front of me. But the statistics say that people who get divorced and remarry, the percentage of people who get another divorce is really, really high. Losing friends, you know, you have friends as a couple that are gonna be hard for you to maintain as a single person. And so, you make your friends choose between you...

Ginger Stache: Yeah, make them take sides.

Joyce Meyer: Or your spouse. The dividing of memories and belongings.

Ginger Stache: The dividing of memories, wow.

Joyce Meyer: You know, it's like you, there's memories now that you're no longer part of. And belongings, I mean, just think there are certain things that we have that are not they're not necessarily expensive, but they mean a lot to us. Well, only one person can end up with them, so that doesn't sound like much but that could be very, very challenging and difficult. Pictures of your children, you know, just all kinds of stuff. A home. Who's going to keep the home? "Are we gonna have to sell the home, divide the money? What are we going to do"? Holidays, I thought that was very interesting. There's so many people that even commit suicide on holidays because they're depressed and lonely. And learning how to be single. It's gonna be very different. So, I just, I thought it would be good to bring this out that, you know, before you get a divorce, you need to think, you need to think, there are gonna be consequences from this. You know, you're not just gonna go on like normal, except now you don't have this person that's giving you a problem. So, we talk about, okay, God does give room if somebody is unfaithful to you, you can divorce 'em. But I do want to add, you don't have to. You can choose to forgive and try to make it work. And, you know, you've had your own situation not with divorce, but with pornography. And, you know, you could consider that being unfaithful. And yet you made a decision to work it out.

Ginger Stache: And I did exactly what you're talking about when this became an issue years ago in our marriage. I kind of did that inventory. And, you know, prayed a lot, "God, what do you want me to do"? But the first thing I thought was, "I am not the woman who puts up with this stuff". And this isn't fair to say, because divorce is never easy, but at the time it feels like it would be much easier to cut bait and move on.

Joyce Meyer: Yeah, "I'm out of here".

Ginger Stache: Yeah, exactly. And I prayed about it a lot. And for me, in my circumstance, I'm not talking about anybody else. I really felt like God said, "He was unfaithful, but I want you to consider the whole picture". And so, you know, I spent a lot of time really praying and figuring that out and a lot of time healing. And God has restored us to a beautiful place. And it's still hard sometimes. You know, there are still things that come up like there are in any marriage. And some of the things that you're talking about here, which I think are so important, is to take account of what this might look like. But there are also many people who this was not in their control.

Joyce Meyer: Right.

Ginger Stache: They're now in a divorce situation, because it does take two people to stay together and work on something. So, you know, there are abuse situations. There are many times where people are caught in this place of "How do I please God? How do I know what to do in a situation"?

Joyce Meyer: You know, to consider like, "Okay, why did tim do that"? Well, he got addicted to that stuff when he was a kid. You know, and young men don't realize what they're doing. So, we can, if we wanna be like God, have a little mercy in a situation. And, you know, I don't know everybody's situation. And I want to make it very clear that I am not judging anybody. Not trying to dig into your stuff. Each relationship is different. Each person's reasons for why they do what they do is different. But I would just plead with everybody today not to do it without asking God, "Is this what you want me to do"?

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Joyce Meyer: I mean, I think we need to at least give that opportunity to God. Now, what about abuse? The Bible doesn't say that that is a reason for divorce. It only talks about adultery. But I know that God does not want a woman to be beat on and abused and her children to be mistreated. I think about my own mother, and she stayed with my father even though he would regularly smack her and slap her, and a few times beat her up really bad. And he'd go out and get drunk, come home, and do that. And she'd get up the next morning and cook his breakfast. Well, that just nauseated me. It was like I wanted her to stand up to him. She knew that he was sexually abusing me because I told her one time and he said I was lying. And then one time she actually caught him. She walked in the house and caught him, and she turned around, stayed gone 2 hours, came back and never mentioned it again. So, I felt like, "Well, nobody's going to help me". And so, I just made my mind up, I was going to survive and get out of there as soon as I could. But nobody's gonna tell me that God wanted her to stay in that situation because it ruined her life. It ruined my brother's life. He ended up committing suicide. But for the grace of God, it would have ruined my life.

Now, there's an option besides divorce. Sometimes, if there's a very tedious situation in a marriage, could be drugs, could be alcohol, could be a lot of different things. You can separate for a while, even for two, three, four years, and continue to pray and maybe give that person an opportunity to really change, to make a change. And the Bible says that if you're married to an unbeliever and he's pleased to dwell with you, to stay with him. But it also says, "If the unbelieving partner [actually] leaves, let him do so: in such [case the remaining] brother or sister is not morally bound. But God has called us to peace". Isn't that amazing? He said God doesn't want you in turmoil all the time, he wants you in peace than if you're married to an unbeliever, which you really shouldn't are married and unbelievers start with, but a lot of people do that don't even know what they're doing. And they become a Christian later on. And, you know, so there's a lot of different reasons why people get into that. But if he's pleased to dwell with you, you should stay with him, because how do you know that your witness may not be what changes him and turns the situation around. And I know this is a broad subject.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. These are hard things.

Joyce Meyer: You know, I mean, there's no way that like, in a few minutes here on tv, I can answer all the questions that goes with this, nor, you know, because I don't know everything that every person has dealt with and what all they're going through and what all is behind it. So, no judgment. I'm not trying to bring judgment on anybody. I know there are times when there is no other option. I know a lot of times it's not you that wanted the divorce, it's the other person that wanted the divorce. But I just want to repeat what I said before, please, please, at least ask God, pray sincerely, and ask God and don't... Somethin' that annoys me is this, "We're not compatible" excuse. I mean, how many people are compatible?

Ginger Stache: Nobody.

Joyce Meyer: No, and if you think about it, I mean, David and I are so different. Are you and tim different?

Ginger Stache: Oh, entirely, yeah.

Joyce Meyer: And so, you have to work at getting along, don't you?

Ginger Stache: Yeah, yeah. It's a lot of work.

Joyce Meyer: It is.

Ginger Stache: It's a big commitment and it's a long-term, over and over and over, making the commitment to love and to do what we need to do. And I think about people who are watching right now, because I thought you began it so beautifully by saying you've been there. There is no judgment here, that God loves people who have walked through a divorce. And so, I just want to spend a minute talking about healing their heart. If they've been through a situation like that, whether it was no fault of their own or of course, we all make mistakes as well. There is always a second plan that God has for us. There's always forgiveness. There's always restoration.

Joyce Meyer: Always, always. Always forgiveness. No condemnation. It's very important to me that people don't think that we're judging them. You know, that's why it's a subject when you first told me that we needed to talk about it because we get so many questions about it. So, if people are asking questions, they obviously care. You know, they wanna know. And here again, I just want to say that you just don't know what might happen if you stick it out for a while. I still think about myself and you know or even like you. Where would you be now if you would have just said, "Well, I'm out of here, I'm not puttin' up with this". And, you know, you can go marry somebody else, but that doesn't mean you're not gonna have similar or even worse problems with them. Very rarely, I don't want to get myself in trouble saying this, but very rarely are all the problems one person's fault. Now, there are times, you know, when you can be a great wife and your husband's unfaithful or a great husband and your wife's unfaithful.

Ginger Stache: But we are all human, also.

Joyce Meyer: We're all human. And we always have the option to do the better thing. We always have the option to forgive and to be merciful. And of course, the question's, "Well, what if he does it again"? Well, at least you've given that opportunity to let the person have restoration.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. So, what would you say to someone right now who has been through this and is wondering, "Will God still use me? Will God ever restore a love that, that I need in my life"? You know, all of those questions that must come up for people.

Joyce Meyer: Well, I really want you to know that God loves you. He's never stopped loving you, not for one second. And you can be completely restored. There is no condemnation. Like I said, I was divorced when I was 22. And there's a lot of different reasons why people have to do things. It's not my job to condemn people or to judge them, but it is my job to teach people what the Word of God says. And so, I hope and pray that what we've said here today will stop a few thousand divorces that really don't have to take place. That if they stick with things, they can turn out to be really beautiful.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. And possibly bring some healing to some people who are feeling a lot of shame and guilt that God is not seeing when he looks upon them today.

Joyce Meyer: God is not finished with you yet. He can still call you to do great things. And even if you realize you made a big mistake, just talk it out with God. He loves you. You still got a lot of life left that God can do great things in.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. Thank you, Joyce. We appreciate it.

Joyce Meyer: Thanks for watching today.
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