Divorced And Christian. Am I A failure?

When I first got divorced, I had just started to explore Christianity.  I seriously struggled with the idea that I was already a failure as a Christian because I was divorced.

My desire to fully understand the impact that my failed marriage would have on my ability to be a good Christian combined with my natural “researcher” tendencies, lead me to read the Bible from cover to cover for the first time.

What I discovered was that divorce was NOT a new issue in Christianity.

Although I have since studied many versions of the Bible, I am personally an N.I.V. Bible type of girl (which also happens to be the version that I read that first time).  That being said, for the sake of clarity, I am using that version as a reference for this post.

The word “divorce” is mentioned over 30 times throughout the Bible.  This means that although divorce wasn’t as common an issue as it is today, it happened often enough in Biblical times to warrant that many mentions.

Divorce, as with marriage was considered a legal/contractual issue.  There were rules and guidelines for both entering into a marriage contract (Vows) and leaving one (Divorce Certificate).

This knowledge helped me understand that divorce didn’t automatically make me a failed Christian and that divorce is the emotionless legal end to a very emotionally connected relationship.

Like many others, I started my search for solace and answers by looking at the end of my relationship.  It seemed natural to me to focus on the end of the relationship.  After all, that is where everything fell apart, right?  Not so much…

I actually found the solace and answers that I needed when I focused on what constitutes a good Christian marriage.  In truth, it was the events that transpired before and during my marriage that helped me understand what went wrong.

Characteristics of A Good Christian Marriage:

  • Fidelity To Each Other – This means that both spouses are faithful to one another.  To be blunt, the only sex that is happening is with one another PERIOD.
  • Commitment To The Family – This means that both spouses are committed to their family above others and outside priorities.
  • Unity With Each Other – This means that both spouses put their relationship above ALL other earthly relationships.
  • Love And Respect – This means that both spouses are called to love and respect one another as they do their G*d.  This characteristic includes ALL children in the family as well.

Not every marriage that ended in divorce falls short in every characteristic, mine certainly didn’t.  However, if your marriage fell short of meeting some of those characteristics, than it is possible that you were not “equally yoked” with your spouse.

The next time you begin to spiral down the shame, guilt and failure train of thought, do what I did.  Ask yourself whose voice is filling your head with the thought that you are a failure.  If the voice isn’t yours, stop.  Take a deep breath and return those thoughts with love to the person who gave them voice.

However, if that voice is your own, remind yourself of the characteristics of a good christian marriage as listed above in comparison to the reality of your marriage.  Ask yourself what you would do differently in any future relationships and learn from your mistakes so that you don’t make them again as you move forward.  Most importantly, forgive and show yourself the same love that you would show to your G*d.


Do you want help with the transitioning from marriage to divorce with integrity?  Contact me today to schedule your complimentary 30 minute Chaos to Calm Power Session.


This or any advice that has been given by Heather Debreceni is not meant to replace or superseded the advice of your attorney or the acting family therapist involved in your case and does not constitute legal or psychological counseling.
About The Author

Heather Debreceni

In 2004, after getting a job in Law Enforcement, Heather left her husband and started the divorce process. Like many mothers in her situation, she naively thought that getting divorced would be the end of the chaos that her failing marriage had created in her and her children’s lives. She now uses her divorce experience to create strategic divorce coaching programs which help mothers turn the chaos of divorce into confident, calm and respect filled lives. Heather is the Founder and Host of the Empowered Divorce Summit which empowers individuals as they navigate through the divorce process. Now a podcast, it provides listeners with access to insightful interviews with experts on divorce, relationships and parenting. She is also an Ordained Non-Denomination Christian Reverend as well as a student of the Buddhist & First Nationals faith and spirituality. Heather supports her clients as they walk through the spiritual rebirth that occurs for many women after divorce. Heather also tours around the country with her family giving talks about Divorce, Ethics, Parenting, Personal Responsibility, Spirituality and Women's Empowerment as well as teaching about Leadership, Business and Entrepreneurship.


  • Rala

    Reply Reply January 30, 2016

    YES! Great post and reminder that there are legitimate reasons for divorce.

    Love the way you find the good stuff.

    • Heather Debreceni

      Reply Reply January 30, 2016

      Hi Rala!

      Thanks! I have to give credit where credit is due, this topic was actually a suggestion/request from one of my Chaos To Calm Moms.

      I am glad you enjoyed it!

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