Divorce is a generational curse that has haunted my family lineage. It takes more than two hands to count the couples on both sides—at least the ones of which I'm aware—who have been through the divorce ringer.
And yes, I can be counted among them.
But that is why I thank God every day for my wife, Patty. God has allowed us to break the generational curse of divorce on our family and bury it.
Patty is an incredible gift from God, and I'm tremendously grateful for her patience, her love and even her courage to put up with a wretch like me all of these years. It is my second marriage, and it has lasted for 18 years as of Saturday, Dec. 5. Where has the time gone?
I realize what many of you out there may be thinking. 1) By being divorced, you are breaking God's laws and committing adultery. Our readers have had a field day with this subject in past posts on charismamag.com, and I would hazard a guess that this one will draw a great deal of discussion as well. 2) How did you break the generational curse when you have been divorced yourself?
So, let me address both of the above thoughts:
First, indeed I am well aware of Matthew 5:31-32, when Jesus said, "It was said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."
Indeed, Jesus never wavered on that point. There is no other scriptural reference to an acceptable divorce, save one. In 1 Corinthians 7:15-16, Paul writes, "But if the unbeliever departs, let that one depart. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called us to peace. ... For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?"
Despite my efforts for more than a year to keep our marriage together, my ex-wife told me in no uncertain terms—in a letter no less—that she wanted a divorce. At the time of our divorce, I suspected my ex-wife had duped me for five years about her faith in Christ. I have since learned from her family that my suspicions weren't unfounded.
Therefore, I "let the unbeliever depart." I was not bound in my case. That has since been confirmed in my heart not only by God, but also by evangelist Jimmy Evans, who, along with his wife, have headed the marriage ministry of Marriage Today for nearly 35 years.
Most likely, my only alternative to preserve the marriage would have been to deny Christ. That would have been much worse than a divorce.
This brings me question No. 2, "How did you break the generational curse when you have been divorced yourself?" Several years ago, Patty and I participated in a deliverance ministry at our church called The Cleansing Stream. It is an eight-week series of classes that prepares and disciples participants to receive healing and deliverance.
During the final weekend retreat, both Patty and I, through the power of the Holy Spirit, broke the generational curse of divorce in our families. It is an ugly word and situation that our children, Rachel and Joshua, won't ever have to endure. We trust in God's wondrous promises.
For help in breaking generational curses, read this great article from marriage ministry pastor Larry Huch.
I am far from perfect. Because of my behavior, there are many times Patty could have demanded my departure from our home. But thank God that Patty has put up with me and that God has transformed me so much in our 18 years together. Our marriage has been prophesied over—that it continually will be bent and stretched—sometimes to the limit—but that it will never break. I revel in that prophecy.
I know many people who suffer through the same generational curse. But it doesn't have to be that way, and we do not have to put up with Satan's lies and deceptions about our marriages. On our charismamag.com site, there are many great articles by strong ministry leaders in both the Spirit-Led Woman and New Man sections that can help bolster your marriage and fight for it, even in the hard times. Please peruse both sections and read the great wisdom put forth from these ministry leaders.
So Saturday isn't simply another anniversary for an "old married couple" such as Patty and me. It is a celebration of longevity and the celebration of a continually broken generational curse that will never again haunt my family. I may not be an expert on marriage, but 18 years is a long time and I might have learned a thing or two.
Thank you, Patty, for your love and patience, and for being such a wonderful wife. You need to hear that more often; and you will. Through God's grace, our life together will keep getting better and better each year. Happy Anniversary, babe.
And praise You, Jesus, for broken generational curses.
"As the bird by flitting, as the swallow by flying, so the curse without cause will not alight (will have no effect)" (Prov. 26:2).
And as I always like to say, "there is that."
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, "Step Out of the Boat," and other Charisma newsletters, click here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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