When Staying in a Marriage Means Getting in God’s Way

When Staying in a Marriage Means Blocking God's Way

By: Kimberly Dimick

Editor's note: This letter was originally written to a woman who had stayed decades too long in an abusive marriage. Her husband is divorcing her, but in reality, he divorced her many years ago when he broke covenant through continuous cycles of abuse. She is still afraid to let go and wants to hold on. This letter is a wake up call for her to understand when staying in a marriage means blocking God's way. You may be in a marriage where your husband is not asking for divorce, but who has already broken covenant with you. Please know and understand the escalation of pain for you and everyone in your family, especially the effects of this violence on your children. Please don't make the mistake, as so many of us have, including myself, of staying too long, for reasons stated below….

Abuse causes a woman to be put into bondage (captivity) and to lose her peace (to be under the tyranny of war). Your husband wants to leave. The word leave in the Greek is, "Chorizo", which means: to divide, separate oneself from, to cause a gaping chasm, to put asunder, to divorce. This is why 1 Corinthian 7 says to, "LET the unbeliever depart." Essentially, Paul is saying you cannot force them to remain or chase them all over the Roman Empire to make them stay. 

The word "unbeliever" does not only refer to the"unsaved" but also a man who is walking in unbelief or is a son of disobedience. The word in Greek is, "Apistos", or our word, "apostate", which means: unfaithful, faithless, (not to be trusted, perfidious). Someone who is apostate renounces Godly principles and truth. The truth and principles we know about marriage are that a husband is commanded to love his wife. Your husband is rebelling against God's truth delibrately and with full knowledge.

Malachi 2:13-17 says the same truth; "You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.

"For the man who does NOT LOVE HIS WIFE but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless." 

Not only was God not hearing them, nor accepting any offerings but he also cut them off from the" tents of Jacob". Jacob was the one who wrestled with God and received the inheritance. Men who are faithless to their wives are cut off from God. Not only that but he is using treachery and violence against you. The word violence in the Hebrew means: "violence, wrong, cruelty, and injustice".

To cause harm is more than hurting someone. The word violence there has the idea of wronging or harming someone with intent to destroy. 

He is no longer entitled to an inheritance in Christ or in His Kingdom. Why? Because they are not sons but illegitimate in refusing the Lord's correction. 

"In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons." ~Hebrews 12:4-8

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.~Galatians 5:19-21

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them."~Ephesians. 5:6-7.

The reason a woman can grow bitter is because she STAYS in the abuse too long and her heart can no longer bear up under fighting for something that no longer exists.

Yes, we understand now that trauma bonds are formed and it is difficult for her to leave. She is caught up as if in a cyclone of craziness in her mind, a real, destructive cycle. I am not surprised she feels dizzy and confused. God said, "He who sows to the wind, reaps the whirlwind."

He has brought destruction into his home. She is literally, caught up in the devastation of his wickedness and evil ways. This produces hope deferred which makes the heart sick. This is called malignant hope/malignant optimism.

All this means is that a woman who stays, on some level, believes it is her responsibility to produce change in her husband. She ends up desperate and confused because nothing works. It is also a kind of subtle deception the enemy of her soul is using to keep her bound in chains.

Genesis 3, calls this her "desire" and longing to connect to her husband, but the fall-out of leaving the Garden created a dependency upon her husband. A husband would take advantage of her desire to be loved and rule over her by a misuse of control.

Her desire to connect is not wrong or sinful. It is only detrimental to her when she will not turn away her desire from him to God and stand against sin. 

Women are told to do the opposite of this by loving better, changing themselves, and praying harder. This is not only detrimental to her spirit but has the opposite effect on him. 

He caused the gaping wound, NOT you. He created the chasm between you which again is the idea of an unbelieving spouse. Your husband broke covenant long ago. When abuse in any form enters into a covenant, it ceases to be a relationship at all.

Women tend to try and "fix" their marriage or stay in it hoping the abuser will change. As long as your husband is in rebellion to God, refusing to give up his life for you and die to self, the covenant is broken BY HIM……NOT YOU. The abuser must choose to change. So, God has revealed WHO a man is and what he has done by sending his wife away.

He is violent and treacherous, a traitor. He is apostate – faithless. He does not love his wife, nor loves the truth. He is violent, hateful and deals unjustly. We are to have nothing to do with a man like this.

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who  has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews

  • Continuing to stand for her marriage WILL make her a very sick woman emotionally, in her physical body, and her mental health. 
  • If she is unclear about NOT taking abuse any longer; in the event (a rare occurrence) of him wanting reconciliation, he will only come back and make her life unbearable again. She has to be resolute and firm about the truth now long before she would ever go there. If not, he would continue to act entitled and leave the marriage any time he thinks she is demanding too much from him. Unless and IF there is true REPENTANCE – a heart change, and bringing restitution to her there can be no true reconciliation or restoration. He would need to OWN his abusive issues and walk out sanctification for this to happen.
  • NOT standing against or opposing abuse this emboldens the perpetrator and he may never repent if she is not firm about the truth and that there are consequences for him.

 Standing or letting him know you will not accept divorce because he is wrong IS getting in God's way! 

ONLY GOD can convict his soul and spirit of his rebellion when it has gotten to a point of hardness of heart. Why? Because the believing wife sanctifies him – protecting him from suffering the full consequences of his sin and ungodly choices. He needs to feel the full weight and consequences of his sin.

When she sanctifies him, this means to, "consecrate or dedicate to God". Her belief in Christ Jesus acts like an"external" cleansing for him as the Greek word, "hazagio", implies. When she obeys God's direct Word, to "let him depart", this may be an avenue to let God have him, to redeem him through chastisement. It also protects you.

When you will not lay down and be abused any more, it is a GOOD fight to fight for the rights Christ has paid for. 

With love and concern,



Kimberly Dimick and her husband, Joshua Dimick, know how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and careers, and so much more. Together and separately they have walked the path of Love, a narrow path, a path that is lonely and not well-used.

They intimately understand the soul-shattering pain of separation and divorce and they also know "The Way Home" to a life of choosing unconditional love. The surprising answers to a happy marriage are shared in her posts, articles, and their book-in-progress.

As you venture on this journey with Kimberly and Josh you will experience how God shines His most brilliant light in her darkest hours. Today their mission is to provide a voice to women suffering in silence, shining the Light of Truth into the dark places.

As you journey with Kimberly and Josh you will witness a true life transformation that will shatter the misinformation and lies commonly fed to women that keep them in false submission.

More Marriage Advice & Letters from Kimberly Dimick

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Patty November 4, 2016 at 5:32 am

This is aa good article. I understand what your saying, yet if the husband has a mistress I wonder if he isn't distraught at all about the wife's departure because he's got s back up. It could slow his feelings of remorse completely, yet, we can't do anything about that.  The separation definitely protects the wife's health and heart. 


Susan Schiller November 4, 2016 at 10:39 am

You’re right – we can do anything about his response or lack of remorse…..

Only we can make sure our hearts are protected!

You’re certainly on the right track!


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