Biblical Response to Married Christian Couples Seperating For A Season

Hey Family ,

I have been wrestling with a question concerning married couples separating for a time of reflection and reconciliations.

The reason for this separation would be for instance due to an emotionally unsafe environment and habitual toxic atmosphere in the home.

Once partner may be battling trauma and is blinded for the need for change and the result is occasional outbursts of anger and rage towards the other partner.

The time apart would be aimed at both partied dealing with deep rooted causes to the matter and addressing the lies believed from the enemy. Also counseling sessions with pastors would be conducted during the time. They would just not be living in the same place.

The bible does not speak specifically about this and would like to get some feedback.

Thanks for your anticipated help :heartpulse:

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@A.Sheppard268 Thank you so much for sharing this very difficult question :slight_smile: The first thing to say is that if one spouse is in any form of immediate danger, they should leave and find safety.

With issues that don’t present immediate danger—either physical or emotional—temporary separation can be both necessary and healthy. As the following article puts it, separation can be an act of love and may provide the space needed for both individuals to change / heal, which can lead to a better marriage. It is not a guarantee that the other person will change, but it at least gives them the opportunity to do so.

While reconciliation is God’s desire for struggling couples, there are all sorts of situations that can bring a marriage to the crisis point. Whether it’s suffering physical or verbal abuse, living with an alcoholic or discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful, there are times when separation can be an act of love for a couple in distress.

In his book Hope for the Separated , Dr. Chapman unpacks a list of guideposts that he feels are essential in taking constructive action during a time of separation. Tips to consider include:

  • Guard your attitudes and actions; keep them positive.
  • Avoid or abandon any romantic relationship with another adult.
  • Move slowly in completing any legal separation papers.
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Sean Thanks for the extremely helpful link.

It gives a lot to think about.

The majority of persons on my country believe no mater what the circumstance; both spouses should always remain under the same roof. There was a scenario where a husband on the island killed his wife after years of fighting :disappointed_relieved: :disappointed_relieved:.

In the end each circumstance is different and the individuals involved must listen to the prompting given by the Holy Spirit. These are one of the topics of the Christian faith that is a gray area.

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@A.Sheppard268 So sorry to hear that - may Jesus protect those who are vulnerable on the island and give wisdom by the Spirit for when it is wise for a couple to take time apart so that the Lord can heal what is broken :slight_smile:

It would seem that the key principals and attitudes for married Christian separation should somewhat correlate with 1 Cor 7:5 in connection with a Married couple not “coming together” for a season.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 1 Cor 7:5

He says it should be done with mutual consent and for the purpose of prayer and fasting (presumably about a specific, well-defined concern) Granted, The verse isn’t talking about living apart in separate residences… but I think there is room to identify that 1 Cor 7:5 could be applied to 2 spouses soberly seeking God’s wisdom or intervention about an earnest concern in their marriage: perhaps a marital problem where one spouse is at their wits end and where both spouses are willing to go a few weeks without eating while soberly pondering, humbly praying, and diligently searching.

I don’t think what I’ve laid out the kind of separation people typically, seriously consider in the topic of marital separation. But it is biblical and I think the principals would be worthwhile to consider moving forward.

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Thanks for sharing. I agree with your quote:

From what I observe fasting is not utilized enough in the Christian community and it is a powerful tool towards breaking certain strongholds and seeking the Holy Spirit concerning a matter. If couples separate with the intent to do some serious soul searching and mending with the ultimate goal of healing and reconciliation then I believe God is pleased.

I’m no expert at fasting by any means. There are 2 primary reasons I’ve involved myself with fasting for extended periods of time:

  1. Out of dire necessity.
  2. Deceiving myself to think it was a dire necessity (but realized it wasn’t).

In terms of properly handling your own perceptions, conclusions and interpretations both reasons are very good reasons to fast with an exact purpose.

As a sideline observation I would point out that perceptions, conclusions and interpretations have a ton to do with emotions. Scramble any one of them and you’ll have emotionally dysregulated issues. Scramble all three and you’ll likely be a hot mess headed down the drain.
If you’re considering marital separation it’s a very serious decision that may not necessarily garner a positive result. Be sober moving forward.

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