Pseudo-Christian Babble: YOUR contribution to the relationship breakup.


“And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery–unless his wife has been unfaithful.”

-Matthew 19:9, NLT

What did YOU contribute to your marriage’s breakdown?!

Years ago, I used to believe this was a reasonable question to ask any divorced individual. After all, we are imperfect creatures. We are all sinners (see Romans 3:23).

So, it makes sense when a marriage ends to look at those “contributions” to its “breakdown.”

I don’t think that way anymore, though. To me, this question betrays the ignorance–not wisdom–of the questioner:

They fail to understand God does not treat all sins in a marriage as marriage-ending sins.

Some secular schools of thought might treat all relationship errors or flaws as equal. But they are not. Some sins have bigger consequences.

This is important because that means not all sins or flaws caused the relationship to “breakup.” The partner committing marriage-ending sins caused that.

The collapsing of this important distinction between typical marital sins and marriage-ending sins feeds into the self-righteousness of some married Christians including–maybe especially–those asking the faithful spouse about their “contributions” to the marriage’s demise.

These married Christians falsely believe the faithful spouse could have avoided the divorce if they had dealt with their “contributions” earlier. At least, I feel like that is what is implied in the question.

And I would challenge anyone who denies such an implication exists in this question as directed towards divorced faithful spouses:

If asking a divorced faithful spouse about their “contributions” is merely a learning exercise, why aren’t we regularly doing so and regularly demanding answers from the “happily” married Christian couples as well?!

We all can grow in our ability and capacity to love our “neighbor” better. That is true of both the married and the divorced. ALL are sinners. That includes married, never divorced Christians as well.

In the end, I have decided to label this question as pseudo-Christian babble.

It looks wise but really is just “The Shared Responsibility Lie“–which falsely says we are partially responsible for someone else’s sins–dressed up in Christian-accepted, deceptive clothing.


1 thought on “Pseudo-Christian Babble: YOUR contribution to the relationship breakup.”

  1. Amen. I’m now in my second year after my divorce from a 31 year marriage that was overflowing with lies, abuse, deception and adultery. It takes the super grace and power of the Holy Spirit for me to not get sick to the gills and resentful over this pseudo Christian mindset you so perfectly describe. Here is what God has done for me. He immediately began my healing process, that will be going on for some time, I’m sure. He patiently walked with me through all my horror, trauma, anger, and thoughts of hate and disgust. With the healing that has taken place, he teaches me more and more to let him examine me, as all sinners should, and reveal my sins, have me agree and confess them, repent from them and move forward…this is the lifelong process of a believer. He has also shown me so clearly that my sins are mine, and my ex husband’s are his. It’s not cause and effect. If I was not willing to become a better cook, it in no way contributed to my ex becoming a faithless adulterer, for example. God will use another’s wickedness to reveal things about us…ie. how controlled are we, do we care about forgiveness, do we trust God fully, etc etc. but never, EVER does God cause a person to sin, nor does he EVER blame us for another person’s wicked choices. Yes, we can be stumbling blocks, yes we should be accountable to others and should lead by example, but that’s not what betrayed spouses are being accused of! They are forced to see each human imperfection they may or may not have, and then told that because of these things, the adulterer deserves to have his or her sin minimalized. He has made this very clear to me. He’s taught me how to stay in my lane. My issues are mine. His are his. The pseudo Christian way is to jump right in and start working on the Christian spouse victim, to make him or her the tower of sinlessness and perfection, and anything less than perfection proves we are at least partially to blame. We just don’t see this in any other area of sin….a wife beater, a wife who poisons her husband’s coffee, a spouse murderer, a bank robber, rapist, etc…NO victim is held up to the light to see what they did to contribute or cause this person to commit the act. Except for adultery…one of the most heinous and destructive of all sins the Lord mentions. This sin is treated differently. How sad. So I say, I must continue to pray for grace in how I react to this reality, in order to remain on a path of humility and surrender to God, as he works my sins out of me. These are separate lanes…and I’m glad they are!

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