Going through a divorce is one of the most painful things we may ever have to face. The losses we experience seem overwhelming. But there are spiritual principles to help us heal from our past and move toward a brighter future. These Twelve Steps will enable us to work through our issues and recover from divorce.
- Recognize our powerlessness and accept God’s power to restore our broken lives. We need to acknowledge that we need someone other than ourselves to be in control. “I know that nothing good lives in me” (Rom. 7:18).
- Believe God can restore our sanity. Despite our divorce, God loves us and is working in our lives. “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him” (Phil. 2:13).
- Surrender to God leads to the transformation of our lives. Surrendering is not retreating—it’s a decision to take action. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:27).
- Search ourselves and accept our current reality. Carefully examining our lives will help us face the truth and learn. “Keep me from lying to myself” (Ps. 119:29).
- Confess to someone else and experience freedom and friendship. A great weight is lifted off when we’re open with others and share our authentic selves. “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
- Get ready for God to heal us from our painful behaviors. 1 Peter 4:1 tells us to “arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too.” We can prepare by getting rid of our excuses, stubborn resistance, and fear of change.
- Invite God to remove our shortcomings. There are mistakes we made in our marriage. We can’t remove them, but God can. “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy” (Pr. 28:13).
- Create a list of people our unwise behavior adversely affected. James calls our tongue a “flame of fire” (Jam. 3:6). We need to write a list of anyone we’ve hurt in any way—whether it was by our words or actions.
- Restore relationships damaged by our sins (when possible) and experience a clean slate. Making direct amends will help us take steps to repair relationships we’ve hurt. “Leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God” (Matt. 5:24).
- Review daily the defects in us that hinder a healthy life with God and others. Ongoing evaluation of our thoughts, deeds, desires, and motives will help us in recovery from divorce. David’s words should be ours: “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” (Ps. 139:1, NIV).
- Grow closer to God through prayer and meditation. Spending time with the Lord through prayer and meditating on Scripture will help us heal. “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it” (Josh. 1:8).
- Bless others with the blessing of healing from divorce. Jesus said, “Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). As we live out these 12 Steps in our lives, it will inspire those around us to make changes in theirs.
The Life Recovery Workbook for Divorce will give you the steps you’ll need to take to heal from divorce. For help finding a counselor or Life Recovery Group in your area, please call 800-639-5433 today.