What is the time frame of the marriage covenant? Life-long. The Bible says, "A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives" (1 Corinthians 7:39).
"I had always thought marriage was something that was a lifetime goal and a lifetime commitment," says Don. "Then all of a sudden, as a result of circumstances beyond my control, it was taken apart and torn."
God designed marriage to be a life-long commitment. When two people get married, they plan to remain together for the rest of their lives. When people divorce, it is often because both people took matters into their own hands and made decisions based on factors not in God's will. Other times, like in Don's situation above, circumstances beyond a person's control occur and one mate chooses to do something not in God's will. To step out of God's will brings hurt and pain every time.
If your spouse has stepped out of God's will and is abusive or otherwise dangerous, you must remove yourself from harm's way and find a safe place for you and your children to live. Seeking safety does not mean that you have to get a divorce or that you have given up on your relationship; it simply is a response to immediate danger.
Remember, as you read God's Word, He will use it to guide you in the steps you should take in response to your circumstances. He loves you and wants to restore and heal you.
"But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit" (Psalm 86:15 Msg).