Separating for Success


Couples in high-risk marriages often further injure their relationships by either staying together harmfully or separating improperly. If a couple cannot seem to share a residence without fighting, they may need to separate to stabilize.

Most separations are either useless or harmful. Usually someone gets mad and leaves or kicks their partner out. Such beginnings can easily place the separation in Satan’s hands. For separation to be useful it must be placed in God’s hands. Divine placement allows the couple to coordinate with God’s healing plans, and can be accomplished in several ways.


First, the purpose of the separation needs to be defined. It needs to be a separation unto God, not away from each other. God changes relationships by changing the hearts of those in the relationship. The ultimate purpose of the separation is heart change.

Secondly, the foundation must be strong. A biblical structure provides the necessary strength. I have often employed the model found in 1 Corinthians 7. In addition, a shared and written vision statement can sharpen focus on the goodness of the destination, rather than the difficulty of the journey.

Finally, having godly men and women oversee the process can be invaluable. This can be done on two levels. Level one entails apprising church leadership of the process, seeking their involvement and direction. Level two is asking the couple to select 2 or 3 mentor couples who would agree to journey with the separating couple, preferably for a year. Not because the separation will last that long, but the recovery might.