Often I hear that the differences between two people are irreconcilable. Irreconcilable is the stated reason for many divorces, lost friendships, and estranged family members. Irreconcilable by definition means that two individuals have such different views or opinions that they cannot possibly overcome them or find a way to meet in the middle.
It could be said that you and me without Christ Jesus have irreconcilable differences with God. Our ways are not His ways. Our thoughts our not His thoughts.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 NIV
I personally do not believe there is such a thing as irreconcilable differences. I also no longer believe in the word divorce. I don’t like to admit it, and in fact try really hard to cover up the fact it was ever happened to me, but I’ve been there. Before I was a believer in God I was married to an abusive man for about a year. I thought that was an irreconcilable difference. Now I thank God that it has long been gone and over and I pray that I will never face that again.
One of the biggest reasons is that my faith and beliefs tell me that no matter what happens in my marriage, divorce is not Gods will or intent for my marriage. Which would mean I would need an unmeasurable amount of faith and Gods help to persevere through that long ago relationship.
Today things are different. I still need faith and help from God in my marriage. This time however I know that I will die putting God first and my marriage second because I feel strongly that is in Gods plan for me. God has proven time and time again, that through Him all things are possible- even those that I cannot imagine. When we have been at our worst, at what I thought would be irreconcilable differences God had proven to me that He is good, and he has undoubtedly brought about change that I could only dream might one day happen.
I do believe however, that both individuals play a part in overcoming these so called irreconcilable differences. When one or both individuals refuse to give on their point of view, opinion or belief the differences then have become irreconcilable.
Change can be hard. Admitting you were wrong even harder. Then you add the forgiveness card, and well it’s just easier to call it quits than to fix the issues. Prayer can take you along way in any circumstance, but particularly these ones.
Sometimes even when you aren’t the on that is wrong, if you are willing to make a change for the greater good of the relationship, then the other spouse may give a little too. Admitting your wrong and apologizing can be excruciatingly painful, especially if you lied or were lied to. Once again prayer for guidance is your best step. Let the Lord lead you in how to best present your admittance and apology, without offering up excuses. Explanation as to why you said or did something may be insightful for the other person, but if it comes across as an excuse you might as well not even bother.
Forgiveness. That is probably the toughest word I have ever had to give or receive. To overcome irreconcilable differences, both partners are going to need some of this. Unfortunately you cannot force someone to forgive you, no matter how sorry and regretful you are. Forgiving is a hard process. It will be important to remember if you are the one forgiving, however that forgiving is about you and not them. It doesn’t excuse wrong actions, make it right for the wrong action to have happened or continue, but rather it releases you from taking further action against the person who hurt you, simply because they hurt you.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32
In short, it may seem as if a difference is irreconcilable. It may be that your spouse has lied, deceived, cheated on you emotionally or physically or even abused you. If that is so you certainly are facing tough times and tough choices. The best place to start in these situations is prayer. It can be hard, but you should ask God to reveal to you the areas where you have been over reacting, where you are at fault, and seek His council on what your next steps should be.
Consider if Jesus had not died on the cross for you, and sacrificed his own blood for you, that your differences with God would be irreconcilable. You may need God’s help to overcome these differences but with Him in your life nothing is irreconcilable on your part. The other person may not be willing to reconcile, but prayer can go along ways here also- ask God to reveal to your spouse what they need to change, and do to reconcile your differences, while you do your part and you will be amazed at what God can do.