Can a Divorced Person Provide Relationship Counseling?

I have heard many make the statement, “A Divorced person cannot do premarital or relationship counseling because he or she couldn’t keep his or her marriage together.” Makes sense, right? Or does it? If the opening statement is true, then a womanizing counselor can cheat on his wife who lovingly stays by his side can provide sound counsel? If no one is aware of his cheating ways, the opening statement would “stand to reason”. Or would it?

Many marriages stay together, but longevity does not necessarily equal success. I know many who are miserable in their long marriages. I observe men who constantly belittle their wives publicly and privately or women who do the same. No one sees the horrible arguments behind closed doors and issues that never get resolved, yet people assume they can provide counsel because they stay together. That’s ludicrous!

As one who is divorced and remarried, I can give counsel – not from my successful first marriage (because it wasn’t) but because of what I learned. I do my best to be transparent about my own flaws. I tell people of attitudes and actions that should have been different. I don’t have a perfect marriage now, but the Holy Spirit can fill me to speak just as much as ever before. God used a donkey to speak in the Old Testament, and He can still use them today (take that as you will).

We cannot play God and say what He will or will not use. God can used unlikely people throughout history, and He continues to do so. Never underestimate our great God!


11 thoughts on “Can a Divorced Person Provide Relationship Counseling?

  1. So very true. We learn lessons even from what we call failures. We learn what not to do and what does not work. Just because someone is divorced does not know they have nothing to offer. Just like someone who is single. Just because one relationship failed does not mean you do not have the knowledge and wisdom to share. I am both divorced and single, this does not mean I do not know what it takes to make a relationship work and be healthy. If you learned from your failed marriage, you know also to treasure your new one, and how not to make the same mistakes. Like how to treat your spouse and how you should be treated and how to communicate desires and needs. Thanks for an encouraging post.

  2. This has been a tricky one for me. When I was first divorced, 8 years ago now, I wondered whether I should or even could stay in the ministry. There was a lot of soul searching and counselling I went through to resolve that ( I remain a minister to this day). The issue of counselling has been another matter to contend with. I had twenty two successful years of marriage (not perfect but successful). Year twenty three was something of a humdinger and let’s just say I barely survived at all and to this day I cannot call it even a critical success. That said I feel that the divorce rather than taking away something from my ability to do premarital counselling has added a depth to it that did not exist before. It would be far better had it never happened but it did not disqualify, and as with every other trial we face as men and women of God, it doesn’t go to waste when we submit it to before the grace of the cross.

  3. Experience has to come from somewhere, and sometimes it’s best from someone who has traveled through all the shades. Someone who has been divorced can tell you from the other side what to avoid, and what markers to look for. In taking advice from someone who only knows one side, means you may miss a huge layer of knowledge.
    So in opening your mind to greater possibilities, dare to see it all.

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