To the Woman Who Knows It’s Time to Walk Away

To the Woman Who Knows It's Time to Walk Away

To the Woman Who Knows It’s Time to Walk Away,

Whether you’re married, engaged, or dating, Christ never called us to live in lovelessness.

But walking away is still hard. Real hard. Even when your gut and spirit know freedom is on the other side of “I can’t do this anymore.” 

To the married woman, unfortunately, the Church has a way of twisting discussions into debates, and divorce amongst Christians is high on the list of controversial topics. However, the debates surrounding divorce’s justification were just as heated in Jesus’ time. In Mark 10, Christ is cornered by the Pharisees who want to trip up His theology surrounding divorce. They ask if the breaking of marriage vows is ever allowed, and Jesus explains that adultery and abandonment are just reasons for divorce. While the Pharisees believed divorce was always and forever a sin, regardless of the situation, even Moses highlighted that divorce is justified if a spouse is experiencing abuse and deprivation (Exodus 21:10-11). Both Levitical Law and Love bear witness that marriage is meant to be a union of trust, respect, and godliness, and when those elements are defiled, the innocent partner is free of the already-broken covenant. 

In Ephesians 5:25, Paul calls husbands to love their wives with the same reckless sacrifice as Christ has for His Church. While that’s an impossible call in a sinful world, it’s the standard to strive towards. Why would God set the bar so high, though? Perhaps it’s because He values the woman. He sees her when no one else does and loves her like no one else can. He prizes her worth so much that His sole priority is to guard her heart. Would a God like that force a woman to stay with a man who is the opposite of sacrificial? Who is selfish in his pursuit of other women, selfish in his pursuit of power and dominance over his spouse? Well, both Law and Love tell us no. 

So, married woman who feels shame for considering divorce, if you are walking in the Spirit, if you have strived to make amends but your partner is unwilling to put away adultery and abuse, Moses says “[you are] to go free” (Exodus 21:11).

You’re free to live in love, even when that means walking away.

To the engaged woman, if your heart knows something is deeply wrong, if your fiance is exhibiting controlling characteristics, if he isolates you from family and friends, do not walk down that aisle. In fact, walk away from the relationship. 

In today’s Pinterest-crazed world, the wedding ceremony seems like the pinnacle of a woman’s dream, and in the south, it’s her ultimate role. She is to be wife and mom as soon as possible, and the more burlap and lace, the better. But what do burlap and lace bring to the table when compared with a lifelong commitment? Will the dazzling lights be there to resolve the darkest fights? Will the wedding gown fit through the ages, providing the perfect reason for him to always stay with his beautiful bride? The wedding won’t fix a man. And you won’t fix a man. That’s a heart-to-heart between Him and God the Father. And until He puts Christ first, choosing to love with you with a fierce, dependable love that only comes from heaven, then you not only have time to walk away, but you need to walk away. 

To the dating woman, he is who he will be. That’s not to say men can’t mature in their faith and grow as adults, but his core values, what he prioritizes and why, says everything about his soul. Note his soul. If it’s self-absorbed, solely sex-driven, superficial, subjecting you to its demands, this isn’t a relationship. This is a dictatorship. This is manipulation. This is gaslighting. This is sin. And God does not honor sin. Yet, He honors those who cling to His truth, who choose to believe in Imago Dei. Believing you are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), actively pursuing the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), your worth isn’t subjugated to sin. Rather, you’re free to walk away from a relationship controlled by sin. Why? Because God never created you to live under the weight of hurt, shame, and abuse. 

I’ve had to walk away because I know emotional and verbal abuse. I know manipulation. I’m well-acquainted with discovering I’m not his one and only. These things hurt, but you quietly convince yourself that one day soon, you will be enough. You have to stay. You must hang on. You need to make sure he gets to the other side, that he grows from a boy to a man. Just look at his potential! He will get there one day, so long as you stick around to help him. Soon, you’ll be enough to make him everything you want him to be. 

Friend, let me say this: you will always be enough because you already are enough. And because you are enough, right here, right now, you are worth walking away from him and allowing a God-fearing man to pursue you. 

I challenge you to throw away the legalism, discard what Mom says, ignore society’s relational trends. Simply look at the image of Christ, recall what Moses wrote in stone, and choose the truth that whispers: 

I never called you to live in lovelessness. In fact, that’s why I chose to face the cross. I chose the abuse, neglect, deprivation, and abandonment so you would never have to. Freedom is my gift to you, forever.

Sending light and love to you. Praying you embody God’s discernment, Jesus’ wisdom, and the Holy Spirit’s strength.  



Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Josh Hild

Peyton Garland is an author and coffee shop hopper who loves connecting people to a grace much bigger than expected. Her debut book, Not So by Myself, was promoted by Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Endorsed by TED Talk speaker and creator of the More Love Letters Movement, Hannah Brencher. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Josh, and their two gremlin dogs, Alfie and Daisy.