We prayed and prayed that our daughter's marriage would work out, but it hasn't, and now her divorce has been finalized. Why didn't God answer our prayers? Isn't marriage supposed to be for life, according to the Bible?


God gave marriage to us — and yes, His plan from the beginning was that marriage should be for life. Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).

God’s original design for marriage is still part of His perfect will, and every husband and wife should strive to make it a reality in their lives — particularly today, when so many take their marriage vows casually or thoughtlessly. I believe churches and parents should do more to prepare our young people for the joys and responsibilities of marriage, helping them understand God’s plan for this sacred relationship. What will our children (and grandchildren) learn from observing our marriages?

Sadly, sin has invaded our world, corrupting everything it touches, including God’s institution of marriage. God’s perfect will has not changed, but marriages still fail, leaving heartache and confusion in their wake. Even in the midst of this, however, God is still able to forgive, and He is able to heal the brokenhearted.

Pray for your daughter, and do all you can to assure her of your love and compassion. Your pain may be great, but I suspect hers is even greater. In addition, encourage her to turn to Christ and find new strength and hope in Him. Jesus’ promise is for her, and for all who carry the burden of a broken marriage: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).