10 things I wish church leaders knew about divorce
April 7, 1984 was the worst day of my life. It was the day my marriage died.My husband was having an affair, and he no longer wanted to be married. No amount of crying, begging, promising, or counseling could change his mind.I was a new Christian when we divorced, but I knew enough to ask God to use the trauma, shame, and agony to help others. Over the last 34 years, that’s exactly what He has done.
Divorce is a difficult subject for the church. I’m not called to be a theologian, but I’m certain we don’t want to ignore God’s commands or give the impression that marriage is temporary.Divorce also has severe, long-term consequences. No one comprehends that better than I do.Here are 10 aspects of divorce I’d like to share with church leaders to help them love the brokenhearted while not condoning divorce.
Divorce Is A Death
Regardless of the circumstances, divorce signifies the fatality of the marriage vow. It’s the death of the dream, the breaking of the covenant, and the ending of “what should have been.”It often feels as if death would have been easier because death is natural and doesn’t carry the shame.
Divorce Is A Soul-entrenched Betrayal
It’s a rejection like no other. The person you thought would be your lifetime partner, your soft place to fall when the rest of the world abandons you decides, “I never loved you. You aren’t worth it.”
Divorce Has No Closure
A divorced person experiences the loss and the humiliation over and over and every time you check the “single” or “divorced” box on a form or your child cries for the other parent.
Divorce Is A Gut-Level Accuser
Night and day, the spousal rejection hauntingly whispers, “You are a loser. You are unlovable. You are a failure. You deserve to be alone. Life is over. You will never be loved again.”Satan loves divorce. It’s a superb weapon of soul-deep destruction.
Divorce Becomes An Identity
One of the most humiliating tasks for me was being labeled “divorced” rather than “married.” Being labeled a single never bothered me. But “divorced” tattooed an imaginary red “D” on my forehead, which can seem synonymous with “failure,” “reject,” or “ugly.”It took a long time, great friends, and a terrific church to help me recognise that divorce was something I experienced. It was an event—not my identity. God still sees me as His precious daughter, one purchased and healed by Jesus.
Divorce Takes Only One, When Marriage Takes Two
Just because the sin of divorce has occurred, it doesn’t mean both spouses have sinned in this way.There might be only one who is involved in addiction, adultery, abuse, pornography, anger, gambling, deception, drugs, homosexuality, mental illness, outrageous spending, or unwillingness to work.One spouse can destroy the marriage, no matter how hard the other is trying.
Divorce Isn’t Always Initiated By The Guilty Party
After 34 years in divorce recovery ministry, I’ve found that the men and women who didn’t want to be divorced are often the ones to legally file. These are individuals married to someone who doesn’t love them, the kids, or God enough to do the hard work to keep the marriage alive.
International Church Growth Ministry N0, 9B, Adeyinka Allen Street, Orobiyi Bus Stop, Mafoluku.
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