There is no way to sugar coat the reality that divorce stinks!
It stinks for the one on the receiving end.
It stinks for the one on the pursuing end (although they often think pursuing the divorce will make them happy).
It stinks for the children who are collateral damage.
It stinks for friends who watch friends grieve, or watch friends act stupidly, and may be forced to choose sides.
It stinks for family who may feel powerless to help.
There is nothing pleasant about divorce.
The Bible talks about marriage as a union only separated by death. Divorce RIPS that union apart in a way that may feel worse than death.
Even in a culture that flouts “pursuing your own happiness”, which may entail, “getting rid of that loser husband”, or that “controlling wife”, divorce still stinks. It still hurts.
Even in cases where there is Biblical permission to divorce, the divorce may free a woman from a serial adulterer, and that freedom may be a relief in a sense, but the circumstances leading up to the divorce are tragic, horrific, and gut-wrenching.
“Amicable divorce” is a phrase I never really understood, and now over a year post divorce, I still don’t understand. There is nothing amicable about the person who promised to love and cherish you for a lifetime deciding they no longer meant those words and dislike you so much that they want to free themselves from you. There is nothing amicable about a parent walking away from his/her children, not matter how much they intend to be involved in their lives.
Yet for many, it is a reality — and about half the time, an unwanted reality.
For the Christian enduring such a trial, how do you navigate life with wisdom? How do you honor the Lord while your spouse pursues divorce against you? Or how do you recover after even a sinfully pursued divorce?
Some Christians will say every divorce is sinful. That may be your position, but Scripture disagrees.
But even if that were the case, it doesn’t change the reality that some faithful believers endure divorce because their unbelieving spouse gives them no choice.
It doesn’t change the reality that some divorcees come to faith post divorce and there is nothing they can do to undo that past.
It doesn’t change the reality that there are people
In need of
When my husband and the father of our four children walked out on us in August 2011, I sought every possible resource to help. Pastoral counsel. Books. Sermons. Blogs.
As I searched for material to help me walk through my circumstances from a BIBLICAL perspective, I was left wanting.
There were plenty of books about marriage telling me all the ways I was failing as a wife.
There were plenty of stories about how through enough fervent prayer, the wayward husband came to repentance.
There were plenty of superficial tips about making him his favorite dinner or writing him love notes.
But there was nothing telling me how to love the husband who didn’t want to be loved.
To honor the head who removed himself from the home.
To remain loyal when he was draining the mutual bank account.
“You’re in a tough spot” was the depth of counsel.
“Take out a credit card in his name so you can at least buy groceries” was the recommendations for our financial uncertainty.
“Keep praying” was about the extent of advice.
I was praying — harder than I ever had in all my life.
Committing fraud was not on my to-do list, even if it meant no grocery money.
And I was far more aware of how tough my spot is than anyone.
What I needed was something I didn’t receive and couldn’t find,
I needed someone to lay out how the Gospel applied. I needed a reminder of God’s mercy and grace. I needed to hear about His faithfulness. And I needed to know what to do SPECIFICALLY.
Throwing out Bible verses to remind me that love is longsuffering is useless.
What I need to know is how to respond when he is standing in the den, yelling accusations at me, with the children standing by. How does longsuffering look in that scenario??
What does honoring my husband (who no longer lives with us, but refuses to come out and say he wants divorce) look like when he tries to convince me to hand over $2000 in order to lease a brand new car? Or when debit card charges start appearing for hotel stays? At what point do I separate my finances from his?
How does submission look when he lies to the children about me, right in front of me?
This is rubber-meets-the-road kind of stuff. This is where theoretical musings need to be applied to real life. And this is where someone with the knowledge (a pastor, in theory) needs to have the willingness, endurance, and COURAGE to look at the Word and tell someone like me what it means; how it applies to my specific situation.
Opinions are irrelevant unless it is the opinion of the Lord. I don’t need nor want the wisdom of man, but the wisdom of GOD, applied to me.
And that, folks, is what I lacked. That is what I longed for. That is what I could not find. In the midst of merely trying to survive, when breathing was about all I could do on some days, I longed for the wisdom of Christ to fill my soul and I longed for the comfort of truth to wash over me and I desired the HELP of specific application to speak to specific situations.
I have no idea how you came upon this post. Maybe you were, like I was, searching for resources about divorce to apply to your own life. Maybe you randomly stumbled upon this page. Maybe you know someone going through a divorce, or even just a difficult relationship, marriage or otherwise. Maybe you are just curious, for whatever reason, about the trials of divorce.
Whatever the case, I hope you stick around because I am going to share some of the things I learned along the way. Essentially, I am going to write the book that I could not find: the one that matched accurate theology with practical how-to’s and what-to-do’s.
So share this with anyone you think may need it. Subscribe so you can receive new posts to your inbox so that you don’t miss a single installment. And if you are one currently enduring this trial, I pray that you will find rest for your soul!