Why is it that I am always so disappointed when I learn of someone’s divorce. I mean, really disappointed. Divorce is especially disappointing when it occurs within the Christian community. I have always believed in the “happily ever after”; only now I know that happy doesn’t just happen, it takes work. It’s going to cost your something.
It has been said that the divorce rate within the Christian community is about the same as those who are non-Christians. Regardless to what the statistics show, I have personally seen too many within the Christian community.
I am one of them. I am a divorcee. I used to openly confess to my Adult Sunday School class that I used to teach, that I hate my life because it has been marred by divorce.
Even though I grew up in church and was a Christian, at age 22, I married someone who was not a practicing Christian. Yes he said that he had been baptized, which I took as cover, but he was not. I promised myself and him that ours would be a marriage for life. It was not.
Our marriage ended just after six years and two children for one of the reasons provided biblically. The one thing I always wanted for my kids was for them to grow up with both parents in the house. It was what I had dreamed. It didn’t happen. I ended up remarrying, only to have a second divorce after 14 years of marriage, again for biblical reasons.
In retrospect, I have often wondered what if I had just endured my first? What if some older mother in the church had encouraged me to hang in there, or reminded me of my vows or telling me that maybe he would eventually settle down? We were only 24 and 22 when we married.
I know that Bible says that there is no guarantee that our unsaved spouse will be saved. But, isn’t it more than that? Our vows said “for better or worse”. I do regret exercising the option.
So why did I do it? I believe the bottom line is selfishness. The “I deserve better” or “You can’t treat me this way” attitude that permeates our culture – infected me. I say that because I do know older couples who have just stuck it out. I personally know some that I am pretty sure unfaithfulness existed, yet the wife never took the exit ticket. How or why did they stay? For better or worse?
Jesus tells the Pharisees in response to a question on divorce on why it was permitted in Moses’ day, that it was because their hearts were hard. But it was not the original intention. (Matthew 19:7-8)
Also, the Bible says that the wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. While there may be a need for a separation, she must remain married. The only other option out for believers is if the spouse is an unbeliever and decides to leave. (I Corinthians 7:10-15, 39)
In some cases there is remarriage after divorce, but for believers, this is only permissible if the person you are marrying is in the Lord. Prayerfully, the lessons learned from failure will result in a long lasting loving relationship where Christ is the center and the two grow together, laugh together, learn to resolve conflicts together, and pray together.
Love is beautiful; however, sometimes it hurts. A vow to love is more than the words said. It is living it out on a daily basis without an exit door. It is learning to thrive, and at times just being content. Sometimes it may mean pounding heaven’s door for help. It may mean seeking wise counsel from someone whose weathered the storm you are in. It may mean seeking professional help.
There is healing after divorce, but the scar(s) may remain. I know, and thankfully, this too is covered in my “all things”. My husband and I just celebrated 13 years, and are looking to celebrate 14 years next year. He asked me for thirty-years of marriage. With God’s help and we live, we have 16 1/2 years to go.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV