Broken Vows

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29 thoughts on “Broken Vows

  1. I’ve often wondered how my mom forgave. We had talks about it. They stayed together until my dad died, almost 50 years. Not only did she forgive but she showed great amounts of God’s love by later in life taking in and caring of the child that resulted from the infidelity. She always said you have to stand for what you do good or bad and why take it out on the child. They had nothing to do with how they got here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Vivian. Thanks for sharing. I forgot about Mom, your mom, my second mom. I really do wish someone, even her would have shared her story with me. I know that I saw repeated evidence of infidelity, perhaps a separation would have been the way to go. Anyway, Mom was truly a beautiful woman. I loved her.

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  2. I know well your story as I went through a divorce for biblical reasons. The scars definitely remain. My wife and I now have been married for almost 8 months. We are shooting for 50 years if we live that long. Although this is not God’s design, praise God for His mercy and second chances.

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  3. This is powerful. I have been married for a little over a year, and I hope that our marriage is one that lasts “’til death do us part.'” However, we can never really know what the future truly holds or how we will handle certain situations. Thank you for sharing this wisdom from your life experiences.

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    1. Courtney – I hope it helps. I hope and pray no one experiences the other side of divorce. Marriage does take a dying to self that can only be empowered by Christ living within, and even then it is still hard.

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  4. Barbara-Great post. I love it when you say “I know that happy doesn’t just happen; it takes work.” That’s a powerful statement, and a true one, too. Been married for 30 years this month, and I can verify that it takes work. The ability to forgive is key. Your 2 cents is right on!

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  5. I didn’t realize that my comment kept posting, sorry lol. Anyhow, I believe we must forgive as hard as it is in some cases. However, you can forgive and still not remain with the person.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you probably have read I was in a very abusive marriage for almost the entire 20 years that I was married. I went through an annulment in the Roman Catholic Church (it is not easy, people think it is). It was very time consuming, costly (now free) but it was also the most cathartic experience I’ve ever. I think, as we grow in Christ we learn how a marriage really should be. We think we are mature and ready – long before we really are. Bless you and your husband. I too am young enough for a 30 year marriage – however “the one” has remained elusive. Thank you for sharing an important topic.
    Blessings,
    Laurie

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I really wasn’t open to it for a long time. I raised the boys, had the youngest in therapy. I wanted to be sure they had their feet under them. Maybe “the one” has been right in front of me. I trust God will put him in my path when the time is right.

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  7. It also sadden me to hear about divorce as I know marriage is an institution ordained by God. I also agree that most people divorce for selfish reasons. What exactly is “irreconcilable differences” I ask tongue in cheek.

    However, I do not believe I would opt to stay for worse in regards to infidelity as the Bible gives us grounds to divorce for this reason. That is my one non negotiable.

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