It happens, you know? You’re sitting around with a group of wonderful, Christian women talking about good, God stuff when suddenly you feel a bit uncomfortable. You’re doing fine as the conversation gets into full swing talking about wholesome family values and the importance of the family unit in today’s society. You’re like, yeah, I totally feel the same way! Love me some family and values!
But then it happens. Someone says the dreaded ‘D’ word and you cringe. Someone says that divorce is to blame for the downfall of families, and you just want to crawl under a rock. The ashamed, hurt woman inside you wants to whisper, I’m sorry, Lord.
I’m a divorced woman. I’m a Christian, but I have also been divorced.
I never let the shame consume me, thank God, but for a long time I honestly did. That’s what it’s like to be a divorced person who also happens to love Jesus. You feel guilt, and you feel shame and regret for a past relationship that fell apart right before your very eyes.
I never planned to get a divorce. It’s not like I stood at the altar with the idea in the back of my mind, well, if it doesn’t work out I can always jump ship. I married with the intention and plan of forever, but I honestly didn’t treat my marriage then like God intended for me to do. I didn’t live my life as a whole like He would want for me, and though I never wanted the divorce, looking back now I’m not surprised that things fell apart. I was different then.
And the thing is, I’m different now. So when I am reminded that divorce is a sin, that it’s an affront to God and His design for families I want to say, “I know! I’m not that woman anymore!”
Now I am a woman with her eyes fixed on Jesus. Now I’m a woman determined to have a marriage that pleases the Lord. Now I’m a woman that will give every bit of my energies to keep my marriage happy, healthy, and holy. I am a woman who has learned from her mistakes, a woman whose new marriage is better, stronger. But I am also a divorced woman, and though God has forgiven me of my past sins I still remember them. So when the word “divorce” is brought before me a part of me wants to hide my scarlet face. I am not perfect. And that’s what it is like to be a divorced, Christian woman. It’s a continuous exercise in the confrontation of past mistakes.
I know all the verses that should give me strength about pressing on and looking forward. I know I am forgiven, and He has wiped the slate clean. I know my job is to take the failures of my past and use them, learn from them, and become a better me. So I do. I do just that. But it’s not always easy being the divorced Christian.
Jesus told the woman at the well to “go and sin no more,” and I suppose that is the best I can do with what I have. I can pick up the broken pieces of my self-esteem, I can hold my head up high, and I can embrace the gift of the spouse that God has given to me in my second-chance marriage.
Every day when I look at my husband’s face I am confronted with God’s grace, for even though I fell short before of His glory, He still blessed me with the man I now call my spouse. Grateful doesn’t even cover it.
Each time it happens, that someone mentions the sin of divorce in my presence, it gets a little easier. I shrink back less and less. And as I draw closer to God’s forgiveness and healing I am reminded that He has made all things new.
Even a sinner like me.
God bless you. The mature Christian thinker knows that only God can judge. Hypocritical I am. Mature I am not. Christian I am. All knowing I am not. Divorced I am. Asked for a divorce? Did not. Cheated ? Did not. Remarried? I am. Does God honor my second marriage? Yes! Why? Because I have faith. Do religions that not honor my marriage matter? No! Piss me off? Yes. I love God. I love my second husband. God loves me. That’s the only thing of importance.
Thank you. God bless you also!
You’re not alone. It’s like having a giant paper cut on your soul and someone keeps pouring germ-X on it. I was actually praying in a women’s bible study not long ago and opened my eyes during prayer only to gaze on the passage about divorce in Matthew 5:31-32.
Your blog pretty much hit the nail on the head, except for what I’ve struggled with lately because of this passage. Are we ‘living in sin’ because of my divorce? Is my wonderful “second chance” husband damned because he loves me? The pain I’ve caused (that still continues) because of divorce (with kids) is forgiven, but the consequences of my sin seem to just fester. It’s excruciating, and I can’t begin to count the shame filled tears that still well up every now and then. I know that God’s mercy and grace are enough for me, because he loved me even in all my darkness. Even when sin still creeps in and squeezes my faith, I know I can turn to Christ for strength. I know He’s still working on me. I’m glad to hear this scar is healing for you. I truly feel that pain, too, and pray it gets easier. Thanks for posting this. It’s actually something I was just talking about a few days ago. One thing I know for sure, it’s made me much more compassionate and empathetic to other people who are struggling. Thanks for the encouragement, Brie.
I think the difference between living in sin and the sin of a past mistake is God’s grace and forgiveness. When He forgives it is forgotten. He makes things new, and we move forward in His promise. If I had a charm around my neck for every sin I’ve committed in my past I would be unable to stand from the weight. I sin no more as He instructed and I am healed.
Thank you so much for commenting.
Yeah, I know. This Sunday’s sermon helped. http://subsplash.com/cphattiesburg/v/9763cb5
I think that for me, the hardest part has been forgiving myself. But by not trusting Christ’s redemption as being complete (even for me) I was placing myself about God. That was my pride, even though I thought I had the least amount of pride because of how much I hated myself for how ugly my sin was. I was prideful in thinking that Christ hadn’t really covered EVERYTHING and I wasn’t really new. I know that the consequences will be there, but I can drop the shame. That’s not what God wants for us. I kept picking back up what I’d laid at His feet. That guilt and shame is not from Him. And I refuse to continue to let it tear down what Christ has rectified. Your blog really hit home tonight in that this has been a topic that’s been discussed more than a few times lately. I really only commented to let you know that you’re not alone in this and to thank you for saying it gets better. I couldn’t let it get better until I asked Christ to make it better. Thank God for his faithfulness!
Thank you again for commenting. You’re so right.