Because I am divorced and remarried, I think people automatically assume that I am a big divorce supporter and give out high-fives to those who get a divorce. If you think that, you truly don’t know me.
Separation and divorce hit my home in late 2013. I was pastoring my first church, but the devil was doing work behind the scenes to destroy me and many others. I want to take this time to point out what divorce really does to people.
- Divorce affects a person’s self-image. Someone going through a divorce wonders why he or she isn’t good enough. Why did he choose someone else over me? Why did she cherish her addiction more than me? Was I not good enough for the other person to fight to keep me? These and many others questions go through the mind of someone going through a divorce. We may use defensive mechanisms to make everyone think we cope well, but inside we don’t have it together.
- Divorce creates more losses than gains. We lose our self-image. We lose trust in others, especially those of the opposite sex. We often lose more financially than we gain. In my case, I lost a career. Some lose trust in the church because conservative Christians feel like they might be labeled for supporting divorce if they support you. Many lose their children. With loss comes grief. A pastor once told me that a divorce was a lot like a funeral. Most of us have to face that person continually and be reminded of the pain associated with the marriage, separation, and divorce.
Things do get better, but you’re never fixed. A pastor who experienced divorce and remarriage told me, “Matthew, you’re going to be a bird with a broken wing. You won’t fly with the big boys, but you will fly again.” I understand this a little more now than I did when he said that.
Dear divorcee, you will always have the scars. The devil wants to use those to keep you bound. God wants to empower you to help other broken people. I can’t speak for you, but divorce broke me into a million pieces. Some people are critical that I am so outspoken about divorce, but I want to help others how God has helped me and receive that same support. I have to let pride go down the drain in order that I might move forward.
A strong word of advice: don’t think another relationship can fix you. So many people think that jumping into another relationship will help fill the void and repair the damage done by the marriage. It makes things worse!
Divorced people (like anyone else) have to come to a point where Jesus is enough. Is there a time frame on that? No! I wish I could lay out a schedule of what happens when. I can’t. Every circumstance is different. You will go through your own cycles of forgiveness and unforgiveness (which comes in waves), but eventually you will come to a point where you don’t hold your broken marriage against God. He wants to hold you close. He wants to wipe away your tears. My greatest advice is for you to be real with God. Let out all your anger, bitterness, and hurt. God knows it anyway. Don’t fake it with Him! When you can be real, you’ll begin to see a breakthrough.