Divorce as a Christian

For some who have had divorce forced upon them this act of violence is going to change everything for them. A double income household will have created at least one single income household, someone may be thrust back into the workforce and often times a wife who has been a faithful homemaker and mother finds herself looking for a job to make ends meet. A person who has experienced the trauma of a cheating spouse will want to crawl into a proverbial hole and hide from life and the world with a heart so racked with pain and disillusionment they don’t know how they can even go on let alone have hope, joy and peace restored to their lives. Divorce is not something to be treated flippantly or even like a societal norm, it hurts people, it often wounds the innocent and unaware, it impacts children, it breaks hearts, it damages people and culture. 

I want to address a few things here for those who have suffered the violence of divorce as a Christian. One of them being to remember that you have an identity in Christ that is separate from marriage and distinct only to you. God has a plan for your individual life regardless of marital status. Embracing that calling and plan will help turn the wound of divorce into the scar of divorce and while there is a season of emotional and mental incapacitation, pain and sorrow, there is still a purpose for your life in God’s economy that you need to pursue and embrace. Remember, every person will give an account someday of what they did with their life as an individual. What they did for God’s kingdom and glory, not just as a wife, husband, mom or dad but as a Christian individual. Divorce does so much to wound a persons soul that this becomes easy to forget and a sense of value can often be denigrated to a sense personal worthlessness. There is also area to be mindful of and that is a state of continual anger that overshadows the desire to serve God and fulfill your role as an individual in His plan. Much like when a person experiences the trauma of losing a loved one there are normal and natural reactions to the trauma. However, if someone fails to progress from the initial stages of grief and move from denial, anger, depression, guilt and yearning to the final stage of grief which is acceptance after some time has passed, then the normal reaction of early grief and trauma has taken over and progress in transition from wound to scar is halted. As it pertains to divorce denial and anger are normal initial responses but you must guard against them becoming dominant life-long prisons that keep you incapacitated and unable to Dance with the Scars of divorce. Divorce is violent, it hurts like few other things in life, it is brutally unfair often and often puts the victim of unfaithfulness into the double jeopardy of having to not only deal with the anger and grief, but also make unwanted adjustments to personal life goals and dreams. This can fuel a perpetual state of anger and must be avoided.  

Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Psalm 100:2-3

I am all for support groups and the efforts of this who have targeted areas of ministry. I also believe that as a Spirit filled Christian there is a connection between serving God and gladness or joy. The divorce support group has it’s place in dealing with wound care but the goal must always be to transition to scarred living and as a Christian living includes serving. This is not to say that doing something for God will keep you pain free but it is to say that letting the devil isolate us into a lack of service compounds an already painful situation. Remember, this book is about getting through the wounds of life and living a life that is able to Dance with the accumulated Scars we all endure. The specific details may be different but the one common denominator among them all is that God is your help, He has given you, through His word, all things pertaining to life and godliness and those very things are applicable in all circumstances that create wounds in our lives.

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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