Monday, November 11, 2013

Dealing with Divorce

I am not an expert on this topic. I am not experienced personally with this circumstance. I only have two things that can help me understand how to deal with divorce. I have the Bible. I have many friends both Christian and non-Christian who I have counseled through the divorce process.

I am writing about this today because it is highly relevant in our society. Anything that advances in our society also finds its way into the church. This article is not going to address the rights and wrongs of divorce. At the proper time classes and sermons will be able to deal with God's principles concerning marriage and how to obey them. Instead I would like to bring to your mind some important concepts concerning how every person can try to understand and properly associate with those who have been devastated by divorce. Hopefully this will help us all show the love of Christ for those in this situation.

First of all, nobody gets married to get divorced. To my knowledge, I have never met a couple who intended from the get-go for their marriage to eventually be dissolved. But divorce does happen. God never gave marriage to mankind so we could break the marriage covenant. Sin allows for divorce to become a reality. Understand that those who are or have been divorced never wanted it to happen in the first place.

Secondly, people who are divorced feel the stigma that is often attached. This is hard to discuss. Should there be a stigma? Have you been a perfect marriage partner? Let me help you - the answer is no. But marriage is a commitment and divorce is a conscious decision to break the commitment. Thus the stigma. At some point somebody didn't want to be married enough to keep their promise. Sometimes, it is merely a Biblical response to the concession allowed by Christ. Other times, a divorce takes place with no Biblical reason or support. Understand that whatever the reason, the divorced feel the stigma. It is a weight for them. They are going to need some help to carry that load.

Thirdly, with divorce there is grief. The grief process is similar to but different than experiencing the death of a loved one. The steps of grieving are the same but the reasons to grieve are different. The long-term effects of the loss are also different. We need to understand that people who have dealt with divorce are going to need to grieve. We should have as much if not more concern and care for them as we do a person who has lost their closest friend or family member.

Finally, there is life after divorce. Some people will have the right to remarry, and some will not. But either way, a second chance to make the best life possible still awaits. We all need forgiveness, mercy, grace, and unconditional love. Every day is a new day and the mercies of God are new every morning. His compassions fail not. God loves us more than we could ever know or imagine. When things do not turn out well for us, God's parental love for our best interests remains. Regardless of the circumstances, a true child of God will have compassion on any person who has gone through a divorce. If the person is in sin, we should worry about their soul and the changes that need to be made. If the person is living faithfully, we must weep with them that weep until the season of weeping is over. Our willingness to care for people who have experienced divorce should never be related to their level of guilt.

It is my prayer, that as a Christian, God will give me the ability to help those who have experienced divorce. It is my prayer, that His church will always reach out and express love to every person in every circumstance. This is what love does.

"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'" - Jeremiah 31:3

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