The term “divorce” seems to carry a bitter sting with it. It seems as if people want you to wear a scarlet “D” on your chest. Every form you fill out asks if you’re married, widowed or divorced, and the church scorns you due to your past. You start to feel like a complete and total failure. Not fitting in can be miserable, especially at church. You don’t fit in with the singles or married groups, even though you did at a time.
You don’t fit in with cheerful families that come together to celebrate special events and holidays as a complete family. Even if you did fit in, you have time constraints to worry about. If you have full custody of your kids, you’re so busy juggling your kid’s schedules, work, and other responsibilities that you don’t have time to find a new circle of friends, disregarding your social life. Even if you could find activities and friends, you don’t have the money for childcare to cover an occasional evening of fellowship with adults.
On top of these issues, you have to deal with the Christians who believe you failed Christ by getting divorced. They say God hates divorce and tell you that if you choose to remarry, you’ll be living in an extramarital relationship, condemning yourself to eternal hell. They’ll let you know that you have to pray for reconciliation because it’s your only option unless you want to be single for the rest of your life.
You start to think that you won’t survive this, wondering if God could forgive you. You also begin to consider if you genuinely sinned. So many questions and different answers start swirling around in your mind. Sometimes, our hearts can harden. People turn their backs on God’s plan for their lives, and one party chooses to change the relationship. Perhaps there’s abandonment, adultery, or abuse, but sin is always present.
Maybe you tried everything, begging God to save your marriage. You tried married counseling and sought counsel from people who know you best. You spent hours asking God for wisdom before you walked away. Perhaps you were the guilty party, allowing your selfishness to push your spouse away. Maybe you were so focused on your career that you abandoned your spouse until they couldn’t take much more. Perhaps an addiction made life with you intolerable. You live with the constant guilt and shame that you destroyed your family.
Going through a divorce can be a tough, long road, but God will redeem every pain and hurt you’ve experienced. He’ll be what you need on this voyage when you need it. He’ll be your provider and your peace, a helper and friend. He’ll also give you a new life that can resurrect your life from the depths of divorce. Here are some truths that every divorced Christian should know.
God despises divorce.
You might cringe when you hear this, and it’s thrown in your face that divorce is an unforgivable sin. However, God indeed hates divorce, as many people do. If you look at Malachi 2:16, you’ll find the context fascinating. The perspective is of the unfaithful spouse who deeply hurts their spouse. It regards being mean to your spouse, the one we should protect and love more than anyone. God doesn’t like actions that lead to divorce.
Another passage, Proverbs 6:16-19, also lists things God despises, including a lying tongue, haughty eyes, hands that shed innocent blood and a heart that devises wicked schemes. Anyone who throws out Malachi 2:16 should also look at Proverbs 6. We should remember that God died for our lies and pride, as He died for divorces. Typically, the sins listed in Proverbs 6 lead to divorce. God despises divorce because of the massive suffering and pain it cause His children. It’s less about sin and more about our Father’s heart for us.
Remarriage is up to you.
You’ve likely heard arguments saying you can’t remarry unless you desire to risk your soul and live an adulterous life. However, we should look at the scripture’s interpretation. None of us were there to know what God intended when He gave the Holy Spirit-inspired scripture to the writers. Some scholars say that remarriage is never an option, while others say it’s only an option in cases of adultery. Other scholars believe remarriage is allowed due to God’s grace.
In the end, whether you remarry or not is between you and God. You should make this decision in consultation with trusted biblical advisors and prayer. It’s a decision that you and your future spouse should make once you’ve healed from your past, becoming as much like Christ as possible.
God is a redeemer.
Scripture gives many promises showing us that hope is alive from Romans 8:28 to John 11, where Jesus says He is the resurrection and life. He will take you from divorce and give you new life. Peter 5:10 says suffering won’t last forever, but He’ll put you together and on your feet one day.
Divorce is a journey, but God is with you.
You feel unsure about God’s promises at the beginning of your divorce journey. You think that God has failed you even though you dedicated your life to Him, and the “blessing” you received was a spouse that betrayed you. You might be finished with God, but He isn’t done with you. He will persistently pursue you and call you to get security from Him. He’ll remind you that He’s been with you every step of the way, and He won’t leave you now because He has great plans for you.
You could be a rejected, broken mess, but God will remind you that He loves you and you are His chosen child, a treasure. In Psalm 17:8, He’ll tell you that you’re the apple of His eye, while in Ephesians 2:10, He reminds you that you’re His masterpiece, made to do good works. All you have to do is surrender and ask God for help. He will answer.