Linking up with #fiveminutefriday today! Five minutes of uninterrupted writing...no editing. No overthinking. Just write! Today's word is: SHOULD
Often when friends are going through a divorce, we make assumptions based on our own perceptions of those events. That pain. That grief. However, the stigma associated with Christian divorce often influences the way we see our friend. So here are some things I think we should all add to our knowledge base when comforting those who endure this emotional rollercoaster.
1.Not everyone who gets divorced has a history of a terrible, troubled marriage. Some of us are taken completely by surprise. No recourse. No signs. No warning. I thought my marriage was pretty good until the moment I found out it wasn't.
2. No matter who is at "fault", everyone is in pain.It's easier to slam the person who walked away or made the big mistake. But the tearing of one flesh into two is just as painful for each involved member. Grace extends to all. Grace does not mean that I think what you did was "right", but I extend grace because I can see your pain regardless of "fault".
3.It is not helpful to vomit Bible verses on me.Especially when these words cause me to doubt if God is really for me.
You say, "It will all work together for good," when all I can see is bad.
You say, "God hates divorce, He won't let this happen to you." But God does let this happen.
You say, "God won't give you more than you can handle." That's not true. This is way more than I can handle.
4.When I talk about my ex-husband, it's not because I haven't "moved on", it's because I spent more than 13 years with him in my life and it wasn't all bad. I have joyful and unforgettable memories from my marriage and dating years. Just because I'm divorced, should I pretend that my entire life never existed? I hope you aren't uncomfortable when I tell stories from my past. It's who I am. It's where I've been. It will never go away.
5.Divorce is often one of the first things that people find out about me. When you meet a new person, especially one of my advancing age, the first question is almost always regarding marital status. It feels like I'm telling you the worst of me before I've even had a chance to show who I am. Maybe we can consider a different question...or even an open-ended probe like, "Tell me a little bit about yourself." Or, "What is something you've enjoyed doing recently?" I'd love to share my more personal stories with you later, but when we first meet, I wish I didn't have to tell you that I'm divorced. It's awkward for both of us!
I think we should be prepared to embrace, support, and encourage those in the church, and in our communities who are suffering from the heavy pain of divorce, regardless of who is at fault, what the circumstances are, and what your personal stance is. Grace extends to all. Love extends to all. At least, it SHOULD.
John 1:16- For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.