Life after divorce
By Keith Boutte
Genesis 2:22-24(NLT) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
This was and is God’s plan for man and woman as long as we live in mortal bodies. God is love, and God is also order. God has an order to life that causes things to work together for the good of mankind.
Jesus repeated His words from Genesis again in Matthew 19:4-6. After being asked by the Pharisees Jesus responded: Matthew 19:8-9 (NLT) Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.
Divorce and the church
Now, knowing the ways of God, what does one do finding themselves divorced as a Christian in church?
As Jesus said above, it is for hardening of our hearts that divorce comes to a marriage. Knowing God is against divorce, how should the church respond?
First and foremost, the response should be with God’s love, grace and mercy attempting to help reconcile the marriage. Yet even with assistance, marriages fail at an alarming rate.
I am a divorced Christian and a remarried Christian. I say this with a heavy heart because I know God is not pro-divorce. Yet I also know he is not shutting the door to me because of failing in marriage.
Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
I urge anyone who is facing divorce to seek God and accept His mercy. Forgive and do all that’s in your power according to the Word of God to continue in marriage.
Yet believing Christ and seeking Him with all my heart, I did come to the conclusion of divorce. I could find no place of peace with my ex-spouse, and I know she felt the same.
During this difficult time I did seek council from godly men. However, when I felt no hope in the marriage I became a loner. I slipped into despair and walked mostly alone.
It took a few years before I fully returned to God. I was separated from marriage and the church body. One I couldn’t control, and the other I had no desire to be part of.
Though I know God is against divorce and so am I, the realization that divorce statistics are high, means we must deal with it in the church. Again, I emphasize the need to seek God and godly council and only godly council. Allow the Holy Spirit to work on your heart, to free you and your spouse to serve one another.
A tough walk for children
By divorcing, I felt I let God down. I believed God was upset with me. I allowed myself to be separated from the fellowship of the local body. My two children also had to walk through this time with me.
Children are wounded by divorce and need to know God loves them and they have not had any part in the divorce. A certain amount of trust and hope is lost when a child goes through a divorce. Yet remember what Gods says: Jeremiah 32:27 (NLT) “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?
And also: Psalm 34:18 (NLT) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Trust God to restore the children and show them your love and God’s love. God can and will restore their hearts and trust.
Going forward with God
Life after divorce will go on and must go forward with God. God’s love is bigger than any pain, any short coming, or any sin in our life. Forgiveness comes from repentance, repentance brings restoration, restoration brings healing, and healing restores relationships.
First and foremost we must be in right relationship with God to move forward. Jesus took all our sin, all our blame, all our failures, and all our defeat to the cross with Him. Accepting the sacrifice on the cross allows healing and restoration.
If you are in the situation where divorce is considered, seek God with an open heart. Men remember God’s Word: Ephesians 5:25-26 (NLT) For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.
And women may God’s Word be alive in you: 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NLT) In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.
(Note: If there is any physical, mental or emotional abuse involved, get an authority involved immediately.)
His Word is His will
We must know God’s Word and that His Word is His will for us. Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh and died for all of us. We must honor the Word even over our own mind. If our mind doesn’t line up with the Word of God, our mind must change.
And, if like me you find yourself divorced, know that God is faithful and through repentance, He will restore you to an active member of His kingdom here on earth.
God spoke to me many years ago saying, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will use you to tell people about me.”
God has been so faithful to His word to me, the only way I can know God’s absence is if I turn away from Him. I can sing with King David: Psalm 106:1-2 (NLT) Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough?
I can agree with Isaiah: Isaiah 57:15 (NLT) The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
God has restored marriage to me. He has given me a wonderful, loving, gracious, caring, precious, beautiful wife. We love God first, and as it says in Proberbs 18:22 (ESV) He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
I adore my “good thing” from God. My wonderful wife is the main reason, after God, this magazine exists. All glory to God who loves unconditionally!