A dear friend received her divorce a couple of weeks ago, and her separation period had been long and difficult. She wanted to have a conversation with me about what she would do differently. She admitted that from the very beginning of her marriage, she was overwhelmed with the responsibility of an expanded family; both she and her ex-husband had children from previous marriages. She had a lot of unresolved pain from her past, and she brought it into the relationship. She knew that I would be able to relate to this. I’ve learned that it’s best to be very frank and honest when it comes to tackling one’s emotional well-being. It’s something we must do, because entering new relationships with unresolved insecurities and pain can cause patterns and mistakes to be repeated. Healing requires us to confront the fear that keeps us trapped. We desperately need God’s guidance, and we need wise friends that give us good counsel and tell us the truth.
Marriage and dating are different dynamics in the eyes of God. This is something we must consider before we enter into the commitment of marriage, because God wants us to choose the person that He has ordained to be our partners. This isn’t always the person we date. We attempt to make it this way, and it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Dating in a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship doesn’t carry the same level of commitment and covenant in God’s eyes. It is a mistake to think that it does, and this is why many people give themselves license to have sexual intimacy in a relationship with a person that isn’t a destiny partner. It’s a dangerous move.
Sometimes we chose the wrong people to marry, and we end up getting wounded and wounding another. We must consider God’s heart when it comes to the relationships we chose. Christ instructs us in Matthew 6:33 to seek God and His righteousness first in ALL things.
The Pain of Divorce
Pain is pain, no matter how you slice it. Our heart’s break when our relationships are torn apart. But when it involves a failed marriage, the stakes are higher when it comes to our relationship with God, and a greater demand is on us to repair the damage of our souls His way. Heavenly Father sets the priorities for achieving wholeness, and often, we don’t consider them. Our inclination is to make our brokenness centerstage, without considering how the sacredness and unity of our relationship with God is impacted. And not just our individual relationship with the Father, but we also should have some level of understanding and empathy about what has happened to the ex’s relationship with God; considering whether the divorce has impeded the potential of his future elevation in the Lord as well.
This is the compassion and awareness that God expects to see reflected in the heart and mind of a Christian, because the love of Christ in us should bring us to this place. Keeping it real, many of us are not there. Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 6:33 to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first in all things. This is the priority. When something has gone terribly wrong, to the point that a marital union is severed, our first response should be to seek God. He knows every detail of our pain and struggle. He knows how to heal us in ways that will prevent the patterns or pathology that works against our ability to be whole.
In the case of divorce, our obligation to God is greater because we’ve asked Him to bless and join us together in marriage with another. This is truth, and truth is never meant to condemn or make someone feel bad, but to extend the tools of correction necessary to be better, so that God can be glorified. Divorce is an indicator of unresolved pain and toxic patterns. We need to be healed in places that only the Holy Spirit can reach.
It’s challenging to rally our emotions during divorce, but the Spirit will help us. Our first step in dealing with any degree of emotional distress, particularly divorce, should be to extend an earnest invitation to the Holy Spirit through the Lord Jesus Christ. We should repent, ask for Heavenly Father’s forgiveness, and invite the Holy Spirit to take control and bring us to a level of healing that places us exactly where the Father would have us to be.
When something is broken, pieces fall to the ground. It hurts, because we feel the impact of them shattering. Typically, our first inclination is to pick them up. Every human being will do their very best to move towards wholeness. In so doing, we will make every attempt to recoup what we perceive as missing, and we often do this without the Spirit’s help. It cannot be done successfully without the Spirit’s guidance. He tells us what’s worth picking up, and what we need to leave on the ground.
Instead of trying to pick up the broken pieces ourselves, we must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit continually. This requires you to have faith in Jeremiah 29:11(NLT), where God said, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Heavenly Father does not want you to remain in a state of sorrow, confusion, or condemnation. He wants you whole, pursuing your destiny, and functioning in the call of Christ. Know that despite what you’ve been through, wholeness in Christ is God’s plan for you, and the Holy Spirit will move you towards this goal, IF you are willing to be guided and led.
Jesus Christ told us in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit that indwells us will lead and guide us into all truth. The third step can be the most challenging, and it is absolutely crucial to your healing and wholeness. You must accept the truth, and you must do so with an attitude of releasing the shame that causes you to hide behind a lie. Divorce is a mirror for the pain that is in us. It’s not all the ex-spouse’s fault. They were a reflection of what we either couldn’t or wouldn’t see. It’s time to remove the veil.
The wisdom of Proverbs 15:22(NLT) states, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” The Holy Spirit will lead you to the wise counsel of those who speak the truth. They may not do so in a way that cushions you or makes you comfortable, but you must hear the truth to heal. We cannot be healed by believing a lie about ourselves or about God’s goodness.
When the dust settles on any relationship that has gone wrong or ended, the look-back period can go as far as when you first met. You start thinking about what attracted you to the ex and wonder to yourself how everything went from good to bad, then to ugly. As women, we can be such emotional creatures. We’re not as kind to ourselves as we should be. God tells us that He’s the one that has plans for our future, but oftentimes, all we see is what’s staring us in the face. Usually, this limited vantage point will get us nowhere but knee-deep in regrets and negative thoughts. Look to your future positively through the promises of God. Renew a commitment to release the patterns and pathology that hold you back.
I recently sat in on a counseling session for a young Christian woman. It was about dating and preparation for marriage. The information I heard was so inspirational and wise, that I could only say to myself, I wish I had known this when I was her age. The wisdom she received was “You want to attract from a place of wholeness and maturity instead of from a place of weakness, because a marriage can’t be sustained on a shaky foundation!” God wants us to begin relationships from a place of wholeness. Have faith that this is His plan for your life. Give Him the time to work in you through the Holy Spirit, and trust in His process. Then you will be ready to move to the next level of growth and blessings He has in store for you.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“When Our Relationships Are Torn Apart” written by FACM, Finding A Christian Man.Com ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!
Spiritually preparing for marriage, Christian Advice for Singles, Growing in the Holy Spirit, Growing in Christ, the Mind of Christ, Spiritual Encouragement for Christian Women, Christian Women Ministry, Christian Women Organization