Summary: God may hate divorce, but He does not hate divorcees.
Restoration Road: The Journey to Overcoming 3 of 4
Life After Divorce
A For many people, divorce is like a funeral that never ends.
1 The reason divorce feels like death is because on of the cruelest deaths there is has occurred: the death of a marriage.
a If you lost your spouse to cancer, accident, or some other tragedy your pain (& ministry you receive) would be different.
aa Funeral: flowers, hugs, cards, phone calls, cooked food, donated money, invites to come over for Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT
bb Divorce: Few bouquets, phone calls, the people you spent the last 10 years worth of thanksgivings with aren’t asking you over this year.
b With divorce, there is often no outpouring of support/sympathy that accompanies a physical death.
aa Divorced people feel alone and disgraced (Especially at church)
bb And, the initial pain is intense because of the ex-spouse is still around, disputes over child support, visitation, kids’s schooling, work?
cc Pain later: Adult children’s marriages, holidays and remarriage.
c I suggest to you minister to someone who is going through a divorce like you would minister to a widow.
aa I’ve seen a lot of bitter, angry widows in my time.
bb I heard two women say the exact same thing on the same day: One at a funeral the other on the day her husband told her he didn’t want to married to her more: “Why did he leave me like this?” “Why did he have to go?”
2 With a divorce rate hovering around 50%, there are few people in the Church who will not experience divorce personally or through a family member, friend or co-worker.
B God intended marriage to be for a lifetime but He also provided for life after divorce (Many churches/church people see marriage as for life & condemnation after divorce)
1 In Scriptures we see lots of talk about divorce, reasons for divorce, but for all the talk of divorce the Bible only records one (1) divorce, Jeremiah 3.6-8.
a There is enough in this thought to cause us to pause.
aa Couldn’t pastor, deacon, etc.
bb Custodian, yes. Trustee, yes. Choir, yes.
b There are two words most often associated with divorce in both the Old & New Testaments.
aa O.T.: Shallach. Ker-ee-thouth
bb Shallach: Means putting away, putting aside if wanted again. Women weren’t allowed to remarry if “put away.” Mal. 2.16 KJV
cc Ker-ee-thouth, Deut 24.1-2, Written divorce & women allowed to remarry.
c New Testament practices remained but words changed.
bb Other world is “apostation”” which means written divorce. KJV Matt.5.31.
cc We use separation & divorce interchangeably but the bible doesn’t!
C Divorce happens and God knows it.
1 When Jesus encountered a woman that had multiple divorces at a well he invited her to worship (John 4.16-19) when many in the church would have forced her out of line.
a You can work here, do stuff for us but we’ll lead our own worship, thank-you.
b Another instance when another woman was about to be stoned for adultery (8.10,11 KJV)
aa Jesus said, “neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.”; Church, “ever do I condemn thee, sit & serve no more.”
bb God sees divorce as sin but the church sees it as the unpardonable sin.
cc If my children ever got divorced I would still love them, have room for them at my table, disqualified them from anything I could offer them.
c IL. Janet was in a Sunday School class (over 11 years) and was told by a Sunday School teacher that because her first husband had been married before, her son from him, should never had been born. Greater still, she should not had been born because her mother had been married before. So don’t tell me that it doesn’t happen in churches (this church.)
2 God hates divorce but often it’s like the church hates the divorcee. (God sees life after divorce and so should we.)
D Healing is the #1 priority when you have been through divorce.
1 That person does not need my judgement, for me to blame them or me looking for explanation.
a “You two always looked like the perfect couple, so happy together, what went wrong?”
aa Many times the couple doesn’t know.
bb We don’t know what goes on in a marriage, closed doors, especially the closed doors of a human heart.”
b Healing can’t completely happen without forgiveness. (You must be willing to forgive)
c “God, I want to forgive him/her, but I can’t do it right now. Will you love him/her for me right now until I get to where I know you want me to be.”