Matthew 5:31-32 Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.
These two verses of Matthew 5 are always hard for me to read. I’ve read them over and over through my Divorced-Christian walk with God. I’ve heard several different preachers and Bible scholars preach and speak on the topic; but what does my own heart, mind and soul say on the subject of divorce? Remember, these are my thoughts. You need to go to God with your own failing marriage to God. I’m simply sharing from my own experience.
Divorced people want to feel justified and purified
criticized and chastised for their failed marriages.
There’s such a stigma about divorced people in the church and Christian community, even to this day when the divorce rate is running rampant. I don’t support divorce, but I don’t chastise it either.
I’ve been divorced twice and to this day I can say that neither marriage was a mistake. Were the divorces a mistake? I really don’t have an answer to that yet. My first divorce left me feeling abandoned and broken, empty and confused, angry and scared. I flew right from that marriage into the arms of another man. I didn’t skip or lightly tiptoe into another relationship-I RAN!!!
I flew with my bags filed with unresolved harsh-divorced feelings. It was wrong and unfair to both of us. His sins and failures trickled and then lingered into the relationship as well as mine. The second divorce left me once again, sad, confused, abandoned, scared and angry. One marriage lasted 23 years and the other lasted only two. Both divorces were awful.
So why does Matthew 5:31-32 convict me? Did immorality take place in one of the marriages? Yes! What about adultery? Yes. Were they on my part? No! But for many years, I still wore the guilt of DIVORCE on my forehead. Why? Because people simply didn’t understand.
How can we remove the guilt and shame that we feel from divorce?
Does God want us to live in that shame?
Remember, these are my thoughts from pondering with God…I believe that we remove the guilt and shame from divorce when we truly repent. There are always two sides to every story; two sides to every feeling and fight. I had to spend many hours day-in-and-day-out on my knees asking God for His favor. I had to admit my faults and give them over for purifications. I had to cry out and saturate my pillow with my sinful tears in order to feel my shame being lifted.
The second part of having my shame removed was walking in forgiveness. No one is perfect and I had to climb down off of my own moral high horse and finally forgive. It doesn’t mean that I forgot the pain, but, I finally reached a point that I didn’t allow the anger and unforgiving spirit rule my day. Only through the help of the Holy Spirit, was I able to resist the evil thoughts that wanted to rear their ugly head every day.
God does not want us to live in shame but He will allow us to camp out there until our hearts are straight with Him. He tells us in Matthew 5:43, You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ and 5:44 tells us that Jesus said, ‘But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.’ That’s hard. I don’t want to love the men that absolutely broke my heart; but I had to allow God to put that love back into my heart. It’s not the love you have for a spouse but rather a love you have for a person. It’s a love instructed by God.
There can not be finger-pointing when it comes to divorce. We all can forgive somebody, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for actions. It’s hard to think about standing in front of Jesus on judgment day and say, “I expect forgiveness, even though I didn’t forgive so-n-so.” We all must forgive, and it’s not easy.
Mark 11:25 ESV
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
I wish I could give more solid advise to those who are thinking of divorce or are going through a divorce. All I know is that I had to come to my own conclusions on my own and do what I felt God was guiding me to do. Again, I’m not saying He is okay with divorce…But He is in the business of grace and mercy. He is loving and forgiving.