GUEST BLOG: Faith and Divorce
Hey, I’m Amy. I call myself The Divorced Christian on social media because…well, because that’s what I am. I am a Jesus-following, faith-based raised, studying-my-Bible Christian, and I am divorced. Oh, and guess what- I chose it.
I didn’t want to get a divorce. Not because I was in love with my husband- that died years before with all the secrets and lies. My marriage sucked, plain and simple. I was lonely and hurt. This wasn’t the life I signed up for or had ever imagined when I pictured myself married and as a mom.
I didn’t want to get divorced because, due to my faith, I didn’t think I could. I also didn’t want to do that to my children. I used to keep count until my baby was eighteen- maybe then I could leave. Maybe.
One day, my four-year-old daughter asked me why daddy and I never kiss or act like we are in love. She was four years old, and she could see right through the façade I thought I had created. She could see the truth of our loveless, lack-of-intimacy relationship. It broke my heart. It also woke me up to see that, while I was trying to stay for them, I was also teaching them that this was acceptable. I was giving them the wrong idea about love and marriage.
I wanted and hoped for more for my children, but, I know that children will do as we do and not as we say. I panicked; this would become my children’s future if I didn’t do something about it. That broke my heart even more.
But Divorce Wasn’t Supposed to Be an Option
I was raised to believe that divorce was never an option. NEVER. Anyone that chose divorce simply wasn’t putting their trust in God enough to restore their marriage. I was raised to also believe that divorced people should not be part of the ministry leadership in churches.
Divorce was a sin. Plain and simple. Black and white. There were no gray areas when it came to divorce. It was one of the greatest sins to ever commit. It was unforgivable in the eyes of the church, and in the eyes of the Lord. When God joined two people, no one- no matter the circumstances- should tear that union apart.
So, what happens when you are raised this way and you get trapped with an emotionally-abusive man who makes other choices over you? You stay. You stay, and you slowly die inside because divorce is not an option. Even sadder, you risk your children following the same pattern.
But God Can Fix It!
Yes, God can restore marriages and heal the broken. But, both parties have to be willing to want to be fixed and put in the work to do that. My ex didn’t want to. I couldn’t change him, and he certainly didn’t see any need to change. There was no fixing our marriage. One person can’t fix the whole thing.
I have never cried such gut-wrenching sobs as I did leading up to my divorce. I had people telling me that I wasn’t trusting God. I had people telling me that I wasn’t faithful enough. Their words stung so much. Little did they know how much I was leaning on God, and how my faith was growing in ways they wouldn’t understand. But, still my biggest worry was that God wouldn’t forgive me.
But He Did
I found a program called Divorce Care and called a local church that offered it. My church did not, and you’ll see in some of my blogs that some of the leaders of my church condemn divorce and threw a scarlet D on me.
When I talked to the pastor of the other church, he showed me so much compassion and love. He showed me scripture to remind me that God loves me. He helped start me on the journey of healing through God’s word and love.
I didn’t even realize it, but I had been so focused on all the rules that they'd literally become an idol for me. So, what happened when I really delved into God’s word, and learned that divorce could be an option? What happened when I learned about God’s unfailing love for me? What happened when I realized that I am not perfect, and God never expected me to be?
Let me tell you what happened- I transformed. I became more dependent on God, and I became enamored by the love that He has for me. I fell at His feet in His undying mercy and grace for me. My eyes became open to the faults and cracks in legalistic Christianity. (Thank GOD!)
The Next Chapter
I felt God calling me for a few years to use the gifts that He gave me to help other Christians (particularly women) who feel stuck in a marriage due to legalistic Christianity. I felt called to share my journey with other Christians out there who may feel condemned by their churches or families for wanting a divorce, or being for divorced, and who feel alone. You are not alone. You do not have to do your journey alone. God still loves you. He will use your pain for His good, just as He is using mine.
I’m so thankful that this journey is leading me to meet so many other women going through similar situations. They, too, are using the gifts that God gave them, and together we are creating this whole internet circle of women supporting other women. It’s pretty awesome, and totally unexpected. Thank you, Linz for having me on your blog! I am honored.