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Friday, May 28, 2010

When Divorce is the ONLY Option

Sometimes we do things that without forethought bring pain to others and I hate that when it happens; when I’m the perpetrator I mean. I always like to think that I can add value to things; to people’s lives and not detract—it’s heartbreaking when I fail.

All I can do is what I feel God instructs me to do. That is to say sorry and reach out for forgiveness.

This feeling is not too dissimilar from the sort of feeling one partner of a marriage experiences when they know there’s no option but to divorce. No matter the reason, there is always the guilt and shame that somehow must be reconciled, personally. This is beyond the absolute best they’ve done to hold the marriage together over the years. There comes a breaking point.

This process (of feeling God’s grace) can take years or even a lifetime to realise—often people will struggle with even contemplating the God-reality that they’re already forgiven, let alone living that as a reality. (And the experience of this forgiveness is felt via repentance. And it’s not as if hearts of this fashion in question aren’t already repentant i.e. God has forgiven them, but they, unfortunately, don’t experience that blessing.)

God’s All-Attending Grace

I don’t think any divorced Christian person—speaking personally and referring to others I’ve known—feels entirely comfortable in their position, but then there is the all-attending grace of God in any event. He forgives. No ifs or buts.

And like many others I feel God most certainly sanctions separating and divorcing in untenable marriages where one partner point blank refuses to respond to serious issues, say of abuse and neglect, serial cheating etc. Some marriages become plain unliveable.

In these cases I don’t even think it’s a case of forgiveness at all. I agree with some I hear; God’s wisdom is calling some marriages to divorce—there is no option.

What About the Kids?

Recently I reposted an article I wrote two years ago on divorce and the negative impacts for children.

And there are always negative impacts for children.

But at times we have to consider the worse of two evils and just simply decide against going there—or continuing there.

It’s the better option we need to courageously choose, seeking new life with hope for a good future pressing hard on our sails of faith.

[I certainly don’t pretend to be an expert in this field, but I do seek to be an encouraging voice for the lonely heart dealing with these issues and the like—when I miss that mark it grieves me. But then again I know I’m dealing with a very difficult and most sensitive subject. If I don’t cover your angle very well, or at all, please let me know so I can cater for and not isolate you. God’s will is that none of us are to be isolated in these situations of pain. And besides, I take very seriously grieving God’s Spirit through the grieving of yours.]

We believe in an all-attending God who can forgive all things—even those that weren’t even really our faults and where perhaps we were forced to act, to protect our children, for instance.

God is defender of the innocent and if that extends to getting kids out of harmful situations then I think he’s manufacturing the circumstances, even now, to establish more godly order, and a future, in those lives being harmed.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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