The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.- Psalm 34:18
We can’t help but notice the carnage that divorce has wrought in our society. Yes, even in the church. So many hearts broken, caused by the sin of one that promised to love and cherish. My heart breaks for that husband or wife that is left behind when their spouse has left them for another. The pain cuts so deep, and takes a lot of time to recover from such a betrayal. A large piece of their life has rejected them, after they had promised “Til death do us part.”
Their wedding day keeps running on repeat in their minds, the birth of their children. So many memories that used to bring a smile, and now they are memories that bring tears, and so much pain.
You have one spouse that has sinned against the other, leaving the family and pursuing their lusts. Leaving a family feeling as if it was something they did. Or that they didn’t try hard enough or this wouldn’t have happened. They blame themselves, because they don’t know how to process the pain. Even grown children feel this profound pain.
This, at its core is so pitiful. We have marriages that were vowed to be “till death do us part”. An oath was made before God to love and to cherish and now one spouse has forsaken those vows to pursue another. Leaving the spouse of their youth, to grieve. And the children struggle.
Divorce destroys. Destroys history that was made, and history that was to be made. Memories that were made and memories that were promised, but stolen.
God hates divorce. God hates the sin that causes divorce. Some divorces are necessary, but most are not. God makes provision for adultery and abandonment. And even in some of these cases, God has brought reconciliation. Sadly, divorce in the church is coming close to the same as the secular world. Because self -love is more popular than sacrificial love. Self -love serves itself. Sacrificial love serves others.
What does this tell us? It tells us that men and women are seeking after their lusts and are not picking up their crosses daily and serving their families. Christ, does not tell us to “live your best life” He says the opposite, He says “lay down your life” “Love your neighbor, as you love yourself” “Put others before yourself.” “Put you mind on the things above”
Trying to find fulfillment that will never be found, because when we seek our fulfillment outside of Christ we will never find peace or fulfillment. It is all vanity. St Augustine has said “our heart is restless until it rests in God”
We have all known someone that has been hurt by the betrayal of a spouse. All while claiming Christ. And as we look back we could probably see the tell tale signs. But by the time we hear the bad news, the destruction has been wrought and we are left to help the offended spouse and children pick up the pieces. Our hearts are broken. We mourn with those that mourn.
And then if we are honest, we will start to look at our spouse, and become suspicious and we may even become insecure about our marriages. This is what sin does. It infects. It causes division.
The offended spouse and children will recover. For the most part. But even after forgiveness and some kind of new normal is reached, a little piece of them will be gone forever. Their ability to trust an earthly being has been damaged.This trial has strengthened their faith. We would hope that they have came to a stronger relationship with the Lord, knowing He holds the future. And that is where true peace is found.
4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;b 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Things to think about:
- Brokeness happens in a fallen world. More so as professing Christians accept sin, and fall into sin.
- Cry with those that cry. Help in any way you can.
- If you are an older woman, mentor younger women in their marriages. To love their husbands and their children.
- Nuture and care for your marriages. We must tend our marriages much like a garden, or they will be overtaken with weeds (sin).
- Grow your marriage in the Lord. Worldly wisdom is futility.
- Be in prayer for your husband and your children.
- Trust the Lord with your marriage.
The Bible talks a lot about broken homes and we should, too. Rejoice when your family enjoys God’s blessing. Be sympathetic when you become aware of brokenness in other families. There will be times when you will face brokenness in your own family. But you have a God who is also your heavenly Father, and He loves you as a member of His family. God promises no easy fixes or simple solutions. There are no steps to follow that will guarantee healing and restoration. But your heavenly Father can and does heal families. He can turn mourning into dancing; He can create praise out of despair. He can bind the wounds of the brokenhearted and set free those imprisoned in darkness. God can restore families and use the tragedies that so deeply hurt us now to move us forward in the purposes for which He created us. So call out to Him as your Father, and pray for His mercy on you and your home. Trust in His love for you and never give up. Our Father sent His only Son to die and rise again to forgive our sins and heal our shame. He is our hope in all the brokenness we face in our lives.
Dr. Richard L. Pratt Jr.