Encouragement for the Divorced

If you’ve experienced a divorce, you may be feeling the weight of it right now. Our current church culture has done a lot to rail against the sinfulness of divorce, but not enough to apply the healing that the reality of the Gospel brings to the pain of it. It is true that divorce is a gross mischaracterization of the relationship between Christ and the church, but the same is true for any sin that we commit, therefore we are all guilty of this. The amazing thing about the Gospel is that no matter what we do in our lives that doesn’t adequately reflect a life that’s been changed by it, the reality of it is not nullified. A picture of Christ and the church that’s been marred by divorce does not alter the reality that Christ has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Nor does divorce prevent you from experiencing the fullness of Christ’s love for you. You’ve not derailed God’s plan for your life and you’ve not ruined your chances of finding and experiencing true love.

Divorce may not have been your choice, or it may be a choice that you deeply regret now. Either way, it’s done and it cannot be changed, but that doesn’t mean that you should let that experience go to waste, which will happen if you allow the shame of your divorce to consume you. The redeeming blood of Jesus so purifies you that it’s redemptive qualities spill over even into your circumstances. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). God can take this pain you feel and mold it into hope, if you will let Him.

If you’ve been through a divorce and have since remarried, that doesn’t annul the current marriage that you are in. God considers the marriage that you are in as a binding, valid marriage. You now have another opportunity to live out the reality of the Gospel in this marriage. When our marriages persevere even through severe trials and tribulations, we are declaring to the world one of the most Gospel-saturated truths that exists, that “God is faithful, even when we are faithless” (2 Timothy 2:13). Be faithful and persevere, God will give you strength to endure this; for your joy and for His glory.

Never forget the righteousness that you have before God is not your own, it is Christ’s. God looks at you, and does not see divorce, but sees wholeness and faithfulness. God’s disposition towards you is not one of anger and disappointment, but instead He looks at you and is well-pleased. Speak this to yourself; preach this to your soul. You do not have to bear the shame of a divorce; Christ bore that for you. You do not have to feel condemnation for having a divorce; Christ felt that for you. Rest in the glorious truth that Christ has perfectly fulfilled all righteousness on your behalf and you are free to pursue Him with all your might (Romans 8:3-4).

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