Chris Watkins: Divorce is possible
January 23, 2011 2 Comments
“Fallen, I have sunk so low,
I’ve messed up, better I should know,
so don’t come round here and tell me I told you so.”
— Sarah McLachlan
Working at a hardware store affords one the opportunity to occasionally break from the grind and listen in to the music playing through the store speakers. This break, however, turned into taking the rest of the afternoon off. The lyrics of that particular song were too piercing to recover from and way too applicable to suppress.
How in the world did I ever get here? Just months ago I was a successful pastor in an awesome church. My contemporary heroes were John MacArthur Jr., Chuck Swindoll, D. James Kennedy, Eugene Peterson, and a host of other conservative theologians. I was widely respected and surrounded by solid Christian friends.
Now I am counting nuts and bolts, visiting my kids and living under the weighted title “divorced”. Nobody in my immediate circle would have believed this could even be possible. Certainly not me. I saw it happen to people around me and I tried to be redemptive to them. But the thought that it was possible for me to walk away from virtually everything good in my life was unthinkable. Now that I have, it seems unredeemable.
I’m lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarrassed
Pretend that they don’t see
But it’s one missed step
You’ll slip before you know it
And there doesn’t seem a way to be redeemed
“Divorce is not an option” I had repeated that mantra countless times in my former life. Now I was finding out the cruel truth. It is always an option. Not a good one, but an option nonetheless. Believing divorce could not happen to me contributed greatly to its permanent residence in my life. Statistics say that divorce rips its way into over half of today’s marriages in the United States.
Even more surprising is that they also indicate that marriage among professing Christians is at least equal to or greater than the divorce rate of non-Christians. As I sat back in my arrogance, not believing it was possible for it to happen to me, I drifted down a lazy river that methodically increased its speed, culminating in a waterfall. Paying attention to the objects drifting with me instead of focusing on fixed objects along the bank of the river helped me ignore the increase in speed and intensity. I found that it is impossible to swim up a waterfall. You just brace yourself for the impact.
“Truth be told I’ve tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear”
Is divorce possible? The statistics indicate it is not only possible, but probable. Especially for those who refuse to accept their frailty and depend upon Christ for the strength to withstand the wiles of the evil one.