Chris Watkins: Divorce is Passing
March 9, 2011 Leave a comment
To those protected souls who have been spared the agony of divorce, praise God and “guard what has been entrusted to you”. To the battered and scarred who have endured and survived the travail of divorce, take heart and know that God is not done with you. His intention from the beginning to the end is always redemption. He desires for us a life of abundance and adventure from the time we arise to the time we turn in. It is not God who discounts our worth upon failure. It is Satan and whoever else desires to follow his lead. The Bible is filled with failures who were ultimately used by God to reveal the greatness of His character through the frailty of theirs.
I personally had developed a mountain of anger and chose to let it seethe under the surface of my countenance. Anger toward so-called “people of grace” who turned their back on me when I failed after I had invested a large portion of my life in them in the midst of their failures. Anger toward an ex-wife who didn’t understand the confusion and frustration I was experiencing as a result of a gradual fade from a solid spiritual disposition. Anger toward a God who had allowed a string of events into my life that culminated in collapse. Anger toward myself for not being the unshakeable spiritual leader I thought I was.
What can a person do with that much anger? It seems that the choices are:
- Numb the pain with alcohol and/or drugs;
- Increase the level of sin in one’s life to spite God;
- Let the anger drive it’s owner to war with people, especially those loved the most;
- Repent and begin to forgive.
I am sure that there are far more choices than these, but these were the choices I made. In that order. To repent and forgive required the most intentionality, yet also provided the only relief.
I found that forgiving the church crowd for their offenses was not only relieving, it was enlightening. I began to realize that a church focused on moral excellence cannot respond in grace to a fallen leader. Conversely, people who truly are carrying a message of grace to the world are disappointed by the fall, yet are equally determined to facilitate restoration in the fallen.
Forgiving my ex-wife was a bit more difficult. I had become convinced that if she would have listened better and had been willing to understand my point of view, all could have been avoided. That isposition bred the belief that this was her fault. Sounds strangely familiar. “It was the woman You gave me.” Sin produces blame. From Adam until now. In order to truly forgive her, I had to recognize my error of assigning blame to her failure and accepting the responsibility of my failure. I was the one who God had entrusted with the responsibility of leadership in our family. I was supposed to love as Christ loved. I was supposed to follow His definition of love, not mine.
In order to accomplish forgiveness, one must first arrive at repentance. To give forgiveness, one must first experience forgiveness. At the point of repentance, God began to flood my spirit with the reality I had been eager to suppress. The reality of selfishness instead of sacrifice. Any fade away from God is an advance toward self. When Christ is diminished, self is increased. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I did not need to forgive God. I needed to align with Him so I could forgive people.
It seems simple now that I am aligned with Him. It is not so simple for those far from Him. Hence the need to communicate with a fallen world. God is love and those who follow Him love because He first loved us. This love compels us to herald the great headline to the world. “Jesus has come so that life may begin!”
Divorce is not only possible, painful and preventable. It is passing, thank God. There is a prescription for success and it begins with repentance. The people far from God will lead you in other directions. The sinning world will be glad to accept you into their ranks and help you elevate your proficiency at rebellion. The religious world is happy to announce that you are now null and void. They may let you back in after you have proven yourself, but with imposed conditions. Both sets are operating under the leadership of the evil one because neither disposition is true.
To those who are still burdened by sin, come to Jesus and Jesus alone. He is your only hope of restoration to the life of freedom and contentment. He will not only accept you, he will run to meet you. God’s great love for us is most clearly seen through His joy of restoring the prodigal to a place of prominence.
Through not only His power to create, but in His undying, passionate pursuit of those He calls His own.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1