Why does the church avoid talking about marriage after divorce?
It’s extremely common. Many in the pews have been married more than once for various reasons. Some have been the ones left, and others chose it themselves. Regardless of the reasoning, why do we avoid it?
The biggest assumption would be that the church does not want to advocate for divorce. The bible states in Malachi 2:16 that God “hates divorce.” Of course, this is not the choice that God would want for us in a perfect will. He would love to see our marriages glorify him until the end of our journeys here on earth. I can tell with certainty that the person who is divorced went into it with the same intentions.
I never thought in a million years that I would walk through a divorce. My parents stayed together, and I was taught that this was the way it worked. Now I see that in some strange turn of events that my getting a divorce was actually breaking the chain of generational toxicity and codependency in my family. I understand that many will say that there is no way that my leaving my husband was a curse breaker, but until you have lived in generational trauma, you really have no idea.
I understand that many will say that there is no way that my leaving my husband was a curse breaker, but until you have lived in generational trauma, you really have no idea.
You hear many Christians say that infidelity is the only way a person should biblically divorce, but what about abuse? Couldn’t one argue that the day that a spouse does this to the other that they have betrayed the vows of marriage? My ex-husband cheated numerous times, but even if he didn’t, every time that he violated me, it felt as if he had stepped out of the promises that he had made to me as a husband to a wife. It was far from the whole loving me as Christ loves the church thing.
I know that this will blow the minds of many religious people, but I believe that God told me to walk away from my abusive marriage, and I can see the fruits of my obedience in the blessings that came after the fact.
God spoke to me to get out before I continued the generational curses of my family that I so badly wanted to break. He told me that I would die young just like my family did. He showed me the image of him dying on the cross for me to live life abundantly, and the conditions that I was living in were unworthy of the blood that he shed for me on that day. He desired me to feel the love and self-worth that he had for me, and no human being can deny me of this moment with my savior.
…what about abuse? Couldn’t one argue that the day that a spouse does this to the other that they have betrayed the vows of marriage?
I want to also say that I am very pro-marriage. God gave me a promise that I would be a wife to a husband after his own heart. I believe in fighting with everything you have for your marriage as long as the boundaries of what is safe aren’t crossed. I am very intentional with my second marriage because I can see what didn’t work before. My goal is exactly what it was the first time around: I want to grow old with this man until the day that one of us meets Jesus.
Marriage after divorce comes with its own set of highs and lows, and that is why I believe we need to talk about it more in the church. Are we so scared that we may advocate for divorce that we will allow rates in the church to increase in the meantime? Failure to discuss issues cause more individuals to suffer in silence. I can tell you from experience that there is such beauty in second (or third, or fourth!) chances, but there is also baggage from a marriage that did not meet our expectations.
Are we so scared that we may advocate for divorce that we will allow rates in the church to increase in the meantime?
I now see where silence in the church has been a disservice for so long. Many Christians like me get married way too young because of this idea that once you are married, you will live happily ever after with that boy or girl that you met at church. You can freely have sex without guilt, and you can rest on the fact that marriage is forever. I am not saying that this isn’t a beautiful story or goal, and many people succeed, but I want to comfort those who saw disappointment when life didn’t turn out as planned.
The word “divorced” may be an adjective that people use to describe you, but it does not define you. Your divorce happened, but it’s not who you are. You can heal and be better than ever. I challenge you to not be ashamed of this, especially in your place of worship.
To the church, I plead that we begin to create a narrative that doesn’t shame those who have been divorced and/or remarried. Even if that person walked away for no good reason, Jesus loves them. I also implore you that we begin to normalize that abuse is grounds for divorce. I can’t stress this enough because many are staying in the name of being a “godly spouse.” Spiritual abuse is a real thing that causes many Christians to stay in marriages that are far from godly. Our refusal to be silent may very well save a life.
The word “divorced” may be an adjective that people use to describe you, but it does not define you. Your divorce happened, but it’s not who you are.
No matter what your past looks like, Jesus loves you with such an immense amount of love. There is absolutely nothing that can stop it. Your current marriage can be a true representation of God’s glory even if it’s not your first. He brings beauty from ashes including divorce.
This article was originally posted at The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to Life Abundantly. To see more, visit traumasurvivorsguide.com.