Whenever we hear that someone we know is getting a divorce, we immediately want to talk with them. Yet 100% of the time someone close to them insists that we leave them alone. Their reasoning always is, “They are hurting enough already. Don’t make it any worse for them by talking about how Jesus can change things. You’ll just give them false hope.
Recently a friend of ours tried to meet with the daughter of a friend of hers who was going through a divorce and the girl’s parents told her the same thing. It seems that family members are quick to protect their loved ones from any challenge to healing or even the thought that reconciliation could be possible.
We understand that they are hurting and yet we know that left alone, they may not heal on their own. When someone breaks a bone or tears a ligament, there is great pain. The first step in healing is often surgery or, at the very least, the setting of the bone. Sometimes pins must be used to insure proper healing. All of these things are painful and may even seem to add to the initial pain of the injury. To leave the person without these remedies, though, would insure improper healing and perhaps even permanent crippling.
It seems to us that many times this is what well-meaning family members, friends, and sometimes even pastors, do when they recommend that hurting people not be approached with the truth of covenant faithfulness. We realize that when someone is going through the pain of separation and divorce, they are really hurting. To those who love them and want to help them, just getting them through it may seem like the best option.
Many pastors have told us that divorce is the best solution for this particular couple. It is best they end years of pain and get on with their lives. The problem is, what seems like an effective resolution in the short term always produces continual problems in the future.
Case in point – the daughter of a friend of ours divorced two years ago. We wanted to talk with her at that time, but her family insisted we leave her alone. We almost lost relationship with them when we expressed how important we felt it was to see her. The other night we saw her at a party. She shared with us how her life was going. She was unhappy with the shared custody arrangements. The kids were hurting. She was angry. Her “ex” was uncooperative.
Then she shared about her dating life. She initially tried meeting men at church and in social situations, but that hadn’t worked well. Now she is online dating, but the outcome hasn’t been much different. As I listened to her I thought here is a woman desperately seeking peace and fulfillment. She thought divorce would set her free to obtain it all. Instead, she is still dealing with the same issues she faced in her marriage and cannot find the man she believes will change her circumstances.
She is healing crookedly because her wounding was never set properly with the Word of God.
Sometimes we have to be willing endure a bit more pain to ensure we are truly healing. Sometimes we have to look deep within ourselves and see things we do not like in order to have the Lord help us change. Sometimes we have to stop pointing fingers and blaming and start looking in the mirror. Those are painful moments, but if we are willing, they lead to true healing.
I remember when I first began to stand for our marriage and I was so eager for God to begin working on Michael. He really needed help! How shocked I was when the Lord made it clear we were going to work on me instead. I was the one serving the Lord! I was the one who wanted to see the marriage healed! I wasn’t in adultery! Why would God want to start with me?
He started with me because if I didn’t endure the pain of healing my broken heart, if I didn’t endure the pain of looking at my attitudes and behavior, or if I didn’t allow the Lord to remove the dross from my life, I would never have healed properly and I could never have truly loved my husband again the way I needed to in order to stand and intercede for him.
Sometimes facing the truth is painful, but if we trust the Great Physician to walk us through the pain to healing, we can be assured that we will heal properly. He has promised that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Physical therapy hurts. We never want to push ourselves past our place of comfort, but the therapist makes sure we we push through the pain and gain more mobility. Being protected from truth, never produces freedom. Love, Marilyn
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32