She went through every day with a smile, caring for her children, performing her duties at work, looking after her home, going out of her way to show her husband that she prioritized and cared for him, taking coffee and a kiss to his workplace, and making a deliberate effort to focus on the positive and forget the negative.
She loved him deeply, but his refusal to change the things that kept damaging their marriage was slowly choking her spirit. She sobbed in the shower every night because it was the only place where she could find privacy in her busy household. Her health was impacted by the chronic stress of knowing she wasn’t enough for him. He was always seeking pleasure in other places, and she felt as though she could disappear right off the face of the earth and he wouldn’t even notice.
The pain and grief had finally accumulated to the point that she couldn’t focus on her job. She had no energy to cook and clean. The effort it took to hide their family’s secret kept her from her friends, her church, her family, and even from seeking a deeper relationship with the God she loved so much.
And now she sat in the pastor’s office, weeping softly into a tissue, her heart broken once again by the choices her husband had made. She hadn’t even mentioned the unthinkable, the “D” word, but the words came at her anyway, like flying daggers. “You know, God doesn’t condone remarriage. If you were to divorce, you’d have to remain single for the rest of your life.”
This is a common scenario for so many people. They love God, they want to honour Him and do what’s right, yet the people they look to for support let them down, right when they need it the most. Without getting into a theological debate about divorce and remarriage, I just want to say that we need to be very sure that our words don’t keep vulnerable people in abusive situations. The Bible says that God hates divorce… so do those of us that have gone through it. The Bible also says that God hates violence, treachery, and deceit, and warns us to avoid abusive situations.
I once was the woman in this story. I thought God cared more about my marriage than He did about me. I was so very wrong. God cares deeply for hurting people, much more than He does for any human institution. Instead of idolizing marriage above the people for whom Christ gave His very life, let’s offer them grace and the support they need to heal, rebuild their lives, and grow spiritually.