When my divorce was going through against my will (at the time), I experienced heightened spiritual distress. This was distress over disappointing the Ultimate Authority–i.e. God.
Cognitively, I understood that I had no power to stop the divorce. My best friend spoke the truth to me earlier in September when he called out that false responsibility as “not true.”
However, I still felt responsible for the divorce. I felt like I was letting God down by my marriage ending. And I felt like I was letting my devout Christian family down, too. Nothing like being the first grandchild on either side of the family to divorce….
Thankfully, my family was extremely supportive and understanding for me. Yet my feelings remained.
The twisted teaching in evangelical Christian communities did not help me in off-loading this false guilt and painful shame. Hence, I am writing this blog. Certainly, my former denomination’s ecclesiastical trial experience reinforced these damaging messages to me.
I remember weeping like a baby when a prophetic counselor shared a word about me not being a disappointment to God. It touched a very, very deep wound inside of me.
So, I am going to share the same word here:
You are not a disappointment to God!
The divorce is not a surprise to Him. And God does not blame or accuse victims of adultery. He weeps with those who weep (e.g Psalm 24:18, Romans 12:15, etc.)
While excruciatingly painful, I think God used this experience to break a “handle” used to manipulate me. I suspect I am not the only one who came or comes equip with this handle.
It is a “handle” that says that one cannot disappoint authority figures or–especially–God.
My ex and her family loved leveraging this handle to manipulate me. In fact, my last direct communication with my ex involved her attempting to control me via calling me a “bad” Christian over not giving into her request (Does that make it a demand?). My authority pleasing “handle” was broken by then, thankfully.
Sometimes we will disappoint God.
But just as my little daughter sometimes disappoints me, she is never a “disappointment” to me.
She is my precious child.
If that is how this imperfect earthly father thinks about his child, how much more does our Perfect Heavenly Father regard each one of us, His children, with such love (e.g. Mt 7:9-11). We are not a “disappointment” to Him. Rather we are a child He deemed worthy of His own death to keep.
The love of God has to seep into one’s heart in order to break the “handle”–i.e. lie–that one is a disappointment to God (or could ever be). Divorce does not make one a disappointment. God divorced (Jeremiah 3:8). And He applauded a Jewish man as being righteous for deciding to divorce when sexual infidelity looked apparent (i.e. Joseph in Mt 1:19).
So, divorce for a faithful spouse does not make us a disappointment to God.
God recognizes this world is full of sin, and sometimes His people must take a difficult stance against tolerating evil, which includes choosing divorce (e.g. Jer. 3:8, Mt. 1:19, Mt. 5:32, etc.). You are no more a disappointment to God than any victim is a disappointment to Him for being victimized.
Make no mistake:
Faithful spouses are actual victims of their spouses’ adultery.
Let the love of God break your “handle.” May the truth that He finds you precious and worthy of His own death on a cross permeate your soul. Let the truth radiate through your being that He knew everything that you would do and everything that would happen to you, yet still chose death on the cross for you.
This is love.
Our God isn’t into manipulation but transformation–i.e. in the security of His caring embrace.