And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
– Psalm 27:6, KJV
Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
– Proverbs 29:25, NIV
So, you are now divorced. In a million years, you never imagined you would be in this place. Divorce was not an option for you entering your marriage. You figured you would do whatever it would take to make the marriage work. Yet here you are:
It feels like a red letter. In church, you feel like you have to make an excuse for being single again. “I’m divorced because my ex committed adultery and abandoned me,” you say hoping it is sufficient to avoid condemnation and rejection.
And the feelings of shame do not end in church. In public, you are constantly reminded of your divorced status. All the forms ask for demographic information: Married? Single? Separated? Divorced? Each form is a constant reminder of the deepest and most vilest betrayal(s) you have ever experienced. It is a trigger for the trauma of soul rape.
If you find yourself in this place of shame, I can relate, and I have some encouragement for you.
I really struggled with divorce shame early on after it was finalized. In fact, this was especially the case when I started dating again. I was afraid of putting this demographic fact on my profile as I was trying to date another Christian and feared rejection as she saw the big D.
For weeks if not months, I would communicate with potential dates cultivating the relationship up to the point when I shared that I was divorced. That was when I held my breath wondering if that was going to end the relationship. Often times, it did. These Christina gals could not see past the label “Divorced” no matter knowing the “why.” Those experiences just reinforced the shame and rejection for me.
But I refused to let shame win. The shame of my divorce was not mine to bear. I was the faithful spouse.
In the end, I decided to stop setting myself up for failure. I put my divorced status on my profile for all potential dates to see. If someone could not handle this demographical fact about my life, then I did not want to bother wasting my emotional energy on communicating with them.
I had come to a point of acceptance.
This is something I want to highlight. Personally, the shame we feel is shame we often hold for ourselves. We agree–in part–with the lies that we deserve to be rejected or are “sloppy seconds.” Those are lies from the pit of Hell. We are top-shelf people, faithful spouses!
Yes, some people will pile on the shame–more on that later. But I suspect we do not need other people to shame us as we are busy enough doing it to ourselves. We set ourselves up for failure like I did in my early dating experiences. Satan’s destructive lies keep playing in heads as we give into agreement with falsehoods about ourselves.
It is true. I did not want the label “Divorced.” But it happened.
Nothing will ever change the fact that it is part of my personal history.
I encourage you to stop investing emotional energy in fighting historical facts. It is futile. You will only make yourself miserable. I know as I did this for far too long.
Being divorced does not mean you are worthy of rejection.
Do not agree with Satan’s lies and do not surround yourself with people who feed this demonic tactic of destruction. Know you are a very valuable person–worth Christ’s blood. And you have proven yourself as a overcomer having overcome the most traumatic betrayal known to human relationships–i.e. adultery discovery and divorce. You’ve got grit.
This is the second part of my encouragement.
Some people will reject you simply because you are divorced. They cannot handle it. Such behavior says a lot about them, not you. Remember that.
God does not reject you.
He does not view you as a “Class B” Christian for being divorced following your spouse’s infidelity.