It felt like a death.
But to me, it was not so much a death of my marriage as the death of someone I had once cherished. Maybe I was always deluded. Like King Saul, maybe she never really had the character to be my wife just as he never really had the character to go the distance as a godly king.
I remember telling myself the day the divorce went through that the woman I had married in August 2006 had died that day as the person I had met in college never would have gone through with signing the papers. She was too kind. Yet the person left was not the woman I had met in undergrad. All was left was the cruel, conniving adulteress–i.e. a person I would never have married in the first place even back in my most naive of days.
And I struggled with God.
I felt like I had let God down by not keeping my marriage together.
So many of the Christian voices were implying as much. They questioned me as if I was driving this train wreck instead of lying on the tracks run over by a treacherous spouse. These seemingly godly people had no clue how incredibly painful such line of questioning was. It tapped into this deep, deep place of spiritual anguish:
Had I failed my God?
Was He ashamed of me?
Plenty of people claiming His Name seem to feel that way about divorced pastors especially. For crying out loud, a whole denominational process I underwent implied the pastor was in control of the marriage to the bitter end, which suggested–to me–the pastor failed God if he divorced. They were very emphatic about “learning” from the divorce as if had I had more knowledge I could have avoided being cheated on and abandoned by a former spouse. That’s just a lie.
If you are a faithful spouse or know a faithful spouse who is divorced, I have a few words of advice:
Let them know they are far from a disappointment to God. He loves them. Like a good father who just loves his kids because they are his kids.
And God does not buy into “The Shared Responsibility Lie” one bit!
I spend a lot of words on this blog attacking “The Shared Responsibility Lie” because it is a source of great spiritual anguish and needless suffering. It creates a distortion about God’s heart towards faithful spouses. God saw what happened to them. And He is just. A just God does not blame the soul rape victim for being victimized. God does not blame the faithful spouse for the adultery or the destruction that follows including divorce. He is not wicked even if man is.
God is Good (e.g.Psalm 107:1), and God is just (e.g. Psalm 36:6).
Rest in the knowledge of that truth.
We serve a good God.