11 February 2009

A Rant About the Church on Marriage and Divorce, Etc.

Maybe I'm bitter - but I can't stop thinking about this, the bill of goods we've been sold as women. I just finished reading Vinegar Hill and the priest describes to the young woman about to be married her role as the "hearth" and the "home". What if the hearth has no one to stoke the fires? What if the home is more of a house, empty and fractured? What then?
I have been told throughout the years by well-meaning (and much loved) Christian friends that they couldn't condone divorce. They would support me through a separation - hold my hand, help me financially, even give the kids and I a place to live - but that divorce was never going to be an option. I have been in circles before where women who were divorced were whispered about when they left the room, tongue in cheek as one person would lean over and say, "this is her second marriage". Like I needed to know, be warned.
I am in a crisis so perhaps I will look back on this years later and come down on a completely different side of the issue - but for right now I am really struggling. Please filter whatever you read here through that fact. Right now I am angry. The "church" as an institution that would hold to this belief that I am less of a woman if I divorce my husband, that even through all of the hell I've lived and how I've tried to love in spite of it, I have failed. That I am a failure.
God hates divorce. It is true - but I know He sees what my kids and I have endured, and hates it as well.


  1. Julie, God is much more loving than we as Christians can be. If you just cling to His word, His promises, what He actually says and filter everything else that comes from us imperfect humans, it might make things easier.

    God knows what you have endured. He knows what you are going through. He knows your heart, your intentions. Read the Bible, pray, take care of your kids.

    Tell everyone else to stick it.

    Wait. Maybe not that last part! :)

  2. ^^^^That is exactly right. ^^^^^

    I pray your situation, whatever it may be, is met with love and understanding no matter where you go.

  3. Julie,
    I just want you to know that I am still praying for YOU in all of this. I have NO answers any more. But, I DO love you the person, NO MATTER WHAT befalls you, or what choices you are led to make. It's YOUR life and I respect your right to live it as you are able.

    As one who USED to pass judgement on all of this matter; I can not seem to muster any now. Bless you, dear one, as you trudge thru the dung!

  4. I don't think that a second should be wasted on a church's position on anything if it differs from Jesus's postion on things... He is close to the broken hearted. I was hung out to dry in a church when I started attending it as a young separated mom with 2 small children- but that was their dysfunction. GRACE is practiced by mature Christians, and that is where I hang my hat now... There are good churches out there to support you during this time, don't worry about the sick ones...

  5. God hates divorce, but GOD LOVES JULIE WITH ALL HIS HEART! I love you too, 'warts and all'! :o)

  6. I have read that,
    "Christians are the only ones who shoot their own wounded".

    I have attended churches where the Grace of Jesus is MIA. As you might know, I have been divorced TWICE. My husband Dave & I are celebrating (Yes, CELEBRATING) our 23rd Anniversary this year. God does indeed hate divorce. He does indeed hate what is happening to you and your children. So many times the "church" forgets who the REAL enemy is, satan and instead, focuses on the broken-hearted souls who are left in his wake of distruction. Marriages CAN work, if both parties are willing and surrendered to Jesus and His life changing grace. It just simply doesn't work if it's one-sided.

    I am thankful that I now attend a church that realizes we are ALL broken and in need of some kind of healing. We don't have it altogether but we are trusting and relying one the ONE who does.

    I am pretty transparent and I think it's in part because I attend a church where I feel okay about admitting my warts, habits and hang ups. I don't boast about my failures but instead boast about a Savior who has carried me through them and seen me come through on the other side.

    At a time when you need love and support the most, I wish that for you through the Body of Christ. We are an imperfect people but we serve a perfect God. If you don't feel the support of those around you the way you should, this is an amazing opportunity to allow God to be your "Abba Father" ("Daddy") and to be exposed to the deepest kind of love a human being can ever know!

    Hugs today my friend,

  7. I somehow imagine that God hates the painful things behind a divorce more than he hates "divorce". Hugs to you Julie.

  8. I know you are hurting, but as Christians we are called to look at Christ's example. I am not trying "to shoot the wounded", but God's truth is well,God's truth. Our lives should reflect this truth,even when our spouses life is not reflecting God's truth. I've been where you are,in the same circumstances, and all I kept hearing from God was, "your husband isn't being who he says he is, but you are called to obey me no matter how you feel." I also heard "Christ obeyed to the point of death,I call you to obey me in the same way."

    Philippians 2:8"And being found in human form, he humbled himself bybecoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. "
    Iknow you are angry and hurting now, been there done that. But doyou trust God in all things? Please,please,please Him to restore your marriage if your husband is willing to stay married..For better or for worse...Much love in Christ,

  9. To the last commenter I would ask this - are you saying if I am being abused - I stay to the point of death?
    This is shooting the wounded. You have no idea what you are addressing. I have been very vague here. Don't say you have been where I am if you have no idea where that is. We aren't talking about a husband who forgets your anniversary or leaves his underwear on the floor.

    Put your gun down and please don't shoot me with one scripture taken out of context and try to apply it to my situation - I am hurting enough.


    God hates divorce, but He loves us WAY more than anything else, any behavior and principle of living............I believe that knowing how loved you are by God would cause you or anyone else to stand up to being treated badly................anyway...............

    Teachable Hearts at Home, I am sorry you feel the way you do..........you are essentially judging someone you do not even know, heaping condemnation upon her when her heart is breaking and all she wants more than anything is to "do the best she can" - !! You are putting principles and right living above believing and resting in God to hold her and keep her. Jesus went to the cross for the JOY that was set before him - He knew that what He would accomplish at the cross would set the captives free, not just from sin, but from the law and from all the powers of hell and make a way for us to be in able to be in a love relationship with our God totally free from burdens and guilt!!! There is NO condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus!! You are essentially condemning Julie here, that is NOT God's heart of undconditional love!! Next time how 'bout just a hang in there, I can't imagine what you are going through and will pray for you!! We do NOT regard others after the flesh and the choices they make in life, all we can do is LOVE!!!!!

    Grace and peace to you JULIE!! Hold on tight to the ONE who is holding you and keeping you and madly in LOVE WITH YOU!!!!!

  11. Hey, Juls... I posted something yesterday, don't know what happened to it.

    Nobody knows your hurt, nobody has the right to judge, nobody has ever been in your shoes. The time for seeking answers or a "voice from heaven" is long gone. That Christians would ever make comments like "Teachable's" comments is why I am totally not a Christian. A God that would force someone to be abused for any reason is not a God I want any part of.

    Life is suffering. There is a way out of suffering! Take it and don't look back. We continue in suffering for no other reason than we do not take the way out.

    You know me. I say forget the platitudes and attitudes. Choose your life.

    Your friend when you need one...


  12. God will love you no matter what choice you make. God will not desert you if you choose divorce. He wants you to have peace, he wants your children to have peace. Listen to your heart, because that is God telling you what to do. Still praying for you dear Julie.

  13. ignorant people say ignorant things...

    i'm leaving it at that.

    love you girl!

  14. God's word is only as "accurate" as the interpreter, who filters through their own thoughts and perceptions. I trust GOD in you to lead YOU into all truth for your circumstances. I pray peace saturates you as you find your way through this dark valley.

  15. The older I get, the more I realize how imperfect we all are. I also try and remind myself that many times, people
    "mean to say the right thing". Trust those whom you know to have a God-centered heart, those who speak truth and life over you on a regular basis. First however, trust in Him who knows you more deeply that you know yourself!

    In my own case, I became pregnant at 16 and by the time I was 18, the marriage was over, he had found someone else. I remarried when I was 20, for the wrong reasons (my ex-husband was fighting me for custody of my daughter)still I tried to make it work, knowing right from the start that I had seriously messed up. I was blessed with another daughter but the marriage was over by the time I was 23, he also had found someone else. Talk about hurting and dying inside, that was me with my sense of self-worth ripped to shreds.

    I had given my heart to Christ while I was married to my 2nd husband so I was learning all of the scriptures about the sanctity of marriage. The problem lies when it's all one-sided (counseling, trying to make it work, commitment and so on). I was called to be a wife and a mother and my priority is first to my husband, then to my children. This is the ideal, the standard that God created from the start. My marriage to my 2nd husband was NOT a Christ-centered marriage. He flat out told me that he "wasn't going to church" and he wasn't "getting into all of that religious stuff". He also told me that if I gave up this "blankin" nonsense about God, he would move back home. We both knew he wasn't being truthful because he had a girlfriend on the side and it was apparent to him that I had totally surrendered my life to the Lordship of Christ. I believe he said this to ease his conscience, so at a later date he could say, "I was willing but she wasn't".

    Our marriages SHOULD be something we fight for! Their disintegration and the destruction of the family brings a perverse pleasure to satan. I also don't stand in judgment of someone in whose shoes I am not walking in nor have I walked in.

    I truly believe that as mothers we are called to do all that is within our power to protect our children. Are they being harmed physically, verbally, spiritually, emotionally? Do we damage them, all in order to stay in a marriage? What message are we sending our children? We will be held accountable.

    I believe that divorce is all too easy these days. I also believe that God grants wisdom to those that diligently seek Him. Only you know the entirety of your circumstances and only you can hear what God intends for you and your children.

    There isn't any part of this that doesn't grieve God's heart. He hates to see marriages end and families torn apart. I grew up in a broken home as well and I can now recognize how my parents' divorce influenced me.

    God hates to see His children abused and mistreated, whether it's physical or otherwise. Your current situation breaks God's heart!

    I believe in all sincerity that God can save your marriage. He can perform the miraculous and ressurect your commitment and love for one another. There is nothing that He isn't sovereign over! I am also aware of the free will that God offers to each of us. He won't force anything upon us even if the outcome will bring glory to Himself.

    Julie, only you can make the decisions that you need to make. I will pray for clarity for you that you will hear from God. I pray peace over you and your children. I pray protection over you as well as for your children, that regardless of what happens, God will hold them in His hand. Remember that we are an imperfect people loved by a perfect God. We are all broken and messed up in one way or another. God doesn't just love the self-righteous, He loves the rest of us battered souls just as much!

  16. Jules,

    Only YOU know what is the right thing to do for YOURSELF and your kids.

    This is YOUR life and no one else's.

    Do what you feel you need to and the rest will settle.

    I think you will get my drift.



Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥