re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.

2.13.2007

Divorce

I know... it's almost Valentine's Day so I probably shouldn't bring this topic up. However, the topic came up in Sunday School and I'd like to share my thoughts.

Most people don't know that Ed was married before. It's just not something that we advertise because it's noneya. Being that he has no children from his previous marriage, there isn't really any reason that the topic would come up.

When I was a young girl I *knew* that I'd never get divorced and that I'd never marry someone who had been divorced. Why? Because if a couple got divorced it was ALWAYS the man's fault so of course I wouldn't want to marry someone who had already proven that he couldn't make a marriage work.

Here's what I didn't know though (because it was NEVER said); sometimes the woman can be at fault for a divorce. Sometimes a person makes a mistake. Forgiveness is always available and grace abounds.

I remember when Ed first told me he had been divorced. My heart sank. I didn't know what to do with the information. But, I really liked Ed so I maintained my end of our friendship. By the time we started dating, the fact that he had been divorced had become pretty much background information that had no bearing on our relationship -- or so I thought.

Then, I went to seminary. The place where most often divorced people are scorned and treated as leppers. Then, to make matters even more complicated, this seminary student got engaged to a divorced man. *GASP!* How could I do such a thing?

While I was in seminary I heard many lectures about divorce and how wrong it is. I do not deny that one bit. Divorce is sin. God hates divorce. Divorce is only permitted in cases of adultery and "the hardness of the hearts" (many say the latter refers to abuse). Because of the details of Ed's divorce, I believe his divorce was permissable (and no, he wasn't unfaithful or abusive).

I also heard many lectures and debates as to whether remarriage was permitted for those who had been divorced. Here, the water gets murky. Some say no. Some say yes. Some say only in certain instances. Some of my old seminary professors would have no doubt counseled me to break off my engagement. Some of them would have told me it was okay to marry Ed. I didn't go to them though. I searched Scripture and prayed A LOT about the issue.

My pastor at my home church would not have married us. I knew that, so I did not ask. Ed did talk to his pastor (who later married us and became our pastor). By the way, we were married by Pastor Love (really his last name). That cracks me up.

I believe there is always room for grace and forgiveness. I also completely understand that remarriage is a murky area and that some people hold the personal conviction that they cannot marry someone who has been divorced. I do not hold that against them, but I do pray that they would approach the issue with grace and love.

Divorce is not a murky issue. It's an abomination. However, it's no more an abomination than telling a lie or gluttony or jealousy or anger or murder.

If we, as Christians fail to extend God's grace to someone because we deem their sin worse than our own sin, then we truly do not understand grace.

And for the record grace doesn't mean ignoring sin or not ever confronting someone on it.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Lacey said...

please e-mail me, I have misplaced your e-mail address and I need to e-mail you directions....

Lacey
lacey@mesarchik.com

3:57 PM

 

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