I’m embarrassed to admit that when I was young I had an unofficial policy to never date and certainly never marry a girl from a divorced home. People challenged it this of course, but being young and stupid was my specialty (only to be outdone by old and stupid now).
The policy was based on the notion that a kid with divorced parents had likely developed the “give-up” gene. Marriage is tough and the last thing I wanted was someone who thought dissolving a marriage was always an option if things didn’t work out as expected. I suppose I was influenced largely by being surrounded by what appeared to be good marriages. My parents, grandparents and even most of my friends had “normal” families with “successful” marriages.
What a sap! It’s not that these weren’t great marriages. By all accounts they were. I simply was never exposed to divided family dynamics. I had no idea of the struggles that all of these folks went through in their marriage. Good and bad marriages have to face great trials.
The most disappointing thing about my attitude was that I was judging people I didn’t even know. There could have been abuse of many kinds. Maybe it was cheating spouse that brought about the end. The kids in those marriages didn’t have any more control over that back then than they do today. I was being a fool…and not only because I was cutting my candidates in half.
Fortunately, God has ways of curing such lunacy even in the most stubborn. I truly fell in love just one time. She is now my wife. And YES, she is from a divorced family. The truth is, I forgot about my policy completely once I met her. It never entered my mind.
In no way do I sanction divorce for any reason except the most obvious. But, regardless of the circumstances, we should never judge someone who has been through a divorce. It is clear to me that I largely did so for decades.
The Bible is clear how much God dislikes divorce. Unless their was abuse or infidelity involved, it is hard to comfort those who have been through a divorce without ultimately falling back on God’s grace and willingness to forgive. Yet, how is that any different from a smattering of other behaviors we all possess in which we rely totally on Christ’s journey to the cross to save us?
So, just how subtle is sin? It sneaks up on us and becomes part of us without much notice. We see others and find a million flaws…yet fail to see most of our own.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” - Matthew 7:3 (NIV).
I was sure that I had buried this policy long ago. Sadly, recent discussions on the topic revealed that a touch of it remains. I don’t always give divorced couples a fair shake. It is only a speck of sawdust, not discernible to others, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s embarrassing and worthy of exposing…worthy of changing.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace