I’m not one to ignore anything. I tend to just go right ahead and bring it up.
So as we’re starting out here, I felt like we need to just introduce the elephant in the room and make him feel at home.
There’s a tendency to just let him sit there on the couch while we act like he’s not even there. But I think, when we do that, we allow him to grow bigger until he fills the room and makes us all uncomfortable.
Let me introduce to you to, Divorce.
Now, let’s take a minute, and let me give you a bit of background. I believe this is one of the most poorly handled subjects there is. Especially in the church. And before you compose an email to set me straight, let me explain.
The statistics say, that in our society, AND in the church our divorce rate is climbing above 50%. That means that the “broken family” is no longer the exception but our neighbors, our friends, and those across the church aisle. It’s us. That means that we are a society where there are equal numbers of failures and successes when it comes to marriage.
I have sat through countless sermons on marriage. Many, truly fantastic. I have also heard, each time, the topic of divorce mentioned. Yes, mentioned. We don’t talk about it much. We focus on why we should stay married, and how to save your marriage, and why your kids need your marriage. And all of that is critically important and so very true. It’s more than that, it’s Biblical.
But the reality is there are many of us sitting there who are divorced, who are going through a divorce, who are facing the possibility of divorce. 50% percent of us. And no one is talking to us. It’s as though, we’re that group that’s just sort of in limbo, the ones that, “well you’ve already done it so it can’t be fixed and someday you may have another marriage… but back to the marriages”. Someone needs to be saying the truth. You still matter. God loves you and your elephant, just the way you are.
My marriage ended after nearly 10 years. We had three little boys. I had come at that marriage from every angle to try and save it. And one night I said to God,”You have to do something, You have to. I can’t do anything else”. And He said, “Let go”. For me that was the ultimate failure. I was a child of divorce and had promised myself my children would never experience it. I had planned to live a perfect life. I had done it all “right”. How could He ask me to do that?
The simple answer is, His glory is less dependent on my success than it is on His grace.
He is able to do more through my surrender and failures than He can ever do through my pursuit of perfection.
Let me be clear, I believe deeply in the sanctity of marriage and that most marriages quit WAY before the end of the line. But we have to remember that those people living through divorce are not damaged goods whose lives are no longer as useful to God. Often, they are more useful.
When we change our perspective and see our marriages, our parenting, not as a measurement of our success in life, or a meter of our faith, but instead see each detail as a window to His glory, the picture becomes so much broader.
Yes, God can save marriages from the devastation of anything. And I mean anything. But even if He doesn’t, He is still good and you are still valuable.
Our lives are not about us. This is the story of a love so fierce it stops at nothing to pursue us. It’s a story of redemption and glory. And we are always valuable. Not based on our successes or failures, but only His grace.
My divorce, while the hardest time of my life, has produced more glory for Him than anything else in my life. It is the story of brokenness and redemption. The story of forgiveness and new love. The story of a whole family in two homes.
So wherever you are in your journey, remember He is there. You are loved. You have value and purpose. Whether your life reads like a lovely melody or a disconnected symphony. You are the sound of His glory. He is crazy about you and will use you for great things.
We need to be spending more time introducing our elephants to others and becoming proud of the glory in them. We need to be getting comfortable sitting next to them knowing that God sees them and still deems us immeasurably valuable. He knows our elephants better than we do and yet when He looks at us, all He sees is love. Maybe it’s time we started telling people they matter to God, not in spite of the elephants in their lives, but including them.
My prayer is your marriage is strong and that it produces great refining and healing in you. That it is a source of tremendous glory for Him. And that, if you are like me and you do endure the loss of a marriage, you understand FULLY that it, too, can produce a great and stunning glory for Him. You are still wholly LOVED.