Although it's nothing new, divorce, both inside and outside the church, is an all too common occurrence. Nevertheless, I was initially shocked as woman after woman shuffled into my office recounting stories of their disintegrating marriages. While their heartbreaking situations all had a unique fingerprint, the blood flowing through the veins of each woman's experience was born from human suffering and broken dreams.
Discouraged, many women languish in their attempts to rebuild their lives; haunted by the uncertainty of God's approval, their hearts are filled with a prolonged sense of mourning.The fear of disappointing God often hinders our relationship with both God and others. Somehow, due to the divorce, many women feel they can no longer stand righteous, pure, and blameless before God. After all, doesn't God hate divorce?
How can the Lord be pleased with me when He hates divorce? Feeling condemned, we tend to withdrawal from the Lord and others, fearing their judgment and rejection. Too often, a destructive misuse of His Word adds further reproach to our wounded and fragile self-worth.
"I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel..." (Malachi 2:16, NIV). You would be amazed if I told you how many times this verse has been thrown around haphazardly. Exploitation of this verse can damage our relationship with God and cause us to turn from Him when, all He wants is to reassure us with His transforming love.
Yes, it's true, God hates divorce, but I believe a better question to ask is, why? Could it be that He hates divorce because it causes His beloved children suffer? Maybe our vision has blurred with the many tears shed over the death of our marriages and we've forgotten that His love is perfect and unconditional. Or possibly other people's narrow-mindedness has convinced us that God uses this same type of flawed outlook. Whatever the case, we mustn't ascribe human sinful behaviors and attitudes to our holy and blameless God.
Divorce cannot define who we are; we can only be defined by the One who created us. We are an artistic inspiration of The Maker of Heaven and Earth; we've been designed by our Father and filled with his Holy Spirit. Would we turn away our daughters or sons as they were grieving over a divorce? Of course not! Neither will our Father turn away from you. His love cannot ever be extinguished! The title of this painting by Bruce Summerfield is "For You" It wasn't nails that held Jesus to the cross, it was His love "For You".
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:11-12, NIV)
It is not our success or spiritual maturity which gives us righteousness before God (if our successes made righteousness possible, then Jesus' crucifixion means nothing). No, it's not the law that delights the Lord; it is you that He delights in.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (2 Sam 22:19-20 NIV)
Whether divorced, married, separated, or single, He is passionately in love with you. He isn't keeping track of your imperfections and sins; He is much too busy pouring out His grace and mercy upon you through His Spirit. He is not pointing the finger of fault at you because of your sins or shortcomings; He died for those sins. He wants to love you, comfort you, and draw you into His arms of truth and forgiveness.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! (Gal 2:20-21 NIV)
When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord, this incredible exchange took place; His perfect righteousness, blameless and pure, was transferred from Jesus Christ to you; He took off His cloak of righteousness and gave it to you to wear forever. Now, standing before God just as you are, you are wearing the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He see's only His dearly adored daughter, and your sins are visible no more. If you've not accepted His love into your heart, ask Him now, it's never too late; all of heaven rejoices over you.
"Then he calls together his friends and neighbors and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep'." (Luke 15:6, NIV)
Lisa K Osborn
Posted by Lisa K Gomez-Osborn on May 20, 2010 at 12:30 AM in Columns: Feminine Fire, Encouragement for Who We Are | Permalink ShareThis