When Divorce is Right
When Divorce is Right
WHY ANOTHER BOOK ON DIVORCE?
F or the first time in my pastoral life I said, "Get out! Get out for your life's sake, for your children's sake, and for God's sake. Mrs. A, Get out! " I could not believe what I was hearing coming out of my own mouth. I confess, I had said those words in my mind before, but never out loud.
She came to our Church through the youth group, and served in the church where Sheryl and I first entered full-time local Church ministry. In the work place she excelled at her job. He was strong, well-built and handsome - and professed to be a Christ follower. But he lived on the wild side of life and exhibited behaviors that raised all kinds of red flags. She, like far too many 'good' Christian girls, got pregnant. Wanting a marriage that would honor God, she set up counseling in accordance to my request and church policy. He never came with her - not one time; there was always an excuse. Reluctantly, I refused to do the wedding.
Miss A meant the world to Sheryl and me, but I just could not in good conscience say, "I'll officiate your wedding." Miss A went to the pastor of the church she was attending. He counseled against the wedding, as did I, but what was he to do - she was pregnant and they wanted to get married.
I can still hear her words - they ring loudly in my ears, "I knew it was wrong walking down the aisle."
The marriage was hell on earth, if there is such a thing. (Let's take a Holy Ghost detour, or maybe it's a JBS detour, but whatever it is, it's worth going there. I don't believe anything we go through in this life can compare to Hell. Seriously! There is a reason why Jesus died and it wasn't to provide another way, it was to give man a way out, a way to escape the eternal jaws of a place no one in their right frame of mind wants to go.) He beat her. While pregnant with child number three, he knocked her down a flight of stairs and then kicked her in the stomach, cursing and calling her every foul name not found in the dictionary. When he would become abusive, which was far too often, the two other children would scream out, "Mommy, Mommy!" Words that should be warmly delightful were, in this case, milk-curdling and terrifying.
The Hebrew word is Selah, essentially meaning, "Meditate on what was just said." What child could go unscathed having such memories indelibly etched into the deepest recesses of his or her mind?
Josh McDowell in his booklet My Journey . . . from Skepticism to Faith , which describes his childhood and how he came to know Christ, recounts that at the age of eleven he had premeditated his father's murder over and over again. He had seen his father beat his mother mercilessly too many times. "There was only one person I hated more than God," Josh recalls, "my dad."
As you can imagine, there's so much more to Mrs. A's story - infidelity, abandonment, and, lest I be remiss, "high-jacking the call." Could Mrs. A really fulfill her calling of a mother training her children "in the way they should go" in that environment? Yes, there are times - I wish I did not have to say it - when divorce is right .
Today, God has brought into the life of Mrs. A a wonderful, loving husband and father. The family still wrestles with the damage done to the children by her first husband, but God has been faithful and honored Mrs. A's pursuit of Him. She still attends the church she attended as a young teen when I was its Youth Director, serves faithfully sharing Christ, connecting people, and serving others. Yes, God majors in the impossible. He loves turning the uglies of life into something beautiful; and when we let Him, He finds the plus in a pile of minuses.
I must admit, it is with reluctance and great trepidation that I write, When Divorce is Right , not because I believe what I pen is wrong, but because in divorce everyone