I’m in the process of a divorce. Have been for a while, if you weren’t already aware of it.
Very few of you know the whole story, and if you don’t, please don’t expect to find the entire story here. Such stories are better shared over coffee or a beer than by writing about such life-altering things on a blog or on Facebook. Though I admire the people who publicly write openly about such things, I’m not sure that I’ll ever do it.
What’s been on my mind, lately, is how others have been reacting to things.
I understand the hope and desire of so many for things to work out… family, friends, and fellow saints all hope to see what is “best” for the situation. Yet when someone has dealt with something for so long, must accept reality for what it is, and has done so through peace and grace, it does little good to quote scripture and push obligations onto that person. Especially when they’ve been required to walk a path that meant letting go of their own prior beliefs and principles about such things.
Making the shift from an incredulous husband into a forgiving and helpful ex has been both peaceful and incredibly freeing.
I’ve learned a lot of things over the past couple of years.
- I’ve learned that as much as we’re called to forgive completely, cheap forgiveness is related to what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace” – which is forgiveness without repentance, without true confession or a resolve to recommit and repair. Such forgiveness does not build up a relationship. It may allow it to continue, but it continues on with a weaker foundation, not a stronger one.
- I’ve learned that even the wisest of people can be completely wrong and misguided in foundational ways.
- I’ve learned that religion has a tendency to make people feel empowered and entitled to tell you precisely how you should act and respond in any given situation.
- I’ve learned that the New Covenant of Christ is far more concerned with the way we treat others than it is with legalistic concerns.
- I’ve learned that our greatest strengths are directly tied to our greatest fears and weaknesses.
- I’ve learned that I’ve been as guilty as anyone for viewing others who have gone through divorce with eyes of judgement and condemnation.