Scarlet Letter D – When Divorce Feels Like the Unforgivable Sin
August 27, 2019
The Church needs to stop treating divorce like the unforgivable sin.
I want to be very careful in writing this blog because this is a very touchy subject.
I think it’s important to discuss the guilt that many abused women feel when facing divorce in order to get away from the rampant unrepentant sin that is causing them physical, mental, and emotional pain.
This blog is not justifying divorce, of course, divorce is an ugly thing for all involved. This isn’t about giving every unhappy person a pass to go file for divorce instead of working through their issues. Marriage is hard! Soldier up!
This is about a special group of women. Those who are not perfect but have poured out their lives to their husband who takes and takes and takes.
This husband is verbally abusive; he talks down to her about her weight, calls her names, says hurtful things and then claims he’s joking, he tells her that no one else would ever want her.
This husband is emotionally abusive; he never validates any of her feelings and tells her that she’s overreacting, he makes her feel crazy, when she wants to discuss something important he tells her that she’s just trying to argue, he cheats on her and lies over and over again, he is controlling and manipulative.
It’s hard for people on the outside to see this abuse because these types of men are usually very charming.
This husband is physically abusive; this is the easiest abuse to spot. He leaves “mysterious” bruises on her arms, face, and elsewhere, he uses intimidation to control her, he keeps her in fear so that she’ll never tell on him or leave, he isolates her from her friends and family, he showers her with love after hitting her to keep her confused.
These are not marriages that we should pressure women to stay in. The Church has made the mistake of putting the restoration of the husband onto the abused wife’s shoulders!
“If you love him like Jesus he’ll change”, “you just need to submit to him”, “you need to pray harder.”
Hearing these types of comments makes me physically ill. No wonder we live in a society where our men aren’t living up to the true authority and masculinity that God gave them!
I personally know a woman who asked her brothers in Christ to come alongside her to confront the obvious sin of her husband and they wouldn’t do it. They were more worried about offending the husband and pushing him away… which is not Biblical AT ALL. (Matthew 18: 15- 17)
Church, our women are fighting these battles alone!
Let me tell you, the type of mental strength it takes to leave an abusive relationship is immense! If a woman in your ministry had the strength to bring the abuse in her marriage up to you do not discourage her with a guilt trip on the sin of divorce!
Do not make these women out to be the “sinner” in the situation. God never called them to be martyrs for their marriage. The true injustice is the way their husbands are treating them.
Now, I want to speak directly to this special group of women. Somewhere along the road, something inside of you was broken. It could have been an absent father, abusive father or some other type of hurt from someone.
The point is this, they made you feel like you were worthless. They made you fear rejection. So you people please and pour yourself out until you have nothing left. You allow yourself to be used and abused hoping that your love will change them.
This isn’t how God designed marriage to be. This isn’t what God created you for.
Do not raise your children to believe that this is okay, just to perpetuate the cycle in their adult life.
Separate from the abuse.
Be wise in how you go about this, some men can become very dangerous when they lose control of their victim. Enlist supportive people who will give you godly counsel and protection.
Stay on your face in prayer, you will need all of the wisdom and power God can give you.
DO NOT FEEL GUILTY.
God loves you! He hurts seeing his beautiful daughter being treated this way. He won’t even listen to your husband’s prayers because of the way he treats you! (1 Peter 3:7)
You can not change that man, only God can. So give God full control of your marriage. While you’re separated work on healing your soul, growing into a deeper relationship with God and becoming whole on your own.
Never jump into a new relationship without godly counsel, healing, and seeking God first.
Many women sadly skip the self-reflection and healing and immediately jump into another relationship with a man who ends up being abusive in a different way or much worse than the original husband.
Heal what’s broken inside of you first.
Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. You don’t have to jump straight into a divorce either, you’re aloud to separate from the abuse to get a clear mind and seek the next steps God wants you to take.
I can’t say it any better than Gary Thomas, “If the cost of saving a marriage is destroying a woman, the cost is too high. God loves people more than he loves institutions.”
Please share this for one of these special women out there. <3