Healing After Divorce For Christians

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The process of healing after divorce for Christians may be more positive than that for non-believers because of a personal faith in God. Deciding to end a marriage can be a difficult decision for any couple, but a believer's reliance on the Lord makes the process more bearable. In devastating circumstances, the Holy Scriptures and a personal faith in Jesus Christ are key elements in overcoming not only the social stigma of divorce but also the emotional trauma of a marital breakup. Human beings are basically all alike: they fall in love with hopes of making the marriage last. But recent divorce statistics bear witness to the fact that nearly half of new unions fail within the first ten years. Consequently, a growing number of newlyweds will eventually face the harsh reality that many Christian unions may not last until death. But the good news is that God's grace is sufficient even in the midst of a failed marriage. Healing after divorce for Christians is possible when former husbands and wives put their faith in the Word of God.

Marriage, as a holy institution ordained by the Creator, was originally intended to last forever. The Father's purpose was for one man to marry one woman and form a lifelong intimate bond capable of producing children. But because of sin and the hardness of man's heart, Moses began to allow husbands to "put away," or divorce their wives. Since Old Testament times, divorce has increasingly become the norm rather than the exception. Statistics of failed marriages among Christians has been steadily on the increase, particularly since the late 80s. Current statistics among denominational believers indicate 28 to 38 percent of marriages will end in divorce. Because of the prevalence of breakups among believers, healing after divorce for Christians is an even greater priority. The ability of the Holy Spirit to bring restoration and renewal to those who are hurting is a source of comfort for those who trust God and believe in His Word.

The process of healing after divorce for Christians should begin with some soul searching. When a marriage fails, no one party is solely responsible; either there were acts of omission or acts of commission. In other words, either one partner failed to do something to make the relationship work or committed an act that aided in its demise. Whatever the case may be, facing the truth about guilt or innocence in contributing to a failed relationship is a good place to begin the healing process. Once an ex-spouse can admit to the role played in the union's demise, the next step is to forgive the guilty party. But the process of forgiveness requires God's grace. The Bible is explicit in requiring believers to forgive before they can be forgiven. "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:9-15).

The third step in healing after divorce for Christians is to personally release an offending spouse from the guilt of marital infidelity or other transgressions. Sometimes people say, "Well, I can forgive but I cannot forget!" God is not asking believers to forget that they have been hurt, but He is asking the Christian to allow Him to ease the pain of rejection and carry the burden of a wounded spirit. As a believer allows the Holy Spirit to take away the stony heart, forgiving and releasing a former mate becomes easier. In certain cases, a child of God must also forgive themselves for acts of omission or commission. By refusing to hold onto past personal transgressions, asking God and a former mate for forgiveness, and resolving to move forward; the Holy Spirit can bring healing from the devastating effects of a failed marriage.

Renewing spiritual vows is the fourth step in healing after divorce for Christians. Because God hates putting away, or divorce, a believer who chooses to permanently separate from a spouse, except for the cause of fornication, is in a precarious position. How can a Christian perform an act that is despised by God? And if God hates putting away, can a divorced child of God obtain forgiveness? The answer is that the Lord is sovereign and He looks upon the heart and judges accordingly. The motive for marital dissolution may be more important than the act itself. Divorcing a spouse in order to marry another or committing adultery without regard for the husband or wife or God is a different scenario than a Christian who chooses to leave a cheating spouse. But only the Lord can judge motive and issues of morality. Healing after divorce for Christians must begin with renewing spiritual vows, faithfully attending church, restoring fellowship with other believers, and growing daily by a diligent study of the Holy Bible.

Making a renewed spiritual commitment to God enables the Holy Spirit to perform a work of restoration in the heart, mind and soul of a Christian recovering from a failed marriage. The Spirit of God knows exactly where the wounded places are and how to repair the breaches of rejection, anger, resentment and pain. He knows how to burn up the chaff of broken vows and shattered dreams; and He is a Master Fixer of wounded souls. Through yielding to the Lord God; forgiving and releasing a former mate; forgiving yourself from acts of commission or omission; and renewing spiritual vows; the process of healing after divorce for Christians can have positive results with hope for a brighter future.

How To Heal From A Divorce

The Holy Bible offers solid advice on how to heal from a divorce. While many secular texts focus on getting suddenly single men and women back out into the dating scene, God's Word takes a more holistic approach to restore the mind, body and soul of those who have been wounded by a broken marriage. When two people marry, their entire beings becomes intertwined and enmeshed. They not only share the same bed but they also share similar thought patterns, experiences, joys and sorrows. Whether a couple has been married two or twenty-two years, the dissolution of the union is very much like death: a living, breathing entity created by joining a man and a woman ceases to exist; and in its place lies a great void. In order to learn how to heal from a divorce, men and women of all denominations should seek the face of God, search the scriptures, and rely on biblically-based counsel. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

Couples will soon find that how to heal from a divorce is very similar to the natural process of healing a physical wound. Torn, bruised, and scraped, the flesh must first be cleansed with a sterile antiseptic to remove all debris and surface germs. Sutures or stitches might be required to close up deep lacerations; and a bandage is applied to keep germs from infiltrating the affected area. Finally, all wounds need time to heal. The natural process of healing torn tissue creates a scab, a surface layer of skin which creates a natural barrier between the abrasion and the surrounding air. Beneath the tough exterior scab, new skin is being formed, until one day the scab just loosens and falls off-- with virtually no pain.

In the spiritual realm, God takes the torn and bruised hearts and souls of wounded men and women, and washes them thoroughly in the pure blood of Jesus, removing all the debris of sin, guilt and shame. An individual who has gone through divorce is broken, bruised, and tattered and is in much need of a spiritual cleansing. Sometimes, divorce is a wake-up call to men and women in need of salvation or spiritual renewal. Hearts hardened by bitterness and resentment must be washed; and deeply wounded spirits must be bound up by the Word of God and constant prayer. Ex-spouses can learn how to heal from a divorce by finding a good Bible-believing church and submitting their body, soul and spirit to God. Now is not the time to seek a new relationship with another partner, but the demise of a marital union is the perfect time to fully seek a relationship with God. As former husbands and wives surrender their will and emotions to the Creator, He is able to make all things new again. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;" (II Corinthians 5:17-18).

Constant fellowship in a church or other Christian setting with other believers provides a spiritual covering, much like a bandage, that keeps the germs of bitterness and resentment from infiltrating a wounded and lacerated heart until it begins to heal. Constant prayer and study of God's Word creates a tough epidermis similar to a scab, to form an outer barrier of protection against future hurts while strengthening the believer's mind and soul. Establishing a lifestyle of consistent Bible study, prayer, fasting and forgiving equips believers with the right tools to discover how to heal from a divorce.

To fully understand how to heal from a divorce, ex-spouses may need the aid of a seasoned pastor or prayer partner. Part of understanding the healing process is examining wounds to prevent their reinjury. Through careful introspection and personal assessment, former husbands and wives can realistically assess what role they played in the demise of the marriage. A skilled counselor or pastor can help an individual in crisis determine specific areas of concern without judging too harshly. As the process of self-discovery continues, character flaws may be revealed which are difficult to face; but the healing balm of Jesus Christ can ease the pain of self-recrimination. Self-discovery often leads to a confession of faults; and ex-spouses may feel the need to ask a former mate to forgive actions that contributed to the failure of the marriage. The Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Truth, is like an antiseptic: as bitter medicine is poured into the wound it may sting, but the discomfort is necessary if ex-spouses want to learn how to heal from a divorce.

As the protective layer of self-preservation is gradually peeled away through personal assessment, ex-husbands and ex-wives can begin to experience renewal and restoration. The process of trusting others enough to share love again can be slowly reestablished. As former mates learn how to release and forgive themselves and their ex-spouses, the joy that comes from being made whole in Christ Jesus can be realized. Wounds from a bad marriage may leave scars, but one day the scars will be hardly recognizable; and the pain all but forgotten. By allowing the Holy Spirit to cleanse and purge from bitterness and resentment, submitting to the Word of God, joining a good Bible-believing church, and establishing a life of prayer; former spouses who have been bruised, tattered and torn by a marital breakup can discover how to heal from a divorce and achieve spiritual renewal and restoration.

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