I’m not happy anymore. I shouldn’t have married him in the first place. It’s not like I haven’t tried to make it work but I just can’t do it anymore. Life is too short to be this unhappy. You can’t tell me that God expects me to live the rest of my life with someone I don’t love. Believe me, it’s not like I woke up one morning and decided, “Hey, I think I’ll move on!”
It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my marriage. And in case you’re wondering, I did consider the impact it would have, especially on my children. Of course I did. I mean, I can remember when my father left our home–it was rough, but I got over it. Besides, kids are resilient. They’ll be upset for a while but I’ve told them that this isn’t their fault. Anyway, it’s probably better that they don’t grow up in a home where their parents don’t like each other.
I figured I’d catch flack from people–my family, my church, my friends. I figured they would judge me. I’m so sick of hypocrites! Who’s really qualified to throw stones? Who hasn’t sinned? What’s worse divorce or gossip? I mean seriously? Sin is sin, right? Walk a mile in my shoes and then throw your rocks and slip in your Facebook editorials. Besides, I know lots of Christians who’ve split up. Yeah, it’s shocking at first, like, Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? They’re divorced? But the dust settled and they moved on. Most of them look happy now and honestly, it kinda gives me hope for myself!
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Church, how do we posture our heart and lives toward someone who has chosen personal happiness at the expense of so many others–who has chosen self over submission?
I’ve been staring down the barrel of this dilemma for a while now.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND: I’m a huge proponent of GRACE. I’m a voracious consumer of it as well as a committed peddler of it. I believe the love of God is what leads people to a change of heart and I don’t think God gives us permission to nose around in someone else’s affairs and presume to think it’s our call to orchestrate their course corrections. I believe my place in the face of anyone’s missteps is on my face before God in prayer.
While I ardently subscribe to the message and power of GRACE I don’t view it as the faith-based equivalent of tolerance and I don’t believe we have the right to use it to strong-arm others into supporting all our choices. In the family of God, personal liberty has a corporate price tag. The bible says that as the body of Christ we are members one of another, built together as one.
I would rather err on the side of grace rather than judgment. While I’m still working this out, here’s what I’d like to say to any of us using our unhappiness as permission to deviate from God’s principles and provisions:
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I know marriage is hard–life is hard, but what gives you the right to pursue personal happiness at the expense of so many others: your mate, your children, your family, your friends and your faith community.
Please understand that your choices effect all of us. Know that your example robs hope from others pressing in to work it out.
I’m brokenhearted by the consequences of your choice and while I love you, while I’ll not turn my back on you, I cannot pretend that I agree with your decision. Though I won’t preach or lecture, I also won’t pretend to buy your rhetoric or justifications.
Do I love you? Absolutely yes–I love you enough to tell you the truth:
You will never find the happiness you seek outside the architecture of God’s provision.