I met with a sweet friend this morning who is going through a divorce. She has been married for a long time but after years of trying to make the marriage work, they have just decided that it is over. They are both Christians but just have not been able to find a common ground that both of them can stand on. There has been some speculation about the reasons for divorce and whether or not it is biblical, and even they have struggled with the latter, but this is really not about the divorce. It is more about how we a the "body of Christ" are supposed to respond to this sort of thing. We have hundreds of people in our local churches that are hurting in ways that some of us can not imagine. There are people getting divorced, people addicted to alcohol and drugs, there are people addicted to pornography, sex, and food. There are people who are on the verge of suicide or even worse, families dealing with a family member who has taken their own life. The list of hurt can go on and on.
In the area of divorce, especially between two people who claim to be Christians, many people seem to struggle with how to be there for them. People speculate about the details behind the divorce, wonder WHO is a fault, and judge whether the divorce is "biblical". The person going through the divorce many times winds up feeling "outcasted" by the very family that has claimed to love them. I know many time people just don't know how to respond, so they don't. But, I would ask this question...how would we be there for someone who has lost a spouse or child to death? In many ways a divorce is no different. It is in essence a death. A death of a dream, a relationship, a future. It is painful and lonely and scary. At the point when the couple decides that divorce is the only viable option all the other questions really should become irrelevant. It is not our place to play judge on whether or not the divorce was biblical or who fault it is that it is happening. And on the point I would just like to say that in my own experience with marriage any problems that Michael and I have had in our marriage are usually as a result of both of us doing or not doing something. It is typically a collective effort between the two individuals. That being said, I know that this isn't the case in EVERY divorce, sometimes it is very cut and dry.
So, as the body of Christ, let us not shy away from hurting people. And if you think about soemone you know who is hurting, whether you know them well or not, say a little prayer for them. But don't stop there, drop them a note, call them, or go by and see them and let them know you were thinking about them and praying for them. You might be surprised by how few people have actually loved on them that day. And if we are the body then that is our greatest commandment...TO LOVE.
Oh, and before anyone gets mad and feels that I am being judgmental myself, let me assure you...I am preaching to the choir on this. I am not without fault when it comes to all of the things mentioned above. I have been very convicted lately to really LOVE people and I am trying to pray through what that means and what it looks like. I am still trying to figure that out.