What’s Hard About Divorce

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Wanting to grieve, mourn, and honor the past like other tragic life events, but knowing it makes others uncomfortable.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Working so hard to make sure your friends don’t have to pick a side that most of them don’t know even half of what you’ve been through.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Thinking you have a safe space in a friend, then hearing subtle notes of judgment and condescending kindness. The subtle, veiled ones are worse than the ones who straight up tell me they think I’m a sinner. (Spoiler alert: I am. And I already knew.)

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Knowing that when a friend doesn’t have real mercy or empathy for you, it’s probably because there are parts of themselves that they don’t have real mercy or empathy for. Just wanting to show them how to love themselves as much as you love them. That they are not defined by their good or bad decisions, or what has happened to them, or how much they’ve obeyed. And God’s love for them isn’t either.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Seeing the friends who are really there for you when you need them — the ones you wouldn’t have expected — and having to repent about how you thought about them and their theology. This one, though, is a huge blessing in disguise.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Finally understanding grace, but still being able to relate to only seeing doctrine. And not being able to speed up the journey for the ones you love.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Having to fight the thought that everyone and everything good in your life will eventually fall through at some point, too.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
When it’s a “breakup” you mostly get sympathy and support. When it’s a “divorce” you mostly get hesitation, shame, blame, or pity.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Getting to hear so many others care about your sexual ethics and the doctrine of remarriage. As if your whole life and whole future can be wrapped up nicely in an exegesis of a singular passage. Yes, it’s a grapple, but it’s my grapple. I don’t need you to be God; I need you to be a friend.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
When you can tell a friend thinks they care more about him and his well-being than you do. I don’t know if the indignation or heartache is worse.

You know what’s hard about divorce?
Absorbing the pain of those who can’t yet show you the grace you need, and continually forgiving for the sake of the relationship. Because you know there may come a time when they will finally understand, and you don’t want them to be alone like you were.


Three better things to say to someone going through a hard time:

  1. Is there anything you need at this moment?
  2. You are loved and valuable. Your place in my life is not conditional.
  3. You will get through this. Here are all the reasons I know you are smart, resilient, and fruitful: _______________________. Here are all the ways I know God can heal and restore and work all things together for His good: _________________________. God will take care of your future as you lean into Him.

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