Think Divorce Isn’t Really a Big Deal? Read This.

A shoe-polished message on the back of an old hatchback chevy broke my heart. It was a play on words, an irony, a defiance, but I knew it was tinged with sadness.

“Just Divorced.”

That’s what I saw written on the back window. It was over-compensation for his failure. It was this man trying to tell the world, “It’s not that big of a deal, I’m happy it happened. Don’t cry for me.”

It was a cry for help.

John Stevens (CC)

You know what the saddest part is?

Unlike his wedding when he was young, bright, hopeful, and his best man surreptitiously painted the words, “Just Married” on the back of his getaway vehicle, this time the man had to write the words himself.

There was no celebration, no one else to join him on this occasion. So he bought the polish. And after the paper was signed and his heart torn in two, he walked to his Chevy, drove somewhere by himself, and scrawled the words on his own car:

“Just Divorced.”

I wonder if he cried in that moment or if he lied to himself in addition to the world.

This is the result of divorce: aloneness.

How to Reconcile Your Differences

The first divorce happened in the first book of the Bible. It wasn’t between man and wife, but mankind and God. Adam and Eve disobeyed their maker, and lost the right to walk freely with Him in the garden. They were separated from Him, ejected from paradise.

Yet despite our sin, God is in the business of restoring relationships, not breaking them down. This is why He hates divorce (Mal. 2:16).

And this is why He sent His son to us. He wanted to provide an avenue for redemption so we might avoid eternal divorce:

[God] reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19a

Divorce represents failure. It means one or both parties broke the covenant agreed upon. But God will not count our faults against us if only we will believe in His son.

The One Way to Escape Eternal Divorce

Not long after I saw that dusty Chevy, I read about the disintegration of the marriage between musician Jack White and Karen Elson. Again, I was sad; a six-year (at the time) union was coming to an end.

But the couple didn’t respond the same why I did—at least on the surface.

Instead they responded even more brazenly than the shoe-polisher; they threw a party.

I don’t know Jack and Karen personally, but I believe that the “divorce party” was the same as the shoe polish: over-compensation. They didn’t want to feel sad or like failures so they threw a party to try and distract them from reality.

I’m not here to cast stones, but to make you aware of the startling reality: we are all divorcees.

We have all been separated from God, broken the covenant. We have all sinned.

The important part is how we respond. We shouldn’t celebrate it, or live in denial. Instead we must repent, and put our trust in Jesus.

He is our redeemer and the only one who can save us from eternal divorce.

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