If you are a Christian surviving divorce, here are six things you need to do now. Divorce isn’t easy for anyone, but you can make it easier for yourself by doing these six things.
1. Rest in the fact that God isn’t against you.
God hates divorce but not divorced people. God is full of compassion and mercies that are renewed every morning. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin; iIt is forgivable. The teaching in the church is sometimes rigid and harsh when it comes to divorce. People apply the law rather than grace. The truth is that we are all sinners and sin affects our marriages, sometimes beyond repair. Be willing to be accountable for your part in the marriage failure and then accept God’s forgiveness.
2. Allow yourself to go through the grief process.
God won’t instantly take your pain away. You can’t speed it up or avoid it, if you want to heal in a way that allows you to put the marriage and divorce into a proper perspective that will allow you to move on. This means you will go through the following stages: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, until you find acceptance.
3. Accept that some people won’t understand.
Some Christians will judge you and tell you that you can’t divorce, especially if you were the one to initiate it. Some people will side with your spouse and some with you. Accept that some people will judge you and you won’t have the opportunity to explain your truth to them. You will have to rest in your conscience before God.
4. If possible, use a mediator to settle your divorce.
The human tendency in divorce is to be self-centered and vindictive (James 4:1-2). The more you fight, the more money the attorneys make. If your spouse is reasonable and will be honest about the assets, you have a good chance to use a mediator, if you start soon enough. Find an attorney who understands how to mediate and represent both of you neutrally. You will save tons of money and emotional distress.
5. Don’t hurt your children even more.
As angry as you are at your spouse, you are the one divorcing him/her, not your children. Don’t use them as a messenger to your spouse or as spies to report about what your spouse is doing. Don’t talk negatively about your spouse to them or try to get them to side against your spouse. Your children will do the best if you and your spouse can keep them out of your drama. Ephesians 6:4 reminds us not to exasperate our children by giving them more than they can handle.
6. Build a support system as soon as possible and use it.
When we go through difficult times, we need people. When you are experiencing the loss of a relationship and all that goes with it, you need support. Consider going to a counselor, joining a support group, and connecting with supportive family members and friends. Find a church near you that has divorce recovery. Ecclesiastes 4:10 tells us that two are better than one, because if one falls down, his friend can pick him up.
As a Christian surviving divorce, you will do better if you do these six things early in your divorce.