My comment on a post at Empath’s (thanks Elspeth, for linking to this)
When I was almost divorced, when I thought I was to be divorced, when I lived alone with my small dog in an apartment with my family back min our large house on acreage against a lake front, huge pool and just paradise for kids…..I sometimes fell asleep on the floor beside the computer desk. I’d spend time reading alternately family law and Christian opinions.
So I’d sit there until I was so tired I’d lay to the side, on the floor, and wake there at 3AM, start another day. I realized, deeply, profoundly, then exactly why God could easily hate divorce. He must hate divorce. because He hates human cruelty like child abuse and murder and torture and the like. And there I lay like a victim chained in a basement I knew right then that there were men like me all over the country that did not want to be cast out from their families and were clenched in the rigor of excruciating pain…pain so bad one doesn’t scream so much as exhale loudly and moan loudly like an animal that’s been brought down by a pride of lions, alive as it is eaten.
That is where my first principle comes from. And I’ve been off it for awhile.
One of the things I had written 11 years ago during those sleepless nights was a letter to a pastor. It was hypothetical. In it I asked, “How would you react if I asked you to drive me to the motel where I’d meet my mistress, so that my car needn’t sit there at risk of being seen?” I pointed out that he would find it absurd. But, then he’d go organize food delivery and child rides for the women who were tossing good men.
Imagine, leaving me personally out of the imagining, a man wallowing in pain for weeks on end, expected by day to be the worker, the father, the man, and by night barely able to hold his head up. he watches from a distance as people line up to take the sting out of the divorce the wife filed. the church goes all mealy mouthed on it. Even all but his most core friends are afraid to render an honest opinion. And the wife sits in the pews on Sundays and holds her head high. The whispers in the hall are “what did he do?”. After all, the wife is righteously lathered up about those textbooks with chapters about two mommies. She volunteers at the divorce recovery group….and those kids….they are so lucky to have a mom praying for them and seeing that God in his mercy will see them through the divorce.
This is disgusting. Sickening. An abomination. Its why I write this little blog. It forms my prayers.
I commented… as another man who has been through this, and thought it was worthwhile reposting. But go and read Empath’s post in its entirety, and the position statement from John Piper’s church. In its entirety. For both are valuable.
The issue of living post divorce for us guys is difficult because most of the women are quite happy to be righteous and judge — even when we know that they are shacked up with the metaphorical pool boy or rockdrummer.
Piper’s statement on divorce and remarriage is about as balanced as you can get on the Protestant side. To quote
The remarriage of the aggrieving, divorced spouse may be viewed as severing the former marriage so that the unmarried spouse whose behavior did not biblically justify being divorced, may be free to remarry a believer (Matthew 19:9), if he or she has confessed all known sin in the divorce, and has made significant progress in overcoming any destructive behaviors and attitudes.
Recognizing the honest and devout differences of conviction in the church, those of us with more limiting standards for remarriage consent at this point not to make them normative for the whole body. Others of us, who regard this fourth statement as fully Biblical, respect those among us with a more limiting interpretation and do not require or expect them to act in any way against their consciences in attending, supporting or performing enactments of marriage they regard as contrary to Scripture.
All of us urge every member who contemplates remarriage to struggle in prayer and study with all the relevant Scriptures, with the sole aim of glorifying God through full obedience to his word. Consider fairly the arguments against remarriage and those for it.
This takes years: It may never be completely done.
What would be interesting to see is how the church handles it when some divorced woman sues the church demanding remarriage within it and against these principles. I think Piper would stand firm on this. But many do not.
One point of hope: the parent who is decent is the one who ends up in a relationship with their adult children, parental alienation or not. The one who does the remedial parenting post divorce and gets the kids semi intact to adulthood. The one who does the least damage.
And those of you without a divorce should note the words of Judgy Bitch: your wife has a loaded gun pointing at your head and she can pull it at any time. You have to pray that she does not, You have to pray that she chooses to remember her vows in the difficult times.