(CC) Carolyne Call–Spiritual cul-de-sac: How the church fails the divorced

If and when divorce happens, it usually comes as a surprise. I have yet to meet a married couple that expects to get divorced. For most of us, the marriage vows are part of a sacred ritual surrounded by scripture, prayer and blessing….To me, this was the most mysterious aspect of divorce. How could these words spoken before God no longer hold any truth? It’s a question that’s rarely discussed. Instead I heard unsolicited and unwanted answers to the unasked question, “Why did my marriage end?” Well-intentioned people would say, “Every marriage has its struggles,” as if my divorce came about because we couldn’t agree on the children’s bedtime. The underlying message was, “you took the easy way out,” “you’ve given up” or “you obviously didn’t try hard enough.”

These people assumed that divorce is a kind of cheating; in other words, if we had taken our marriage seriously enough, it would have worked. This assumption glosses over the fractured, damaged and sinful reality of human life. Divorce among God’s people is a fact. Even though we strive for a spiritual ideal, marriages can fail. Contrary to some conventional wisdom, divorce is not easy, and for most of us it is not entered into lightly.

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One comment on “(CC) Carolyne Call–Spiritual cul-de-sac: How the church fails the divorced

  1. Brian of Maryland says:

    Before her divorce I question whether she reached out to divorcing persons. Perhaps she did. I suspect not. Therefore she makes suggestions for behaviors she likely lacked before experiencing it herself. Wisdom comes through pain. Unfortunately it’s the only school that can teach those lessons. She’s now in a unique position to start an outreach within her community of faith or for the larger community around her. Rather than suggesting what others may now do, I would ask her, “What is God saying to you and what will you do about it?” Blaming the pastor or community for actions she herself likely engaged won’t help anyone.