(This is Part 3 in a series on separation and divorce among Christians. All these stories include editing and parts of a bigger picture. We’d be wise to know that what works for some families may or may not work for others but my hope is that God will use these posts in some small way. Maybe we gain a deeper understanding of just how hard this journey is for some of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe it causes others to take a long serious pause before taking the next step in pursuing a separation or divorce. And perhaps it helps some give new thought to how they are handling their own current situation.)
Today’s story comes from a young woman and Mom who was in a physically abusive marriage in addition to unfaithfulness. In this case the husband came back from deployment with PTSD and began drinking and became abusive over time.
“I was brokenhearted, shattered into a million pieces. I did a lot of praying and hoping. My faith never waivered, although my hope for my marriage did. My mom was a huge encouragement to me at this time, and so was another older woman whose husband left her for another married woman. Both are strong Christian women. They cried with me, read the Bible with me and prayed for me. Neither ever told me what to do, because I don’t believe that is for someone else to decide.
They both led me to Scripture that was applicable to what I was going through. I trust God and His provision in my life. I know my child and I only need to rely on Him, not on what our idea of what a family should be.
I wish there would have been some sort of divorce care in my church. People to come behind me and say, “Hey, you’re not a failure. You didn’t screw up your child. God’s grace will carry you through. You will heal.” I have so much guilt, still, in feeling like I gave up. Like I did my kid a disservice. I doubted the divorce. But, through the process, I trusted in my Father and knew He has a plan for my life. I don’t know what to say about it other than I have peace in my life that I never had before. I talk openly to my child about it (elementary age). I told her that adults have rules, too, that God lays out for us. When we break those rules by sinning, there are consequences. I encourage her to call / write to her dad.
Unfortunately, he’s not involved, but I want her to feel 100%comfortable reaching out to him. We pray for him together, and that we may witness to him in our words and actions. We pray for each other and that we may rely on Him and not other people. Anyway, all that to say, I am still brokenhearted. It’s not easy, but my family has been a huge support system for me.”
My prayer today is for the women who are trapped in an abusive marriage that are literally afraid to leave. I have a friend whose ex husband is serving time for assault and battery with intent to kill. This was not on her but on his girlfriend at the time and it just happened to be the time he got caught. This came after years of an abusive marriage that was ending in divorce. It’s not as easy as we think for women to leave an abusive relationship. The sheer fear of “is he going to hurt or kill me” and “is he going to get the kids” is what keeps so many women living in an abusive relationship. For the record – and I’m sure we would all agree on this – but still…… It is never okay for a man to hit or abuse his wife. And it’s never okay for a wife to hit or abuse her husband. Ever. If you have or are experiencing abuse, don’t ever think you did anything to deserve it. We have all been guilty of provoking anger in someone. We know how to push buttons and we make big mistakes but even so there is never a reason to physically abuse someone.
Father, today we lift up the women (and men) who are in abusive relationships that feel hopeless. Give them the eyes to see their current situation for what it is. If they are unsafe and being abused physically would you please rescue them. For the silence to be broken. For the faith to step out and ask for help. That the abuser can get help and also have the eyes to see the reality of the situation. For help to be received. In Jesus Name, Amen.