Posted in divorce, Uncategorized

“My Real Mom”

nine-kopfer-297655
Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash

As my day working in an elementary school goes along, I hear kids talking to each other. They chat in the halls coming in for the day, they talk in the gym as they await the opening bell, they talk at lunch and at recess… Sometimes I overhear snippets of what they share with each other as they pass me. What kids say is at turns funny, silly, or heartbreaking. This essay is about one particular phrase I overhear that just breaks my heart.

We all know that nuclear family depicted in The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie, for example, have expanded to include all manner of blended configurations. Divorce is rampant. People marry and divorce for all kinds of reasons, and some don’t even try to stick it out. If a set of parents stay together over the course of a child’s life, that is the miracle now. Divorce is a violent act.

Kids chatting with each other will say, if they have parents that are divorced and one or both spouses have remarried, for example,

My real mom is getting a new job
My real dad doesn’t live with us

They distinguish the step-parent from the original parent with that heartbreaking word “real.” Kids know. It’s true that nothing can ever, ever replace the real parent. I’m not talking about foster-child cases or adoption, though the lack of the biological parent in a child’s life will also leave wounds, but different ones than divorce. I do not mean to disrespect any step-parents. I know you work hard to provide a loving home for your blended family. It’s just that, the fact is, there is only one real mom, only one real dad. Divorce affects the children tremendously.

As for divorce being a violent act, I don’t mean that people act violently after a divorce because they are in turmoil. I mean that it’s a violent act because divorce itself is a violent act. In the secular world we know that divorces at best are almost always emotion-filled, bitter experiences. At worst, they are war. And it IS a war, in the flesh on earth, for booty (furniture) and for territory (house) and for captives (children.) It’s also a spiritual war in the celestial realms to directly attack one of the most important foundations Jesus laid down: the family. Let’s look at the language the Bible uses:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Cleave is to adhere, cling, or stick fast. If you use wood glue and then after it dries, if you want to separate the two pieces that you made into one, you have to tear it apart by force, and they never come apart cleanly. There are splits in the wood, pits, damage.

The oft-used phrase during marriage vows, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” comes from Matthew 19:6 NIV. The World English Translation puts it this way: “So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don’t let man tear apart.” Tear apart. We see in Genesis that the man and woman (not man-man nor woman-woman) who are to be married cleave, stick, become ONE flesh. Splitting that apart causes damage because to separate something that has become one, into two, is violent. It requires tearing, pulling, splitting, cutting.

Marriage is a covenant between three people: man, woman, God. A covenant is an eternal promise, a sacred thing. God discusses it here, “You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. (Malachi 2:14). Satan hates any and all Godly covenants. Therefore marriage and the family become prime targets for satan’s evil will to be done

So why is divorce so violent? Satan is behind it. God said: “I hate divorce…” (Malachi 2:16). What God loves, satan hates. What God hates, satan loves.

John MacArthur on the scriptures regarding divorce:

In Matthew 19, Jesus states that God ordained the institution of marriage, and He has decreed that in every marriage, the husband and wife are to become one for life. Divorce destroys the marriage and thus breaks asunder a union God Himself has established (Mark 10:9). “I hate divorce,” says the Lord (Mal. 2:16). Jesus’ teaching on divorce is clear. He restricted divorce under most circumstances, and He forbade the remarriage of those who divorce on improper grounds, calling such remarriage adultery (Matthew 5:32). … So God’s utter hatred of divorce is very clear in Scripture. Nonetheless, there are two extraordinary cases in which Scripture teaches that God does permit divorced people to remarry.

Those cases are if the spouse commits adultery and if the unbelieving spouse abandons the believer. (1 Corinthians 7:14). That’s it. God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16).

When two people are united, they become one flesh. Ripping apart one flesh back into two is painful and creates wounds, deep wounds. It seems strange in my 58 years of life I’ve watched divorce go from a stigma whispered about to an almost respectable sin, as Jerry Bridges had termed the so-called lighter sins, such as gossip or worry.

We Christians talk a lot about homosexuality, and also hammer on about pre-marital sex. But divorce is an event that occurs under the umbrella of sins, too. So many casually divorced people sit in the pews, remarried to boot, with few words said about this sin. If a believing spouse has divorced for a reason not listed above, he is in sin. If a spouse has remarried after a spiritually illegal divorce, he remains in sin.

Someday, children will not describe their family as having ‘a real mother’ or ‘a real father’. Divorce is a sin. It is also a violent act that directly contradicts the standards for moral behavior Jesus set forth.

If your marriage is on the rocks, Jesus can heal it. He ordained it, He witnessed it, and He keeps you in His fold. As His sheep, He has already regenerated your heart once from pagan to Christian. He can help you two get back on track and re-ignite your covenant love for one another. Here is a page of testimonies and resources of couples who had been on the brink of divorce, but who are thriving as a united couple now.

Further Reading

To a Spouse Considering Divorce

How Should a Christian View Marriage and Divorce?

Why Does God Hate Divorce?

Posted in children, divorce, encouragement, love

An Eloquent Six-Year-Old Gives Her Mother a Meaningful Lesson About Staying Friends After Divorce

From the Laughing Squid.

The Bible talks about having the faith of a child.

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:2-6)

See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

Matthew Henry explains the concepts here:

Christ spoke many words of his sufferings, but only one of his glory; yet the disciples fasten upon that, and overlook the others. Many love to hear and speak of privileges and glory, who are willing to pass by the thoughts of work and trouble. Our Lord set a little child before them, solemnly assuring them, that unless they were converted and made like little children, they could not enter his kingdom. Children, when very young, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, are free from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents. It is true that they soon begin to show other dispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age; but these are marks of childhood, and render them proper emblems of the lowly minds of true Christians. Surely we need to be daily renewed in the spirit of our minds, that we may become simple and humble, as little children, and willing to be the least of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits.

With that in mind, here a 6 year old girl gives her mom a wake up call and a life after her parents were divorced. Cherish Sherry recorded her daughter Tiana’s important message and posted it on her Fcebook page. It was picked up by other media in the last few days since the initial posting.

I’m so glad she recorded it. Little Tiana spoke of humility, of exalting the other. She spoke of friendship, and having a heart of love among family members. She said a world without love and friendliness would be overrun with people who are simply monsters. What good is it to live in a world of monsters, without love? Her point was love begins in the home, with extending one’s self toward the other and not lording it over. She reminded her mother that her dad was still her father, and not to be mean.

This family is not Christian I don’t think, but these are biblical concepts the girl is speaking of.

God hates divorce. But when it happens, the little ones sometimes must step in with insight and the faith of a child.

May the Lord bless all the children. This sinful world is hard on them.

Posted in divorce, end time, prophecy

Divorce is a violent act

Divorce results in the parties’ violent actions as seen here:

Man allegedly forces ex-wife to swallow his wedding ring
“Police have charged Darryl Alan Roberts, 44, of Fairfield with domestic violence, saying he forced his ex-wife to swallow his wedding ring. Police say he joined his former wife and another woman for drinks June 23, but they left him at the Bangor pub after he became angry. Police told the Kennebec Journal that Roberts called his ex-wife 16 times, then showed up at her home, kicking in the door, punching her, threatening to kill her and making her swallow his wedding ring.”

In Israel, an ex-husband murdered his three young children. “Itay Ben Dror, who confessed to stabbing his three young children to death on Saturday, apparently lay next to their lifeless bodies for more than 10 hours. During his interrogation, the father said the murders were premeditated, adding that he purposely chose to commit them on his ex-wife’s birthday as an act of revenge after she refused to take him back. Of the situation prior to the killings, the authorities told her, “‘Don’t engage in a war in front of the children; leave the war for the court.'” The mother said she has nothing left to live for. She wants to see him behind bars. “Then I”ll join my children.”

I don’t mean that people act violently after a divorce because they are emotionally in turmoil. I mean that they act violently after a divorce because divorce itself is a violent act. Did you ever think of divorce as a violent act, and the parties’ violence afterwards being only a visible side-effect of that violence? In the secular world we know that divorces at best are almost without exception emotion-filled, bitter experiences. At worst, they are like the situation in Israel with Itay Ben Dror who killed his kids. The language in the article used the word “war.” And it IS a war, in the flesh on earth, for booty (furniture) and for territory (house) and for captives (children.)  It’s also a spiritual war in the celestial realms to directly attack one of the most important foundations Jesus laid down: the family. Let’s look at the language the bible uses:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Cleave is to adhere, cling, or stick fast. If you use wood glue and then after it dries, if you want to separate the two pieces that you made into one, you have to tear it apart by force, and they never come apart cleanly. There are splits in the wood, pits, damage.

The oft used phrase during marriage vows, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” comes from NIV Matthew 19:6. The World English Translation puts it this way: “So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don’t let man tear apart.” Tear apart. We see in Genesis that the man and woman (not man-man nor woman-woman) who are to be married cleave, stick, become ONE flesh. Splitting that apart causes damage because to separate something that has become one, into two, is violent. It requires tearing, pulling, splitting, cutting.

Marriage is a covenant between three people: man, woman, God. A covenant is an eternal promise, a sacred thing. God discusses it here, “You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. (Malachi 2:14). Satan hates any and all Godly covenants. Therefore marriage and the family become prime targets for satan’s evil will to be done. Toppling the foundation of marriage and splitting apart a family through violence of divorce makes him positively gleeful. Still don’t think divorce is violent? Look at the picture of this house whose foundation has been washed away:

“Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.” (Luke 11:17)

Why is divorce so violent? Satan is behind it. God said: “I hate divorce…” (Malachi 2:16). What God loves, satan hates. Ruining marriage and family rises to the very top of satan’s evil to-do list

We know this end of the end time of anger and hatred and violence even in and among the family is coming. We were told: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). I wrote about the deeper meaning of the term ‘without natural affection’ here. It means without affection for those whom one would naturally feel affection for, like wives, husbands, children; those within the most intimate family unit.

Divorce begins because of sin, and sin is something we let into our lives. It is an open door. Wherever you live, city or country, if you leave your door standing wide open you are inviting thieves, varmints, and beasts. It is the same with sin. If you do not shut the door to it immediately, you are inviting demon thieves, demon varmints, and demon beasts into your soul.

Matthew Henry wrote “Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgment? but the day of the Lord will come.”

Christian husbands, now is the time of testing. Your marriage is and will be under continual attack. Cherish your wife as your help-meet, making the choice to love her even though stresses from this sinful world wash up against your marriage. Wives, love your husbands, build them up, and serve them with joy and grace, even as Jesus serves us. Make the choice to love him, even though hurts and wrongs pile up in your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to wash those wrongs away because love keeps no record of wrongs. Tallying them is an open door to sin. Standing up for the covenant you have established with and for the Lord does MUCH these days to refresh the weary souls around you. Stand, husbands. Stand, wives. Divorce is a violent and ugly thing, Let satan not push you off your rock.