I'm still planning to continue the "retelling the story" series... wrestling with part 3. However in the meantime, I jumped into a discussion on The Pangea Blog about divorce. I've had some thoughts re divorce (funny that!!) & was mulling whether to share them here. I ended up articulating them in response to a comment on Pangea, so am sharing my "comment" as a post here too.
Samuel Warren made the comment "Christianity is about love...divorce is not love, and quite frankly the bible does say that God hates it." I gotta say, that's pretty much the comment I would have made myself, up to a year or so ago. Here's my response:
a Christian, and have made the decision to divorce after 18 years of
marriage. ... my husband
suffers with Aspergers syndrome - a kind of high functioning Autism.
stuck with a difficult, often abusive (although there was no physical
violence) and very lonely marriage for so long, not because I believed
that I was bound by any "law", but because "divorce is not love". I
believed that to walk away from my "marriage" (inverted commas intended)
would be self-focused and unloving, and as you have intimated, against
the character of Christ. This is not to say I behaved in all that time,
with beautiful, Christ-like love. I was not able to.
January of this year, I saw a way forward, that I believe was from God.
I realised that if I took steps towards leaving, but did so slowly and
taking measures to help my husband cope with the changes, I would be
free, and he would also be taken care of.
In the months since
separation, I have seen him become a far better parent than ever before,
and cope better with "life" than I had previously thought possible. We
still have a friendship, of sorts (it is taking time to work things out
- for both of us) and because Aspergers is a social/relational
handicap, I think perhaps this is partly because he is now freed from
the demands of an intimacy he was never "wired" for.
marriage is meant to be a living picture of the intimacy God desires
with us. There are instances where the "vows" are taken, and the words
are said, but there is no possibility of establishing that kind of
intimate connection. Perhaps in those cases "marriage" is not love. I
actually believe what I endured was not truly "marriage", and I have
called the farce. Divorce is an ugly word - and reactions from
Christians have been... interesting! However we can never afford to
make judgments about others.
Oh - one other thing (this was not part of the above response)
Don't get the impression that I have conducted myself through separation and on the path to divorce in some kind of saint like manner. For a long time there, I really stopped "listening" and was making quite a mess of things. Still not sure I've got it all quite back on track. Also don't get the impression that the other party has been a total "bad guy". Far from it. I've seen him respond to this in a way that has genuinely raised him in my esteem. (and no, at this point I still don't believe a real marriage is possible) However the fact is, whatever I do, whatever we do, whatever the outcome, God has hold of me, and love still wins!!