Word From Pastor Christopher Brock
I was raised in a Christian home in which traditional values were very consistently taught. There were certain behaviors and acts that, in my young mind, simply were wrong. Such things as drinking, smoking, tattoos, and divorce were all behaviors or actions that were simply not something that was tolerated. Though my parents never really meant for me to believe this, I had believed that if a person was divorced then that meant that there was no way that they could be a Christian and there was nothing they could do to change it. I can remember growing up and meeting friends who were had parents who were divorced and I wondered why my friends seemed so normal and nice, and even went to church. I would think, "but if their parents are divorced then that must mean they were from a terrible home and family where their parents didn’t teach them Christian values." Looking back and considering my thoughts about this when I was young definitely shows me how truly ignorant of the world I was and how much I needed to learn.
As I grew older, I believed without any doubt that my life would be very similar to my father's. He was a successful business person and had married my mother very young. In my eyes they had raised a family together, always been happy, and were headed into a blissful retirement in which they would rest and enjoy the success they had achieved. To me, that was what living was all about, so I set off to follow that path for my life. There was never a time when I thought that one day I would go through divorce, and if one day I did, then that would mean that I had quite literally failed at life. In my mid-thirties however, that is exactly what I experienced. Like my parents, I to had married at a young age, however this marriage was against the advice of all those people around me and for all of the wrong reasons. I believed that it was my life and I was going to make all of the people see how capable I was and how successful I could be. For fourteen years I worked tirelessly to make everyone around me believe that my work life, my social life, my marriage, and my emotional well-being were perfect. No matter what was going on or how negative and lonely things got I simply pressed on.
When we do not listen to the voice of the Lord and we do not do the things that He is leading us to do, at some point, the consequence will come. When I was nineteen years old I made an “I’ll show everyone” decision to marry and fourteen years later here was the consequence. The marriage had ended in divorce and two children were now also bearing the consequences of disobedience as well. In the moment of time, I wanted to blame anyone I could for what had happened. Although, in my heart I knew that there was only one place to truly place the blame, myself. The reputation that I had worked so hard to build and maintain was crashing down. To me, a stable and happy marriage was a foundational piece of a successful life, and I had failed. I cried out to the Lord for help and He heard me. I began to admit my sin and acknowledge that I had not listened to Him, in fact, I had not even asked Him what I should do before. I had always made my own plans and set my own agenda and the result now was failure.
The more open I became to the Lord and the more I admitted my faults, the more I began to hear the voice of the Lord in my life. He began to tell me that I was forgiven and that He had a plan for what was happening and a plan for me. He began to heal me and restore me. He began to fill my heart and my soul, which for so long had been empty and hopeless, with hope and a sense of meaning. I got up after a whole night of prayer and talking with Him and felt as though I was truly a new person. I did not have any anger or bitterness about anything that had happened and I realized I needed to ask for forgiveness from a variety of people. As I did that I found that the Lord continued to speak to me more and more and lead me in directions that I would have never dreamed possible.
As I look back at my divorce, I can say that without the presence, the direction, and help of the Lord, it would have been a devastating blow to my life. I have found that I have learned, grown, and matured as a result of the experience I have had, even though it came as a result of my own disobedience. Not long after the separation and divorce occurred the Lord brought me into a relationship with a woman named Coria and told me He had created her especially for me and also that I had been created for her. We have since married, love each other deeply, and are serving the Lord together.
There is another part of this that must be talked about as well. As I had mentioned earlier, this divorce did not only directly affect me, it also affected the two children that had come from that marriage. Without any ability to choose what would happen to them, they were now forced to deal with the consequences of my disobedience. No matter how calm and civil a person may be, it seems that when their children are involved, it can cause emotions to be elevated. And, this situation was no exception. Though the children’s mother and I had said that we would cooperate to raise to the kids and put their needs first as the separation was occurring, when disagreements occurred, it often caused intense arguments. When these situations would occur, it would directly affect the children and it would also have an effect on my marriage with Coria. As I would pray about these situations the Lord would remind me of forgiveness and that I was to always forgive. He began to show me that it is possible to work together, while at the same time not compromising the convictions that I had about how the children should be raised and what they should be taught. As we worked more with the children’s mother and step-father, as we communicated more with them, and as we cooperated more with them, we found that the relationship we had with them improved to the point that now there is no animosity whatsoever between the four of us and we can call each other friends. We truly communicate and cooperate to ensure that the kids are taken care of as best as possible.
Just as a decision to marry should be taken with the utmost sincerity, divorce must also be serious. The Bible very clearly tells us that the Lord does not like divorce, yet God has also given guidelines as to when it can occur. No matter what situation you may be in, whether in a good marriage, in a hopeless marriage, thinking about marriage, or considering divorce, the best and the only direction that you need is the Lord’s. Seek His will and His lead in your life and do not go forward based on your own desires and understanding. So many of the negative consequences we deal with in life come as a direct result of our failure to listen to the voice of the Lord and do what He tells us to do.