Some people have a misconception about me. Maybe, they have that same misconception about professional athletes in general – that we don’t take our relationships seriously. Someone might point to my divorce to prove that, but as a man of faith, I’ve wanted to talk openly about the reality of divorce and how I feel about it for a long time.
The idea that divorce was an easy decision for me couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, divorce was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Where I should have been the leader of a home and of a family, I instead ended up walking away. It’s no justification, but it’s the truth when I say I rushed into something prematurely. I was unhealed and thought that the badge of honor that marriage had to offer me could validate who I wanted to be as a man. I thought marriage would fill the holes in me or in my faith, when really I needed to fill those cracks before I committed to someone else. I also thought I could handle a decision of this magnitude on my own, but what I really needed was wise counsel around me that I was willing to submit to.
No one ever plans to get divorced, but in a culture that openly accepts divorce as a common outcome, it’s important to me to highlight the reality of divorce in the Bible and in my own experience.
I thought that the badge of honor that marriage had to offer me could validate who I wanted to be as a man.
The aftermath of the divorce ended up hurting not just me, but the woman I married, and the family I chose to break apart. As a Christian, the healing and repentance that follows divorce is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s like ripping apart something that was welded together – it hurts. The shame and guilt that came with it was a heavy burden and the reality of what Scripture says about marriage weighed on me.
The Bible is clear that marriage is once and for all, except for in cases of abuse or infidelity, and neither of those were happening in our marriage (Matthew 5). I knew what God thought about divorce and that if I chose this route I would be choosing disobedience. Disobedience always has consequences on the heart and for a long time, I had to work through the reality that I was not choosing God’s best for me. I was directly working against what He had put together. But that’s the thing about life with God, it often holds the reality of both, and.
God is both just and gracious.
God holds us accountable and he puts the pieces back together.
God teaches us and comforts us.
Life with God is a life of real accountability and a life of radical grace.
At the same time that I had to deal with the consequences of my divorce, in God’s mercy and kindness He redeemed my story. God is a God who redeems, restores and remains faithful to me even when I’m not faithful to Him. I’m living proof of that.
Even though I’m free from so much of the shame I was living with in that season following divorce, there are still days I feel like I’m walking around with a scarlet D on my chest and I have to resubmit my cares to God. But that’s the reality of healing.
Next week, I want to talk about some of the real hardships of divorce in my life, like the impact of that on my son. But I’m also excited to talk about the healing that’s come out of it, and what’s next for me. I want to be clear though: I do not condone divorce. This post is about God’s radical grace, divorce is not a death sentence, but it is a deep wound and act of disobedience that I had to reckon with. I am not a hypocrite but I hope to encourage marriages that are struggling to not give up and to even prevent potential engagements from ending in disaster. The heartache and pain of divorce is real and excruciating.
I hope to encourage marriages that are struggling to not give up, and to even prevent potential engagements from ending in disaster.
God brought me through this impossible season, but if I could go back I would have rather considered the depth and seriousness of it all before I took the step of marriage. I don't know where you're at if you're reading this, but I pray it offers you a word of caution, and a word of hope.