On Monday, I touched somewhat briefly on how divorce has affected me. But I could write a series of posts on divorce and its effect on a child, at least from a personal view—anything more extensive sounds like a lot of work with a ton of research. So here I’ll just write from my own perspective and share some wonderful stories of how irreconcilable differences became reconcilable.
Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord. —Psalm 107:48 NLT
I’ve played at countless weddings, though not many lately. I need to get the word out. Maybe print up some business cards. Not only are weddings (for a musician) a great way to make some extra cash to fund a family vacation or new instruments, but they’re also some of my favorite gigs—if I know the couple and I know they’re committed to Christ and to one another.
One of my favorite weddings by far was probably the least expensive, the least planned, the least stressed over, but almost certainly the most celebrated union I’ve ever witnessed. I should say, re-union. This couple had been married before and had two boys, probably seven or eight. I didn’t know the family well, so I don’t know why they’d divorced. But the reason they came back together? God did some amazing work in both their hearts. There’s nothing like watching children watch their parents get remarried.
There is another couple that remarried, but I wasn’t able to be there for their reunion ceremony. I know the groom-again quite well, having spent a lot of time with him as both a pastor and friend. He has been pretty open about his struggle with substance abuse, and it has been a long, long struggle.
He lost his marriage and nearly his children due to his addiction. When I drove to see him in rehab and each time I visited him in jail, I thought of his children, whom he greatly loved, though it seemed his love for them wasn’t as strong as the drug that kept luring him.
But he has been clean for over two years now. Considering he hadn’t gone much more than nine months without a slipup before, two years is like climbing Mt. Everest. I pray for him every time I think of him, to keep taking each step up that mountain, especially because his wife and kids need him.
Closest to Me
Of course, the couple closest to me was my mom and dad. I’ve written extensively about my dad, who died a year and a half ago. (Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the tag “father” for more.) My mom and step-father divorced when I was about eight, but they reconciled some five or six years later, finally remarrying after I got married. They liked to joke that the divorce just didn’t work out.
My relationship with my dad hadn’t always been great, but I wonder what it would have been like had he and Mom not gotten back together. Surely we’d have struggled financially. I wouldn’t have learned as much as I know about home and car repair. (I don’t know much, but I could be entirely clueless.) I don’t model myself after him as a husband, however, because he never exhibited a personal relationship with Christ, so he couldn’t love my mother the way I want to love Cindy. But I think he did the best he could despite the handicap of a poor relationship with his own parents and his own struggle with alcoholism, something he also inherited.
Still hoping … a little
Another couple I know divorced probably six years ago. Though it seems unlikely, I still hope for a reconciliation. As long as neither remarries, I pray that God will lead them back to one another, that grace would flow like the Colorado that runs near my hometown.
Couples that divorce and later reconcile demonstrate for me how God never gives up. In spite of our failings and how we hurt one another, God’s grace can be made complete in our weaknesses. Divorce tears apart, while reconciliation mends back together. That is the message of the Gospel:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. —1 Peter 2:24 ESV