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Divorce! A Point of Redemption!

Divorce is NOT the Sin!

Here are a few Random Thoughts from a Bald Headed Texas Cowboy and Recovering Bapticostal Minister Turned Therapist Type . . .

Many years ago when I was 15 years of age, my parents divorced – at a time when divorce still carried sets of moral, religious and social labels meant to shame all involved. To top it off, my dad was a preacher – so a double whammy!

I recall going to my first Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp that summer after my sophomore year in high school. While there I struggled intensely with all of those labels that had been applied to my family and surreptitiously to me. I struggled with the words that divorce was a sin . . . period! Everyone who had ever talked about it told me that! And further . . . remarriage was an even more heinous sin! I looked out on a seemingly bleak future with fear, guilt and shame.

Through the years since that pivotal time I came to terms with all the issues as best I could . . .

Recently, that old line of religious interpretation surfaced again as I read articles on divorce and its effects on families. It appears that those messages of shame and denigration have survived after all. There it was – right there in front of me! DIVORCE IS A SIN! My spirit recoiled as I read those words.

As I sat in the wee hours of the morning pondering the issue I experienced an epiphany of sorts. In those quiet moments of meditation, these words came to me:

“Divorce is not the sin! Divorce is the wages of sin. If what the Bible says is true that ‘the wages of sin is death’ then the death of a marriage is surely representative of the outcome of sin and not a sin in and of itself. The sins are all the actions taken or not taken; words spoken or not; honesty given freely or withheld; time wasted; opportunities squandered; faith and trust destroyed; fidelity mocked. In light of this, divorce can actually become a point of redemption – an acknowledgement that sins have led to the dissolution of a marriage.

From this perspective, Divorce becomes a point of repentance – a turning from what has been destroyed toward something that is new and full of possibility. Divorce becomes a line of demarcation – an historical marker on the road of life that recognizes that something of significance has taken place. It becomes a point in time when renewal, re-creation, re-invention and re-direction can happen. It becomes the memorial service for and burial of that which was once alive and is now dead.”

We may never know all the sins that lead to divorce. We may never really WANT to know all the sins that lead to divorce. Knowing all the sins that lead to divorce may be immaterial in the end anyway. What matters is taking the time to determine what steps we take next, in what direction and for what purposes.

I don’t know if this is useful to anyone, but I found it at least interesting that these thoughts came flooding into my mind so many years after I was personally affected by a series of events. Isn’t it odd how the Ripple Effect moves through time.

May we be ever mindful of our intents and actions and may they always be based in that which is healing, helpful and honoring.

Peace!

This Christmas please remember those you know who have lost a loved one to death and consider Giving the Gift of Healing by giving Awaken to Good Mourning – available in either paperback or Kindle version! Merry Christmas!

Mark Hundley M.Ed.,LPC-S

Mark Hundley M.Ed.,LPC-S

Mark Hundley has worked with children, youth and families since 1971 – devoting 13 years to youth and family ministry; another 10 years to service in public education as a teacher and high school counselor; and the remaining time as a therapist, consultant, speaker and writer.

He earned his B.A. in Sociology from Hardin-Simmons University; his Master’s in Counseling from the University of North Texas; and has pursued doctoral studies in Educational Administration.

Mark is a Life Transition Specialist with a specific expertise in the field of grief. He works with individuals, families and corporate bodies to create and implement strategies for powerful living despite obstacles faced.

He is the author of Awaken to Good Mourning – a personal guide through the journey of grief – available in both print and audio versions. He is a co-founder of the Journey of Hope Grief Support Center in Plano, TX, a non-profit agency that provides free group grief support to children, adolescents and their parents or adult caregivers as they learn to mourn the death or impending death of a loved one.

Mark limits his practice to evening and Saturday appointments; supervision for Licensed Professional Counselor Interns; online counseling; coaching, consulting, speaking and training.

For more information about his coaching, consulting and public speaking services visit mckinneycounselingservices.com

2 Comments

  1. michscot89 on January 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    No wonder you wake up in the middle of the night…..that mind of yours is in overdrive……I like the way you portrayed divorce. There is so much guilt involved that surrounds divorce, all the “sins” leading up to the divorce. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for two people who have been married to rip apart and become individuals, the guilt is swirling around them I have to believe. To reframe the thoughts, and call divorce “a repentance”, having been beaten to a pulp, then to emerge from under a rock and get a glimpse of the sun, new life, new possibilities. Your thoughts are deep and profound. I’ll remember this always…..

    • markehundley markehundley on January 10, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you adding to the conversation!

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