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I am a child of divorce. Chances are, about fifty percent of you reading this are as well. It’s the way it was. Would I have liked to have grown up in an unfractured home? Would you? Sure, but for myself, I wouldn’t go back and change it.
It was that sundering of my parents’ marriage, coming at a vulnerable time in my life, that opened me to God’s love.
Not having a dad that cared drove me into the arms of my Heavenly Father. Oh, I resisted for a long time–even told someone that I thought Jesus was likely a space alien!
Can you imagine? I suppose there are weirder things (Hale-Bopp, anyone?) to cling to, but in a way Jesus was an alien–“He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” He was reviled and rejected by the very ones He came to save. Alienated. “Despised and rejected of men” as the Scriptures say.
(As a child of divorce, I felt alienated, too–different from my friends. Alone. Being an introvert, I internalized).
For me, coming to Christ wasn’t so much about propositional truth, as I knew enough to make an informed decision. Yet I resisted making that very decision until His love was modeled for me by someone who cared. Someone who took the time to see beneath the veneer–who was willing to draw me out.
In this case, a girl. A very hot girl!
Interestingly enough, though she demonstrably cared, and compassionately listened (even read my doggerel!), she made it clear that my coming to Christ was paramount.
My broken relationship with Him needed to be addressed. She was not into “missionary dating.”
Thus when the time was right, like C.S. Lewis, I gave in and admitted that God was God–and eventually got the girl, too!
That is grace–His unmerited favor made manifest to me.
So not only did I get a relationship with Christ, but also one with the woman who has been my wife for over twenty years! I’m still amazed!
I used to think that having Jesus in my life would make things easier, but in some ways He’s made it harder. Hidden things come to light, and like a surgeon, He takes my past wounds–our wounds–and operates upon them. He won’t let me be. And there is no arriving, but a constant journey.
And my spiritual health, and growth, is directly contingent upon that of those in my community. Of those in the household of faith. Of which my wife is the closest member.
Due in large part to my background, our road together has not been an easy one. Sharing a common faith doesn’t make our problems go away, and we both brought baggage into the relationship. From time-to-time, we rub each other the wrong way.
Due in large part to my upbringing, we are determined that our marriage will not fail–that our family will not be a statistic like the one in which I grew up.
I often wonder how likewise committed we, as the bride of Christ, are to our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we want this “marriage” to work, or are we constantly looking for the escape hatch? Are we not one family in Him (contentious though we are)?
Insofar as the church is concerned, what legacy do we want to leave for our children? Do we build a house together, or keep tearing it down?
From where I sit, the differences don’t matter nearly as much as what we, as Christ followers, have in common. That is unity. That, and love covers a multitude of sins.
It is easier to walk away, but at what cost?
Love doesn’t walk.
What do you think?
This post is part of a synchroblog in support of Rachel Held Evans’ Rally To Restore Unity.