When I was married, and my children were little, our church’s children’s pastor moved from Michigan to Canada with her husband and children. We loved her and immediately missed her encouraging character. In her absence, the church hired a slightly less energetic single mother to fill the position. I didn't gossip or ask around about her marital situation, but honestly, I judged her for her singleness. I have no idea if she was divorced or never married, but I assumed, at the time, her marital status disqualified her for the position as pastor.
I know, what a hypocrite I was! Now, 10 years later, I’m a divorced mother with one teenaged son, just like she was at the time. And I know what it's like to be unfairly judged by other people in the Church, as a divorced woman who's just trying handle the circumstances that I’ve been given. Lesson learned, don't unfairly judge people's circumstances, because that could be you someday. Don’t assume someone has sinned just because they are a single mother.
I was doing everything right to protect my marriage and be the best Christian I could be. Although we had our behind-closed-door-troubles, I assumed my spouse and I would retire someplace warm and grow old together. But that would not be the case, as infidelity would cause irreparable damage.
If any good can come out of my own bad experiences, I’ve learned that not everyone will understand your life’s journey. And I might misunderstand someone else’s life because we can only see things through our own eyes. We can choose compassion and empathy or we can choose, like I did, to not see past my own nose.
Here are a few reasons why your Christian community might struggle to accept your divorce, and how you can work toward healing anyway.