Beauty for Ashes
Inspired by The Divorce Dilemma: Equipping You to Minister with Grace and Truth by Ron Misiko and Ray Motsi
It’s a big, heavy, painful word that no one ever wants to hear: Divorce. Conversations and resources on this topic coming out of Africa were almost unheard of just a few years ago. We can no longer ignore this subject as it has become even more relevant recently. Some lonely people have been hurt by divorce and need biblical guidance. As Ron Misiko and Ray Motsi, authors of The Divorce Dilemma: Equipping You to Minister with Grace and Truth, said, “as Christians, we are supposed to specialize in healing hearts. Our churches have a unique opportunity to reach people in crisis.” This is exactly what Jesus did during his earthly ministry.
The subject of divorce is hard to navigate. As Christian ministers, mentors, and leaders, it is our job to lead the way and tell the truth in love. What does this look like practically? “First, we must avoid saying more on this subject than the Bible actually says,” Misiko says. On the one hand, it’s easy to become too hard-hearted toward divorced people. God’s heart, as displayed in his Word, is clearly one that is all for the covenant of marriage and against divorce. Divorce should not be encouraged, but we must be sensitive to people’s unique situations. Grace and compassion are essential here. Many pastors use the Bible to make people feel condemned, shut out, ignored, and unloved because of divorce. The gospel is as much for divorced people as it is for anyone else. Jesus deeply and intentionally loved the least of all sinners during his time on earth and called us, his imitators, to do the same.On the other hand, we must not become complacent about divorce. “Second, we must also avoid saying less than the Bible actually says,” Misiko explains. Divorce cannot become casually normalized, especially by Christians. The media constantly shoves our minds full of ideas about relationships through music, movies, books, and more. The media’s lax view of marriage makes it hard to see its true value as God intended. Divorce is not something to joke about or brush off as if it’s nothing serious. Marriage is one of the most extraordinary and precious gifts on earth, which should be treasured and not wasted, as the media portrays.
If you are divorced or are going through the process of divorce, know that you are not alone. God is with you, he sees and hears you, and he loves you. He has a plan for your life, and it is good. In this heartbreaking time, lean into him and all that he is. Psalm 91:4 says, “[h]e will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection.”
Christians, it’s time to pray. Dig into the Scriptures because that is where the answers are. Divorce is inevitable in our broken, fallen world, so we must be prepared to address it responsibly. This is a job for the church. We want divorced people to run to Christians for help because they know they will be joyfully received with the hope of Jesus. In fact, we should be seeking out the hurting instead of letting them come to us. Loving like Jesus requires action (John 13:35). You don’t have to be a pastor to care about divorce. We should start teaching our children about the biblical design for marriage at a young age as a part of discipleship. We all have a role to play in helping to end the cycle of divorce in our communities. “…God will use us to break the present generation’s patterns of divorce and church ostracism, to transform families, and to renew lives.” Do not doubt God’s ability to redeem and restore (Isaiah 61:3). He is able.
Do you think that the importance of marriage is devalued in our society today? This blog will guide you on how to start healing or becoming a champion for God’s grace and the truth about divorce in your community.
Want to share your thoughts on this subject? We’d love to hear from you! Send us your name and message below. Be sure to copy the title of this blog, “Beauty for Ashes”.