opened; I believe it often is. In my friend's case, her husband cheated on her and then divorced her. Yet, her church blamed her for the demise of her marriage. There are instances of husbands divorcing their wives for physical or emotional abuse and having been shunned by their churches for this choice, because their wives were viewed as devout church women who could do no wrong. (If you are a Christian man who divorced because of your spouse's abuse and was condemned by your church, I hope you will share your story with my readers.)
In these cases, either of the divorced man or woman, some churches have taken sides influenced by gender expectations. The woman is either seen as a Jezebel or a saint -- not as a struggling human in need of grace.
I'm not claiming that all churches have a gender bias when it comes to divorce and other issues. My own church is a church of grace and not condemnation. I agree with David Instone-Brewer in his book, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church. He writes, "My hope is that the church will re-discover the biblical principles that divorce should occur only when marriage vows are broken and that only the wronged partner may decide whether this will happen."
Let us work toward healing divorced people within the church, shining a light on this issue of divorce and the church, and asking for grace-filled change. You can begin right here by sharing your story.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
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