I had not intended to make my mission of exposing Pharisaical behavior in the church toward divorced Christians a gender issue. But, after a conversation with a divorced Christian friend yesterday, my eyes have been 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.
RH talks about in her guest blog post, Liberation from the Patriarchal Church. In her situation, she chose to divorce because of physical and emotional abuse. Yet, she was blamed by the church leaders and others for her husband's behavior. Somehow she hadn't been a "good Christian wife" in their eyes
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