Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Devastation of Divorce

A good friend of mine recently told me that his wife and he were separated and divorcing. The news has gutted me, in part because of the friendship the four of us have shared, and in part because I supported them in their friendship, courtship, wedding, and marriage. The end of the marriage is like the death of a friend.

What has hurt me even more deeply is that he is no longer a believer. He has taken a stance he considers to be agnostic, but has certain undertones of unbelief in and hostility toward the Gospel. He does not believe he can trust in the claims of Scripture or apply it to his life. He said this shift began years ago, and in retrospect I did see it. I had shared my concerns with him, but only too late. I had not realized how far he had traveled down the road of apostasy.

His wife has traveled the same road, but apart from him. I remember her staunch advocacy for the inerrancy of Scripture. I remember their desire to know all they could about the Bible and apologetics. Those days are long gone.

My friend told me that he did not believe the Bible or biblical instruction was necessary to live a moral life, and that he sees no punishment or reward at the end of life. He feels that to live for such a thing would be to cheapen life's experiences.

The sad irony is that this thinking is exactly what leads to corruption. He abandoned sound biblical faith and his marriage is dissolving because of it. Things may not have been going right before, but without the mooring of Scripture and biblical marriage commands, there was no reason to continue to fight for the marriage.

Each person operates under a philosophy. He or she must find meaning to enrich life. Why do we exist? If the answer to that question is anything other than "to glorify God," the impact of alternative philosophies will be far reaching. The philosophy is the earthquake that begins the tsunamis of life, which, in turn, wipe away the structures built for joy.

My friend and his wife have abandoned the truth, as foolish as it may seem sometimes, for intricate and dazzling lies. And their marriage is ending because of it. While I remain friends with them, inside I grieve for them because they are, after a fashion, dead. Mere ghosts who walk around in the sunshine. So I truly grieve three deaths right now.

My prayers right now are that, in desperation, they may look to Scripture with hope, and that the Holy Spirit would illuminate their eyes. Even now, it is not too late for healing of their souls and their marriage. I pray that the hardness of their hearts and the stiffness of their necks would be softened so they would repent of their sin and turn to their only healer.

I also take many things away with me from this situation. I have spoken with my wife, and grieved with her. We have talked about our own areas of sin and hard-heartedness. We have also committed to spending more time in prayer and Bible-study together. Our vows mean everything because God means everything to us. Without him, marriage is reduced a contract of convenience. We must not live that way.

Please, friends, pray for these friends of mine. Please pray without ceasing, even though you don't know them, because it pleases God for you to do so, and because you would want other believers to do this for you. Pray because we believe in a God who resurrects the dead.

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