About three years ago, some of our dearest friends found themselves in the middle of a divorce. It was awful. It was terrible. It was hard.
Divorce always is, isn't it? It's never the easier thing, even when we think for a minute that it might be. It leaves people, families, and homes in a million broken pieces.
The good news is that God is in the business of broken pieces.
He takes all the pieces of our lives, every tiny minuscule piece, some that only He knows about, that He can find in our deep places, and brings them into His hands. He cares about every single piece. He cares about the heart, the mind, the body, and the soul. He takes what He wove together once at creation and weaves all our brokenness into wholeness again through the person and work of Christ Jesus. Sometimes I imagine Him placing us back onto the potter's wheel, somehow making hard jagged edges and chunks, pliable and soft, lovingly molded again, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord, the Potter, stands back and looks at His new creation. He looks at us, once broken through our own sin, and sees us held together by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His tender mercies. He calls our lives beautiful, complete, and good, even though He knows the pain, He knows the darkness we have sat in.
The problem is that we are not God and we do not see the whole picture. We do not see complete, through Jesus-colored lenses. We still see broken and so often we like to think that we are exempt.
As Christians, we like to think that we are better than all that. We should get a pass of being continuously affected by our brokenness and that of the world around us. Once redeemed by the blood of Christ becomes “good to go!” jolly and happy. But we will always live in a broken world, which means Satan will want his hands in our marriages and in our lives. While he does not win the victory, he does try to charge forward and get as much of the battleground as he can. We will see and feel destruction around us, and yes, in our own lives.
We are not exempt from sin, from failure, from loss, from grief, from what feels like absolute destruction.
We are not less broken than them.
Our marriages daily stand by the power of the Spirit and on the truth of His Word. They do not stand on our own competence. They stand on the mercy of His grace, the knowledge of our propensity to sin, and the everlasting forgiveness we ourselves have received, moving back and forth between two people.
Marriage struggle will befall us. Divorce may even come to our door. We fight the good fight against Satan and his lies by remembering our brokenness together, reminding each other of it, and reminding one another of His ability to heal, to redeem, and to restore.
Divorce is a sin. It requires confession and forgiveness. We should fight for our marriages at all costs because divorce always hurts. Only Christ’s forgiveness heals. We can point one another to His truth, rather than our own comfort, but with love and awareness of our own sinfulness before God. We are only saved and healed in the arms of Christ Jesus.
May every couple we reach out to know that we also are broken. We also are in need of His Word, His work, and His intercession. May we remind our spouse that we are broken, we are sinful, we are a work in progress.
We stand before God in every marriage, every day, and pray,
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
“Lord, we are broken. You restore. In Jesus' name, Amen.”