What does it mean to “move on?”
I am not a self-help guru. I simply read my Bible and apply it to my own life. Please understand that this is meant to be a reflection of my own life and hopefully you will find comfort and solace in the words here. I pray for everyone reading this that your relationships heal and become more Christ-like every day.
I’ve been living on my own for quite a while now. But that wasn’t always the case. I was married for almost 18 years (yes, to the same woman). Although I am not going to vent about the divorce, I do feel that there is a topic that everyone who has been through a divorce eventually confronts: When is it time to move on and how do I do that? The pain never goes away. Even during times of absolute joy, tears of pain are just a simple memory away.
The other day I was sitting in a meeting and looked up at one of my bosses and I could have sworn my ex-wife was sitting across from me. I probably creeped her out by staring for an inordinate amount of time. But I couldn’t help but stare. She looked, had the same facial expressions, and even used a lot of the same words as my ex used to. I immediately became solemn and withdrawn.
So what does the Bible tell me about how to move on after my divorce? First and foremost, I need to remember that God does NOT like divorce. Matthew 19:6 says, “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” God expects a married couple to remain together until they are called home to heaven.
But unfortunately, Satan gets in the way and we as humans make the choice to listen to Satan rather than God. And when this happens, our marriages end. That is what happened to my marriage. Satan was given a foothold and the marriage ended.
So now I am on my own. How do I pick up the pieces and move on?
The first thing I found in the Bible is that I need to experience the pain. Many times we human beings feel we need to numb the pain. Go out with some hot chick and just have an exciting night of, well, you get the idea. And I can’t say that I haven’t given in to that desire. But rather than numb the pain, the Bible calls us to experience it. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 clearly explains that pain brings us into repentance. No matter what happened, no divorce is one sided. There are ALWAYS examples on both sides that need repentance. Pain brings us to that point.
Next, give everything you are and have to God. A friend of mine once said, “it is ok to sit on the pity potty, but don’t sit on it long enough to give you a ring around your butt.” Feeling the pain is fine, but if you stay there, you will never grow from the experience and could actually hurt your life more. Giving it to God follows what Hebrews tells us, “He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Also, Psalm 34:18 says that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. This is the very first part of the healing process.
Third, DON’T DATE! I made this mistake. I started dating too early. And what happened? Not only did I re-break my own heart, but I broke the heart of a wonderful woman. Relationship jumping is NEVER what God called in our relationships. A man is to love a woman as God loves the church. As Flame sings, “You in that relationship do you plan to marry her? Lover he like Christ loves the church til you bury her?” Being single doesn’t necessarily mean being alone. God is with you at all times. Remember Psalm 34:18?
Fourth, get out of the house. I joined a church bowling league. Not only did I get better at throwing a 16 pound ball down an alley at 10 scared pins, but I had the opportunity to build relationships and friendships with people who are in the same boat as me.
This next step is the toughest for me. Don’t try to force any type of relationship with your ex, especially if it is going to cause further pain. Sometimes, because of child custody, there is no way around doing things with the ex, but that doesn’t mean you should share the same set of friends and still go out like nothing happened. Remember step #1? Experience your pain. That should cause a change to happen in your relationship with your ex.
Be patient. This next step is hard for all of us. We are in an age that expects things to happen immediately. I immediately jumped on those dating sites. THAT was a mistake. I met people and numbed my pain. I slowed in my Bible study. It made it difficult to grow with Christ. Every person heals differently and at different times but it does take time to heal. Romans 5:4 talks about perseverance.
And finally, if you need help, ask your church. Churches are great places to connect. You will experience the fullness of Christ through His church and the love that comes from the people there.
Again, I pray for you all who are reading this. If you are on Twitter and have a direct prayer request, you can direct message me (boyradd) on there or simply leave a message on here. I will be more than happy to pray with you directly and/or fast with you. God is creating relationships between all of us, even in this electronic environment.