So what does it meant to love someone who you are divorcing? Let’s review the second part of this passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Not Demanding. Wanting things the way you want them is demanding, selfish, immature, and often unrealistic. It is so hard to see things from your ex’s point of view during a divorce but your Christianity asks this very thing of you. It takes a great deal of self-control to put your wants aside and see things from your ex’s perspective however if you can do this, your divorce will go far smoother.
Not Irritable. Being irritable at you ex will come very naturally for you as just a text or picture of them is likely to spark intense feelings. This is one of those times when either your emotions will control you or you will control your emotions. It is normal for you to feel irritable towards your ex but that does not give you permission to act irritable towards your ex.
No Record Keeping. Forgive, forgive and when you don’t know what else to do, forgive again. Your ex may entice you to anger every day during the divorce proceedings, forgive them. Your ex may make rude comments or remarks on texts, emails, in person, or by phone, don’t return the remark but forgive them. Your ex may relive the past over and over, don’t return the record keeping but forgive them again. You will have to forgive your ex a thousand times during your divorce and when the thousand is up, forgive them yet again. This is not about being a door mat or letting your ex take advantage of you, rather it is about not letting your ex control you through your unforgiveness.
Truth Wins. You may not see the truth win out during your divorce, you may not see it win out after the divorce, and in fact you may never see the truth win during your lifetime. But the end of the story is that truth does win when Jesus comes to reign as King and you may not even know the full truth. So don’t rejoice when things go badly for your ex for you never know when things may go just as badly for you.
Don’t Give Up. Too many times this verse is quoted trying to convince the other person that they should not give up on their marriage. It is often wrongly used in the context of trying to control and manipulate behavior by saying that you should never give up on your marriage. But when this verse is put in the context of love, it is love doesn’t give up. Not giving up on your ex is not about the marriage, it is about your attitude towards them. Because you love them, you will not give up on loving them regardless of their behavior.
Don’t Lose Faith. Having faith in your ex is having faith that their intentions, however horrible they may have been at one time, are honorable now. Again, if evidence proves to the contrary and your ex’s intentions are not good, you don’t have to keep expecting a different more hopeful result. But you can remain faithful in love and with good distance that one day the tide will turn and there will be closure and restoration of a limited relationship.
Hopeful. Love is hopeful that in the end all things, issues, differences, struggles, frustrations, troubles, and relationships will be resolved. Our hope is not in this world or in this lifetime, rather it is a hope and promise in meeting your Creator and spending all Eternity with Him. Keep your perspective big picture instead of little picture and your ability to remain hopeful will return. By the way, the hope for the future includes spending all of Eternity with your ex and if you have not prayed likewise for that, now is a good time to start.
Enduring. Last by not least, love endures through every circumstance. Not some circumstances, not most circumstances, not the circumstances you want to endure but every single circumstance that you could or don’t even want to imagine. This translates into loving your ex even when they are speaking lies about you, even when they are yelling at you, even when they are unfair to you, even when they are unforgiving towards you, and even when they use the children against you. You can still choose to love.
And that is the finally conclusion, that you can still choose to love despite all of the rejection, stress, anxiety, struggles, lies, manipulation, abuse, destructive behavior, broken promises, and betrayal. Yes, you can still choose to love and in that you will experience what Jesus experienced on this earth and have an even greater appreciation for what He did by dying for your sins. You can lose your Christianity in your divorce or you can allow your divorce to draw you even closer to God.
Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort. If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment. Or you can send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.