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SINGLE, MARRIED, SEPARATED AND LIFE AFTER DIVORCE

From the book by


Dr Myles Munroe
To be single means to be all one (alone), separate, unique and whole.
Marriage is when two separate, unique and whole individuals (one
male, one female) make a covenant to exchange vows, committing their
lives to remain together until death.
Separation is an unofficial divorce with the exact same effect as
divorce. It is the most tragic state of limbo.
Divorce literally means to desert. It is the legal and physical
termination of a marital vow that was intended to last forever. It is a
traumatic, devastating experience that does not only touch the two
people who are dissolving their covenanted commitment to stay
together unto death, but also their children, family, friends and the
church as a whole. The scars of divorce manifest themselves like open
wounds oozing with hurt, bitterness, hatred and disillusionment, As
many as 60% of church people today are either divorced or the
product of a divorce situation.

There are few experiences more traumatic than divorce. The emotional
effect is unbearable, the physical toll astounding, the spiritual impact
immobilising, and socially it can lead to self-inflicted isolation and low
self-esteem.

Divorce seems to create more problems than it solves. Years later,


people still grapple with the spiritual, moral and religious elements
related to divorce. Not to mention the legal, social and financial

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aspects of divorce. Most tragic of all is the ripple effect divorce has
on children and the institution of family.

BEING SINGLE
It is okay to be single, but not good to be alone. People do not have a
singleness problem. They have an entirely different problem, called
being single, especially after years of being one of a couple, of feeling
a sense of belonging to someone.

Being single means to be separate, unique, and whole. Would you


like to stop being whole or a unique person? Of course not! So what is
this problem with singleness? There is no problem, except with our
definition of singleness, which we have confused with being alone or
loneliness. If the Bible definition of being single is to be unique and
whole, then we all should have the goal of singleness! The Bible does
not teach that singleness is bad, negative or unhealthy. In fact, no
one should marry until he or she is totally single. Until you are a
separate, unique and whole person, you are actually not ready to
marry!

Most marriages fail because a husband or wife (or both) do not see
themselves as unique, worthy individuals, i.e. they have bad selfimage and are not whole, or they are not separate but always depend
on somebody else to make them happy. Until you are truly single,
marriage will be a difficult, and perhaps negative, experience. Your life
before and during marriage or after divorce will get better as you
become more single. Instead of running from being single, you should
run toward singleness.

GODS VIEW OF SINGLENESS


In Genesis 2:18, did God say It is not good for man to be single?
NO. He said: It is not good that the man should be alone
God had no problem with the mans separateness, his uniqueness, or
his wholeness. Adam did not even know that he was alone. He was so
totally unique and so whole in himself that he did not miss anybody. It
was Gods own observation of the situation, based on His own
wisdom, that led to this statement. Having a companion was not
Adams idea, it was Gods.
Neither did God say, Adam is not a whole being, he needs a wife to
complete him. In essence, God wanted to give him a helper who would
be suitable, or like him another being who would complement him
and be complemented by him. God made this second human being for
Adam not to be alone. You do not need to be married not to be alone.
Any companions and close friends can fulfil that role in your life. Lots
of people are not married and yet not alone. And lots of others are
married, yet desperately alone! God did not create marriage in order
for us not to be alone. He created other human beings in order for us
not to be alone. Eve was not created primarily as a wife, but as
another like Adam, who would first be a companion; then, later, a wife.
All you need not to be alone is to find someone else like you.
Marriage will not solve aloneness.
God never said it was not good for man to be unique, separate and
whole. As a matter of fact, He likes uniqueness so much that no two
people on this planet have the same DNA, fingerprints or eye retina
patterns. Our conclusion must therefore be that God not only likes

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uniqueness, separateness and wholeness, He insists on it in His
creations!
Being single is therefore essential to and the foundation of ALL
relationships. A relationship is only as good as whatever the
individuals involved bring to it. An omelette is only as good as the
separate eggs in it.

GOD DOES NOT CHOOSE YOUR MARRIAGE PARTNER FOR YOU


God only presents. You choose. If God chose your mate for you, He
would not only be violating your right to choose, but He would be
taking responsibility for the relationship. If it failed, any blame could
be transferred to God. It is a misconception that God has created only
one specific person on this planet for you to marry. Just as He made
salvation possible for you, but gave you the freedom to choose it or
reject it, in the same way He will present people in your life, and it is
your choice whether or not you use the Word, wisdom and
characteristics of Gods nature to make that choice. Therefore, you
must take the responsibility for your choice and for all the
consequences that come with it. Do not become overly spiritual or
irrational in this regard. Providing prospects is Gods responsibility,
but choosing a mate is yours. Rely on the assistance of the Holy
Spirit, but do not attempt to transfer the responsibility of choice to
Him.

DIVORCE IN PERSPECTIVE: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE


REALLY SAY?

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When we are in pain, it is important to examine the cause of the pain,
not merely the symptoms. When the Pharisees tried to ask Jesus a
trick question regarding divorce, Jesus went beyond the symptom of
divorce, beyond marriage itself, and took them all the way back to the
beginning where God had created man male and female. Jesus took
them all the way back to the Garden of Eden. In the beginning there
were two single individuals male and female - in the context of Gods
perfect Garden environment. Sadly, so many people get married
outside the garden environment of Gods presence, and still expect to
make a success of it. God only guaranteed success in marriage under
the conditions that it consists of garden ingredients.

Jesus said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and
shall cleave to his wife but not everyone is ready to take that step.
Only people who are living in the garden environment of Gods
presence are willing and ready to leave home and parents and be
joined in the total commitment of marriage. Marriages outside the
garden are unions made by men, not God. Therefore, the very first
thing you need to find out about a prospective marriage partner is
whether or not that person is in a relationship and fellowship with
God. Marriage works properly only when the right ingredients are
mixed together. Divorce results from a defective marriage, and a
defective marriage results from defective ingredients. Marriage itself is
not the problem: it is a perfect institution established by God. People
contaminate

that

perfect

institution

with

all

kinds

of

junk

ingredients and then wonder why they do not get the results the
Manufacturer promised. DIVORCE IS NOT THE PROBLEM. THE
PROBLEM

IS

DEFECTIVE

MARRIAGE

DUE

TO

DEFECTIVE

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INDIVIDUALS WHO COME TOGETHER OUTSIDE THE GARDEN
CONTEXT PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BECOME TRULY SINGLE.

People have a bright and appealing picture in their mind of what


marriage will be like, and jump right into it without considering
whether or not they have the right ingredients or have made the right
preparations. They fill their heads with pictures of a beautiful wedding
dress, a nice car, a lovely little house, candlelit dinners, moonlight
walks and angelic children. With little or no thought to preparation,
they enter into wedlock and expect the picture-perfect marriage of
their dreams to come about automatically. When it doesnt, they
become disillusioned and bitter and start looking for a good lawyer. A
cake is only as good as its ingredients, and so is marriage! The
Pharisees were looking at the cake. Jesus told them to examine the
ingredients: values, virtue, character, dignity, moral standards,
convictions, humility, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

There are two kinds of married people in the world: those whom God
joined together, and those whom He did not. God joins males and
females who come together in the garden of His presence, according to
His standards, and they become one flesh. Anything else is an
experiment and a grave risk, joining people together by the laws of
man rather than God, and therefore they can also be separated by the
laws of man.

God is a heart-oriented God, and He deals with motives, not emotions.


The Kingdom of God does not deal with outward appearances but with
attitudes of the heart. Jesus told the Pharisees that because of the

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hardness of their hearts, Moses allowed bills of divorcement, but in
the same breath reminded them that God did not create things this
way. In essence, our present living conditions in this world are not
Gods original plan for man, and His ideal has become an ordeal. The
world has developed an attitude that marriage is a necessary evil,
when it was intended to be a great blessing.

Divorce and remarriage is one subject that brings more confusion and
puts people under more condemnation than almost any other in the
Christian or non-Christian walk.
Did I sin against God?
If God forgave me, why do I still feel guilty?
I remarried. Am I committing adultery?
Did I do the right thing? Perhaps I should have stuck it out and
waited longer to see what would have happened.
To see what the Bible really says, we must interpret the verses
properly:
o Keep in mind the literal thing about which you are reading.
o Find out the historical setting of the verse or verses. That is the
cultural, political, economic, social and educational environment of the times.
o Look at the verses before the one you are considering and the
verses following it this makes up the proper context of what
you are reading. Otherwise you could believe something which
is not true!

Jesus came to fulfill the law of Moses, literally meaning to expose


the true intention of it. He did not come to do the works of the law.
He came to show people the spirit of the law what it really meant

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and why it was given. He spoke about real righteousness as opposed
to the outward appearances of religious rituals. Real righteousness
means not only do not murder someone, but do not even hate them or
wish them dead. The context of His comments on divorce was right
thinking as well as right actions. The pre-text to Matthew 5:30, 31
is the Beatitudes, examining the attitudes of people who are the light
of the world. The post-text was the manner in which people took
oaths and handled their enemies. In other words, adultery and divorce
were in a list of unrighteous things that included everything from
hatred to keeping your word to getting even. The context, therefore, is:
what you THINK is as important as what you DO. Jesus was saying
that divorce was not the problem but what leads up to it. Divorce is
only the consequence of wrong attitudes toward your spouse. In
essence,

divorce

is

the

symptomatic

manifestation

of

marital

deficiency.

The historical setting for Jesus comments on divorce was Moses


decree that men should go through a certain process to get rid of their
wives: 1) write her a bill of divorce 2) give it to her, and 3) send her
away.
Moses was actually protecting women. Send her away is a figure of
speech used from the time the Jews were sent away from Egypt. It
meant to send someone off with goods and money, enough to start a
new life. Jesus was saying that men could no longer leave their wives
for the slightest little whim her cooking, glancing at another man,
sneezing while her husband was eating, coming into a room where he
sat with men friends. By the end of the Old Testament period,
husbands were divorcing their wives for the smallest of real or
imagined provocations, and the situation became so out of control -

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with wives at the mercy of husbands who could send them away at
any time that God made a statement through the prophet Malachi
that this was the reason that He was not answering their prayers:
Yet ye say: Wherefore? Because the Lord has been witness between
thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt
treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant
Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously
against the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord (Mal
2:14-15)
Jesus went even further and revoked the custom of stoning an
adulteress. Jesus wanted the people to think about what made a
marriage (Gen 2:24), not the conditions under which they could get
out of marriage. God hates divorce, the breaking of vows and not
keeping your word, but He still loves divorcees. Under the New
Covenant, any sin (except blaspheming the Holy Spirit) is covered by
the blood as soon as you repent and receive forgiveness. Religious
people today act as if divorce is the unpardonable sin, too great for the
blood of Jesus to cover. That would make divorce a more heinous
crime than murder!
But, in essence, Jesus responded to the question of divorce with an
answer about marriage. He was reiterating the principle that, if
marriage is properly understood and entered into, there will be no
need for consideration of divorce.
Remember, marriage is much more than a legal contract to physically
sleep together and share the family financial obligations. Marriage is
the joining and uniting of two souls, and if the two souls are not
compatible because of different life values, different religious beliefs or
clashing cultural backgrounds, the relationship is on a course of
tragic disaster.

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BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS

God does not condone any kind of separation in relationships. He does


not like broken fellowships between different parts of the Body of
Christ, or within churches or families or between good friends.
Separation is detrimental to the flow of fellowship. Broken fellowship
in any form is destructive to the person and to his fellowship with
God. Broken homes and broken lives make God extremely sorrowful.
Why does it hurt so much when a good friend forsakes you? Because
you have shared with him or her on a level so intimate that you
developed a vital need for his or her emotional support. When that
person breaks away, part of you is gone.
Broken bodies can get mended by doctors, but broken hearts are
actually broken souls. The mind is shattered, the will is broken, the
emotions are wounded and there seems to be no incentive to keep on
living. The hurt of a broken heart is almost unbearable. If you are the
one who is the offender, you need to understand the devastating
consequences of your actions.

Attempting to restore a broken relationship can be as difficult as


trying to conquer a fortified city. Whenever there is a broken
relationship, you can be sure that God is not involved. Someone else is
triggering the destruct mechanism, namely the thief who comes to
steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
Television soap operas make it seem that marriage can be like, Well,
its been fun, but Im tired of you now. I have found another one. But
television is a world of fantasy. There is no way you can be married to

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someone for X years and then decide that you are going to cut it off
overnight. Separation/divorce will leave you sick for years.
There was no mechanism created in man to handle the hurt of
divorce. People jump off bridges, slit their wrists and swallow pills
because they cannot handle the guilt and pain of divorce. So God sent
His Son and provided a way to handle this sin and hurt the precious
blood of Jesus, which cleanses us and heals us and restores our
fellowship with Him. So there is good news also: There IS life after
divorce!

THE TRAUMAS OF DIVORCE


Divorce involves the tearing apart of emotional bonding, and
separation distress. Broken relationships always result in traumas, be
they great or small. Trauma causes distress, and distress manifests in
anxiety. Anxiety can lead to irrational behaviour, where you begin to
act without thinking properly.
If your arm were torn from your body, there would be tremendous
pain; secondly, there would be a loss. Forever after, your nervous
system feels as if something is still there. Yet, you are aware that it is
gone. Such are the after-effects of a broken relationship. Thirdly, there
will always be a scar in that place, and fourthly you will be
handicapped after that. There are things you can no longer do as well,
no matter how you learn to compensate for what is missing.
Of course, there is always healing. Even after amputation, there is
healing.

Immediately after a separation or divorce is NOT a good time to make


major decisions, and certainly not a good time to get involved with

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someone else. Your wounds are still tender, if not bleeding. There are
cords hanging from those torn webs of emotional bonding. If you
marry a wounded person, they are tender, and if you touch them the
wrong way, they yell. There are people who have been divorced a long
time and those cords are still hanging. You cannot close up the holes
and empty places by patching over them and trying to bond
immediately with someone else. Those new webs will not stick.
Ever hear someone talk about marrying on the rebound? That just
sets you up for a second trauma or separation.

DISTRESS OF SOUL
The distress part includes all of the things you go through after that
first sharp pain of tearing apart the bonds. Send a distress signal to
the Lord: In my distress, I called upon the Lord Psalm 18:6.
The same pattern of bereavement and loss follows a divorce, than
follows the death of a partner, whether the relationship was good or
bad.
Another part of distress is depression, caused by contrasting how you
thought things were going to be the rest of your life and how they are
apparently going to be now. You think about all the dreams and plans
you used to have together and now all those are gone with the wind.
Make sure God is with you at these times, or you might end up in a
severe depression. Depression stems from feeling rejected, angry and
helpless. But Ephesians 1:6 says something beautiful about rejection:
He has made us accepted in the Beloved. That knowledge is your
protection. Remember that separation is just an event, it is not the
end of your life!
Jesus tells us in Luke 4:18 that He came to mend broken hearts,
among other things. You may feel that you do not want to see anybody,

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eat, go to work or keep on living. Proverbs say that a broken heart
dries up the bones. Do not commit mental or emotional suicide. Do not
decide that you will never bond with anyone again because it hurts too
much. Do not think that everyone is out to get you. There is medicine
for all of these traumas: Jesus is the Physician, and the medicine we
find in Proverbs again: Joy and gladness instead of misery.
A merry heart doeth good like medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the
bones Prov 17:22
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the
heart the spirit is broken Prov 15:13
The antidote for the poison of divorce is found in Psalm 43:5 Why art
thou cast down, o my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in
God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and
my God.
Regain hope. Place your hope in God, not man. Praise the Lord. Praise
and worship do miracles towards restoring a merry, happy heart.
Jesus is not only God, He is your health. The time when you feel He is
the farthest away, He is actually the nearest. God promised to be near
the broken-hearted and to make whole again those with a crushed
spirit.
You do not have to let all these negative feelings and problems control
your life. There is help in God. Begin to take control of them and turn
them over to Jesus. He is the Healer, and He will heal you, if you let
Him.

THE TRAUMA OF CHURCH REACTION


Many churches still have difficulty with divorce, and react as if the
divorced person has failed and become a second-class citizen. Those

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people are misinterpreting what Jesus said. He said, Divorce is real,
but it is not Gods perfect design for man.
Churches that never teach on divorce are not meeting the needs of
their people, because many Christian marriages end in divorce, which
means that all congregations have hurting people sitting there. It is
extremely hurtful to go through the trauma of divorce and then have
the people who claim to have the love of God, give you the cold
shoulder. That is not walking in the love of Jesus. That is high-minded
religiosity and modern Phariseeism, to adhere rigidly to the letter of
the law and totally miss the spirit of the Word. There is only one
unpardonable sin and divorce is not it! Yes, divorce is wrong, but so
is unforgiveness and judging. Neither divorce nor remarriage means
eternal damnation!

THE AFTERMATH OF TRAUMA


Never confuse who you are with what you have done.
Judges and courts are not equipped to tell you how to deal with the
aftermath of divorce. How you handle things is not their business.
And as far as churches are concerned: many of the simply ignore the
problem. Or worse they may add rejection to the rejection the
divorced person already feels.
Above all, do not think you are a failure because a relationship failed.
Smart does not mean perfect, and sometimes smart people do dumb
things. Do not, therefore, confuse failing with failure. You may have
failed, but you are not a failure. Do not measure your self-worth by
whether or not you make mistakes. Measure your personal worth by
the fact that God gave you worth before anyone ever met you. Say to
yourself, That relationship failed, but I am not a failure. Then begin

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to pick up the pieces, give them to God, and ask Him how to go on
from there.
Jesus judged the actions of the woman caught in adultery. He told her
to go on and not do those things anymore. He forgave her actions and
gave her back self-worth.

TYPICAL WAYS OF REACTING


The first way people typically react in times of great loss when they
experience divorce, separation or being jilted is to withdraw. This
comes from hurt pride and is the result of rejection, depression and
enormous hurt.
The second is to become a social butterfly. This is getting even
behaviour and arises from anger.
The third is to feel the ground sink under your feet and react by trying
to jump to another nearby rock. This stems from fear and panic. When
you get a divorce, some of the ground on which you have been
standing is shaken or completely torn away. This can lead to mixed
feelings and a state of permanent confusion.
The only person who handles loss without unmanageable ill effects is
someone who has Jesus Christ as their foundation, someone who
solidly stands on the Rock that will never be moved.
The fourth reaction is to become truly independent. This person has
achieved balance and is on the way to being completely healed.
1. Withdrawal into self
You become introverted, isolate yourself from help and imprison
yourself within yourself. This reaction is wrong because it is counterproductive to healing, although it is the normal or natural thing to
do. Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool; but
whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Walking wisely means to

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ask God to walk with you. A wounded heart is vulnerable, irrational
and weak and cannot be trusted. Seek therefore to walk with the Holy
Spirit, who teaches true wisdom.
Staying home alone, not talking to anybody about your situation,
sitting in the back of the church and slipping out early amounts to
trying to working things out all by yourself, which the Bible brands
foolish behaviour. God did design you to be single, but not to be
alone! Genesis 2:18 It is not good for man to be alone.
A person walking in isolation is trying to use pride to bandage a
pained soul. It may cover the wound, but does not keep it from
hurting. Isolation will not bring healing.
Alone-people also suffer from self-pity. They convince themselves that
they dont need anybody and that they are - in any case not worth
anything to anyone else. This is self-deception and must be cancelled.
2. Replacing pain with people
This is that dangerous state where you could fall into another
relationship that would fail just as the other. This is where
remarriage or a relationship on the rebound occurs. At this point,
the divorced person wants to say: Who needs you? I will show you
that I dont need you! Like a butterfly, they bounce from one
relationship to the other go out with anyone, perhaps sleep with
anyone just to prove a point, go to every club, every church, every
gathering. Instant relationships are no guarantee of instant relief from
pain. They only camouflage the wound, which still receives no healing.
Some people seek out those with similar hurts, but hurt people
cannot help other hurt people to heal. It is the blind leading the blind,
where both end up in the ditch. It is okay to want to help people who
you can identify with, but wait until you can speak freely about your
ordeal without pain or any negative emotions.

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Christians who hide their feelings in church or with friends and smile
brightly, while dying inside, are denying their problem and not
allowing God to handle their hurt. Jesus does not work anything on
earth without involving His Body.
3. Looking for a security blanket
People who have not become truly single, who do not know who they
are in Christ, who do not have a firm identity of their own, will react to
separation by reaching quickly for another person or group to hold
them up. This can also result in moving too quickly into another
relationship.
Whatever the reason for the divorce/separation, there needs to be
sufficient time to back off and see what YOUR contribution was to the
failed relationship. If you have not been changed for the better in some
way by the experience, what is to prevent the next relationship from
going the same way or worse? You may try to hang on to some
vestige of the relationship by trying to remain friends, or maintaining
contact on some other basis. One will say, I will come to see the kids
or I will come and put gas in your car. Divorced people sometimes
keep on checking up on one another: Who is she dating? Who is he
seeing? Is that person sexier/smarter/richer than me? They can be
apart for months, but still the emotional ties are there. Now that they
are

not

married

anymore

and

the

immediate

conflicts

and

incompatibilities have been removed, they start thinking maybe


he/she wasnt so bad after all. They start going to lunch together,
going for drives, going to parties at friends houses. This is mixed
feelings, or having your cake and eating it. The other person has not
changed. You are just trying to weave yourself a little security blanket
to shield you from the emotional trauma.

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Others go home to mommy and daddy, seeking desperately for some
stabilisation. Others become workaholics, their career becoming their
solid foundation, their security blanket, something they can count
on to fill their days. But sooner or later, wounds have to be healed
not ignored or covered by various kinds of band-aids. Allow the pain
from the failed relationship to be exposed to the light, so that the
blood of Jesus can do its healing work. Be sure your security is in
Christ and the Word for only they will not pass away.
4. Regaining custody of yourself
People think about custody of property, custody of the children, even
custody of pets, but they seldom think about regaining custody of
themselves. That self which had been placed, at least to some extent,
in the keeping of another must be re-accepted or taken back. This
means finding a balance, setting priorities, re-defining boundaries,
and dealing with emotions not repressing them, but dealing with
them.
The situation must be accepted, not denied, no matter how much it
hurts. You need to get counsel before making any decisions: from the
Holy Spirit, the Word, and people you can trust. After a time of being
glued to another person, you have now been given a declaration of
independence against your will. Women now have to face paying their
own bills, taking care of the children by themselves, planning for the
future alone. Men have to face eating out all the time, not seeing their
children every day as they grow up, and washing their own clothes.
Both must deal with awakened sex drives.
Regaining custody of yourself, however, does not do away with the
basic principle of Gods dealing with mankind: people need people. It
does not mean declaring independence from the human race or
disappearing into your own little world. It does not mean becoming so

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self-centred that you declare love bankruptcy and close your trust
account. Regaining custody means that you take responsibility for
restoring your life according to Gods principles and submit to His
healing process. It means to take your roots out of other people and
put them into God, yet develop the freedom to share your fruit with
them.

EMOTIONAL AFTERSHOCKS
People who have been hurt can be dangerous

Certain emotional aftershocks accompany trauma, the first one often


being numbness, where the emotions go into shock and are
temporarily paralysed although the person seems to keep on
functioning. When it finally wears off, the pain can be quite
unbearable.
Emotions like anger, self-pity, panic and fear, irritability and mood
swings can follow like smaller shocks follow a major earthquake. A dog
who is in great pain will not let you come close enough to help him
he would snarl and even bite if you reach out a hand. In the same way,
hurt people can be dangerous.
I Cor 13:5 says that real love is not easily provoked. There is an anger
that is righteous and will allow you to do and decide the right things.
Ungodly anger, however, will cause you to do all the wrong things, to
lash out and hurt others because you have been hurt.
Anger cannot always be circumvented, but remember Eph 4:26-27
and do not sin by retaliating and striking out at someone else. Do not

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curse anyone, throw anything you do not want thrown back or act
foolishly. The temporary attitude of anger can cause some very
permanent negative effects.
Self-pity is a seductive emotion to which you can become addicted,
ruining your whole life.
When panic strikes, reason vanishes and you might find yourself
doing irrational things. People have married in a state of panic: Im
not getting any younger. This might be my last chance.. Remember,
however, the old adage: Marry in haste, repent at leisure. Ask
yourself: Are things really as bad as they seem? Take stock of your
assets and the possible advantages of your changed situation. Panic
is fear in action. Fear is never from God, but stems from insecurity.
2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and
of love, and of a sound mind.
A sound mind means correct thinking. David says he will not fear the
shadow of death (Psalm 23). A shadow never killed anybody. Most of
our fears turn out to be mere shadows, exaggerated by our feelings of
insecurity, hurt and being afraid to trust again.

Breakdowns are escapism


Nerves do not break down. What breaks down is the persons
mental capacity to deal with things. People who suffer a breakdown
take refuge in unreality. They either begin to deny what happened or
make up something else. Not being able to deal with reality, they try to
create a reality where they can cope. In many instances, people
literally become ill. People may outwardly seem to be living in reality,
while they are really living in some kind of fantasy.

Survival mechanisms

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There are four basic choices in surviving the trauma of the loss of a
relationship:

1. Avoidance
Avoidance of the situation can take place on a mental, emotional or
literal level. You avoid facing your loss, refuse to talk about it, avoid
people who want to ask you questions, avoid situations that remind
you of the past. People who choose avoidance as a way of coping
either choose maintaining contact with the previous partner, getting
lost in a group, or moving into isolation.

2. Escaping
Escaping the situation on a mental, emotional or literal level, like
moving into a fantasy world or a quick new relationship, trying to
replace the lost relationship with another.

3. Denial
Denying what happened is the most serious, because it leads to
mental or nervous breakdown. Denial is a serious problem among a
lot of Word people, Spirit-filled, positive-confession Christians.
They feel that to admit they are hurting is admitting a failure of faith.
They hide in the cloak of false spirituality. Hurting people attend a lot
of prayer meetings. They will pray loudly for other people, but will not
admit that they need prayer themselves, because it will contradict
their positive confession. What they really need to say is: Help! Can
anyone pray for me? Im hurting! This thing is killing me! Instead,
they deny reality: Im not hurting. I gave all that to the Lord and left it
there. And yet, at 2 am they are tossing and turning under a load of
distress. Real faith, however, means to face facts, accept reality, and
move into the openness required to deal with consequences, effects
and results.

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There is a door which will take you into the openness you need to
allow God to heal you, for only God can heal a broken heart.

4. The way out


Openness is the healthy way of recovery. It is an honest desire to face
the truth and deal with change. Openness allows you to begin making
plans about the future, not spend hours reliving the past. Accept what
has happened and learn how to move on. Every person who suffers
loss has to deal with more or less the same things, even a little boy
whose dog is run over by a car. Life is a process of change. Only God
remains the same! Paul understood this, when he wrote in Phil 3:13
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind , and
reaching forth unto those things which are before.
We need to apply this spiritual principle if we want to move from the
past towards the future in any area of our lives. Do not let the
failures of the past interfere in your future! There is life after
divorce, but you first have to find your hope in God. You cannot move
into openness and healing through another marriage, another
boyfriend, another relationship. You have to press on towards Jesus
and His purpose for your life.

LIFE AFTER DIVORCE AND SEPARATION


Forgiveness is vertical as well as horizontal

The door to healing and life after divorce or separation is forgiveness.


Understand clearly, however, that forgiveness does not get rid of the
hurt. But it opens you to the One who can heal you of the hurt. No
psychologist or counsellor can heal a broken heart. Only Jesus was
anointed to heal the broken-hearted! But you have to make your heart

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available to Him. Unforgiveness towards another also blocks your
fellowship with God.
When you find your spouse has been cheating on you, you might feel
like killing him/her. God says, the hurt is inevitable, the anger is OK
if it is against ungodliness, but the hatred is not of Me.
Forgive in the Hebrew means to cut loose. In other words, you
release the other person from everything you held them accountable
for. A wrong attitude gets in Gods way and blocks the flow of His
Spirit to you. Unforgiveness binds you to that other person with
ungodly ties. To become free, you must release them. Then God can
easily wash away the hurt, the bitterness, anger and hatred.
You do not feel like forgiving. You decide to forgive. Choose to obey
Gods Word the good feelings will come later!
To walk in forgiveness and peace in God requires a lot of maturity.
Being a mature person requires growing in wisdom, bodily stature and
favour with God and men, just like Jesus did. (Luke 2:52) The
maturing process is a vital part of healing!
Wisdom: Do not allow your mind to turn off when you are hurt. Do
not sit and die. Make your plans and God will guide you through
them. Think rationally, plan carefully. Do not let the one who walks
out take your sanity with them! Keep your mind intact. Keep on
growing.
Stature: Do not stop taking care of your body. Losing interest in food
will lead to loss of energy, just when you need it the most to cope with
stress! Make yourself eat. Eat right. Eat for energy, not for comfort. A
fit body is much more able to handle emotional trauma than a fat,
weak, sloppy one.
Favour with God: Times of trouble are certainly the times to find God,
and not rely on your own wisdom and strength! (Prov 3:6-8)

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Favour with people: Jesus liked people and mingled with all types
from all walks of life. He did not isolate Himself. He did not, however,
spend a lot of time with the religious leaders of His time who walked in
hypocrisy and legalism. Surround yourself with people who are open
and accepting, able to reach out in love. Sow love and understanding,
and you will reap a rich harvest!

FOCUS ON GOD
Do not look at the circumstances, look at the Answer. Make sure
Jesus is your foundation, and you can have a life after divorce. Do not
focus on yourself and your feelings. Self-focus is self-destructive and
will keep you from the healing you need.
Do not focus on what other people think.
Do not focus on new relationships.
Take your burden and your hurts to God. Call on Him in your distress.
Every relationship on earth is temporal, but your relationship with
God is eternal.

HEALING
The door to healing is openness and the key is forgiveness. The first
step is solitary healing just you and God. The second step is
community healing fellowship with the rest of the Body. Say to God,
Father, this is a bad experience. This relationship has failed, but I am
a beautiful person because You love me and are making me beautiful.
The end result will be maturity, gaining in wisdom and stature, and
favour with God and man. This balance will cause you to be truly
single, if you have not been before.
Divorce is not the ultimate sin. You can be forgiven, even if you are the
guilty party. And there is life after divorce, living in a kingdom
relationship with Jesus.