A few years ago, I wrote a four-part article that ran on Crosswalk called The Unraveling of a Christian Marriage. To this day, I still get emails about this article. And the email usually sounds something like this:
Thank you for writing my story. I no longer feel alone. I’m in a horrible marriage. I want out. You’ve given me hope.
These emails simultaneously make my heart hurt, make me grateful, and make me cringe.
With everything in me, I hate, hate, hate that there are so many broken Christian marriages, most of which are being played out in secret (To prove there are “so many,” there are over four hundred women in my private Facebook group for women in difficult Christian marriages, and I believe I am just barely scratching the surface). I believe this is one of the worst and biggest secrets that the Church is keeping: that the marriages of some of their members are imploding and they don’t want the outside world to know, or they don’t understand the intricacies, or don’t know what to do about addiction or abuse because it doesn’t fit into the mold of one or two certain bad things happening (i.e. adultery or literal abandonment). So they do things – even if unintentionally – that make matters worse.
And yet with everything in me, I am so grateful that God has used the pain I experienced for twenty-five years for something other than just to break me into a million pieces. One of the main reasons I write is so that you precious women who feel so stuck and caught and broken and isolated and ashamed no longer feel alone. Because you’re not; I get it. If you’re reading these words, you are officially no longer alone.
And yet another confession is this: these emails scare me a bit. Because I have promised myself and God that I will never, ever tell a woman she should or can divorce, and so I never, ever want anything I write to make a woman feel that I’ve just given her the green-light, because I can’t.
Though I believe our lives are sweeter when lived out in community, that God gave us each other to help us get through and figure things out and see who he really is in deeper ways, I also believe that life is a singular journey in many ways. We can get all the help we want, we can ask around for advice and read books and blogs, we can go to counselors and friends and family, we can be wise about gathering other people’s intelligent opinions, but at the end of our lives, we will not be standing in front of God holding anyone’s hand.
You will not be able to look God in the eye and say you decided to do such-and-such, like get a divorce, because you read my blog and your story sounded kinda like my story and so since I did, you figured you could too.
Source: Crosswalk | Elisabeth Klein