It’s easy to make fun of those old country songs. Tales of hardships and broken relationships, driving some to cry in their beer, others so lonesome they could cry, or even more catastrophic, they “fall to pieces.” (If you’re looking for something uplifting, choose reggae over these!)
However, it’s nearly impossible to find humor in Tammy Wynette’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Its lyrics narrate the finality of divorce and the attempt to spare the feelings of the four-year-old child, along with the issue of custody.
I became a statistic, or child of divorce, upon turning 16. There had been many difficult years leading up to the event. By then, partly because of my age, I felt more relief than sadness that my parents’ marriage was finally over.
In fact, I had the difficult conversation with my mom that she shouldn’t keep running back as Dad couldn’t be trusted anymore. This was a conversation that no child should be saddled with.
I then hid amongst sports, friends, and my social life. I lived with my mom and had a wonderful relationship with her, but I should have been more present. Thankfully, she had her church family and my married sister and family nearby.
We could get into long theological treatises on a few issues relating to my parents’ divorce.
1) Despite my dad’s faith background, was he plagued with a false conversion? Had he been backsliding? Or was he a carnal/cultural Christian?
2) Are one of the three A’s (adultery, abuse, abandonment) justification for divorce? Even if so, my mom felt guilt and failure. These are issues related to our story but not to be answered here.
Even in grievous circumstances, God’s faithfulness prevails. And don’t discount a mother’s heart for her children. Despite my mom’s anguish, she pursued God and prayed fervently for me.
Tell me that God didn’t take what the enemy intended for evil (divorce), and turn it to good. For in time, Mom found a devout man who became my stepdad and they had many special years together; I repented and put my trust and passion in the Lord; my dad had either an authentic conversion or return to the Lord before he passed.
Also try to tell me that a praying parent isn’t one of the most powerful weapons on earth!
Parents, don’t underestimate the good you do for your children, and for civilization itself, by having a strong marriage. When Christ, who is the bridegroom, decided to build His church to accomplish
His purposes, he said the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail against it (Matt. 16:18). This marriage of Christ and church models the marriages we are to have:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
I still am striving and failing at times in this regard. My wife is far too patient and complimentary of my spousal ways.
Unfortunately, when marriages fail and children are collateral damage, then the gates of hell seem to prevail. It’s that spiritual!
Moms, pray for your husband and children. Dads, pray for your wife and children. Kids, pray for your parents. And families will be strong in the Lord once again.
We will be more empowered to accomplish the work of the Lord. Soaring divorce rates won’t send more children reeling. The gates of hell will not prevail.
You know, we take a simple faith and beautiful gospel and complicate it. The moral of nearly every story, including the divorce of my parents, is trust in the Lord, depend on Him, repent and pray.
Restoration is available. Simple. Then we can write and sing songs of glorious praise rather than D-I-V-O-R-C-E.