Being Divorced Is Like a Man in a Tux and Brown Shoes

All sin is the same in that any transgression will put Christ on the cross, but all sins are not the same consequentially. Divorce is one of those sins that ranks higher from a consequential perspective. Adequately describing it is hard.

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I have often described a divorced guy like a man wearing a tux with brown shoes. Another analogy that I have used is that he is like a car with four good tires, with one donut tire in the trunk. He’s the donut.

I once had a purpose when I read God’s Word that motivated me to minister to others, but now I am divorced. And my usefulness feels more like relegation to a back-up position in a dark trunk. – Divorced Guy

The divorced guy had a life partner once upon a time. He used to enjoy relational contexts that were mostly married couples. After marriage, his network changed from singles to couples. He became a married guy in a married world. Today, he’s single again.

He lives in that surreal place between married and single, and he doesn’t fit well in either context. When he enters a room, he scans the crowd only to see husband/wife, husband/wife, husband/wife, husband/wife, and himself.

He’s the odd man out—something akin to a spare tire in the trunk. Besides having worked through the disappointment of a marriage gone wrong, he now has to figure out where he fits into his scary new world.

Hug a Divorced Person Today

Few opportunities picture the gospel better than reaching out to a divorced person, whether it’s a male or female. The Savior came for the outcast, downtrodden, defeated, and broken. The pain of divorce is hard to explain to those who have not walked this lonely road. Here are a few thoughts that will serve you as you seek to help our divorced brothers and sisters who are trying to start over again.

  • Divorced people are more aware than you are of their “condition.” Treat them like “normal” people.
  • A divorced person needs to see the gospel in your life. Love them in practical ways.
  • A divorced person will not invite themselves to your home. Be aggressive in reaching out to them.
  • Reach out to him on his birthday as well as major holidays. These days will be difficult for him.
  • Reach out to him on his past wedding anniversary. This particular day will be a sad one.
  • Reach out to him on the birthdays of his kids. These days can be difficult as well.
  • He is just like you and me, in that none of us have merit that garners favor with God.
  • He is probably not after your spouse. Don’t treat him as though he is on the prowl.
  • Save a place for your divorced friend at the church meeting. Don’t let them sit alone.
  • Invite him to your small group meetings.

Divorce is not God’s best; he knows this, so don’t tell him. He is well aware that he has made mistakes. Ironically, blunders fit perfectly into the schema of the gospel. The gospel is not for the mistake-less. God came to rescue a mistake-ridden people.

What a privilege you and I have to model the gospel to a particular kind of hurting people in our churches, as well as our communities. Have you loved on a divorced person today practically?

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