Long Lasting Marriage Series Written From The Heart - Coria Brock
The word of “Divorce” is not something new to me. The first time I knew that word was when my mother told me about the story of my grandfather. My grandfather was born in mainland china, and was living during a time in which there was a civil war. He had a good family background, but he had to leave his homeland to escape from the war. He went to Hong Kong as that was a province of Great British at the time. Before he escaped, he had three wives as many Chinese men in that time did. When he came to Hong Kong, he got marriage again, and this time it was legal. Because of the circumstances, he could not go back to China. This is the first time I learned about separation between a husband and wife.
Did it have any effect on my concept about marriage, not at all! Maybe I was simply too young to understand or maybe it had happened too long ago. I never met my grandfather, as he died when my mother was still a little girl. What I do remember was that my mother did not have a good relationship with her step-mother, the woman who married my grandfather in Hong Kong. My mother was the first child of the third wife of my grandfather when he was still in china. She had been rescued from the war zone and sent down to her father who had already escaped to Hong Kong. My mother had grown up like Cinderella. The difference was she never meet her prince but instead, met my father. Their marriage did not come to a happily ever after ending.
My parents also separated and I believe that the way they ending things more closely matched the term “Divorce”. However, there was no process as the government required, and no divorce papers. My father simply disappeared and my mother, along with my older brother and I, were left behind. I heard many different versions about what had occurred. Maybe he had cheated on my mother, maybe he needed to run because of the debt he had incurred, or maybe he had left because my mother had become and alcoholic. But did the reason truly matter to my brother and I? He had left, and no matter what the reason was, the memory was never a good one for any of us. “Divorce” became a reason for my mother to grieve and she never truly recovered from it. It was during this time that she became a real alcoholic, as she could no longer bare the hardships of her life. I did not truly understand how being fatherless woud affect me, but my heart grieved as I saw how it the process had affected my mother - a beautiful young lady who had turned into a drunkard and who had placed her life on the path of death.
So, did the separation of my parent have an impact on me? Let’s look back at my childhood to see…
I made a song for myself when I was eight that went like this, “So warm in a loving family, that has a daddy, a mommy, and me…”
I would draw a picture of a house with family members and cut them all out when I was ten. I carried them whenever I was, because they were a family I could hold on to wherever I went.
I made the same wish whenever I felt hurt and hopeless, “I want true love, someone who will realize I am here and would truly care about me.”
I also made a vow to myself that I would never divorce if I got married.
Did that vow work? I failed – I failed to keep the commitment I made to myself, and I failed because I did not realize the serious nature of that commitment. But most of all, it failed because I did not understand the foundation that a marriage needs to have. It is not a commitment as a result of a vow or paper, it is not just a place called home that we manage, and it is not a relationship between a man and a woman which has been legally recognized. Marriage is about love, and to be willing to give in love. The truth is that Love is God, and it is only when we receive His love that we can then give it to someone else. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NIV)
I had not learned the truth about “love”, and I did not know Jesus before I went through divorce. I made a vow to myself with my own will power. I made a commitment to myself, “Never get divorced as my parent did”, but I broke it. I made a commitment to myself, “Never become alcoholic as my mother did”, I also broke it. I made a commitment to myself, “Never doubt what my life is for but live it in a meaningful way”, and I broke it too. What consequences did this bring? The mistake that came from the decisions I made not only affected me but also brought a broken family to my son.
We can find many reasons for a failed marriage, and they may be right or they may be wrong if we are looking at it from our perspective only. I admitted my mistake in the first marriage as I knew it was not built on the foundation of love. We never learnt it during the time we were trying to build a family. Yet, the huge mistake was that at the beginning I did not seek God for the right person I should marry. I can make the excuse that at the time I did not know Christ, or that during the entire time we were married neither of knew Him. If we sincerely seek the meaning of “love” in the Bible, we will find there is only one answer about “Love”, “Love” is God Himself. But this is still no excuse it is simply a fact. I cannot build a solid house that will not fall without Christ, so then how can I build a family without Him? (Psalm 127:1)
When I found I no longer even had the courage to talk to my child’s father, but was filled with bitterness in my heart, I knew it was time to end the marriage. Even though I made a commitment to myself, I did not care. I desired to have a new air to breath as I felt I was in a deadly pit trapped by the bitterness I had. (Job 21:25a) I stopped talking with him and instead, I wrote a letter to him explaining the reason I could no longer pretend to be his wife. Time passed and eventually he suggested we sign the paper of divorce. He had lost hope in our marriage, and found new hope in a new relationship he was in. Sadly, I felt a release and had no grieving and no pain. What did the marriage mean to me? Just something every body has, and if one did not work out, you simply moved on to the next.
What was the impact that my parent’s divorce had on me? I believed I truly knew it well then, I believed I did not need a man to marry me but instead, what I needed feel love. If I did not feel loved, then marriage meant nothing to me. I enjoyed being single, and I enjoyed that I could make my own decisions without being concern “the husband” might be angry with me. I thought that what I needed to do was make my son proud. I believed that I could repay the loss he had experienced as a result of a broken family. Do did that work out? It may sound good but it was all wrong. Everything I started to build began to fail again. Who did I think I was? A single mother trying to make her son proud of her and thinking it would be easy to fix the brokenness I had caused. I didn’t even notice my own brokenness! How ignorant I was! That ignorance brought me to the point where I hit the bottom as I tried to run away from my entire life. The thought was that I could jump from the thirty-third story of the building I lived in and end the nightmare for both of us.
All of the things that happened above where not simply the result of “Divorce”, but also because I did not have true understanding in my mind. The truth came on the day I met Christ. Marriage is not about a man and a woman building something nice together, it is not something that you should experience once in your life, and it is also not a way to seek love. Marriage is about “Love”, “Love” is giving, and “Love” is God! (John 3:16, 1 John 4:8) Marriage is the way to reflect the “Love” of God, to demonstrate the relationship between Jesus and His church. “Divorce” is how the church walked away from His Lord, and no longer wants His presence. If we understand the sincerity and the damage of the church without Christ, do we also understand the brokenness that divorce will bring? Do we know that divorce is not something that we should take lightly? Should we not sincerely consider who we marry or take the marriage we are in seriously?
I am thank God for His faithfulness! Even though I made mistakes, mainly because I did not know who He was and did not understand He was the Creator and Planner of my life, He came and found me in the pit I was trapped in. He broke all the lies I believed in and revealed the truth to my heart. He picked me up from the trash heap and renewed me through His righteousness. He tore down the old and rebuild my life with His glory and His love. I finally found “Love”, and learned to love in a Christ-like way. Time passed and Jesus brought a man, the right one, into my life who can see me and care about me like Him. I no longer rejoice in a single life, or boast about how I can handle things on my own. But, I enjoy to be the wife of my husband, and rejoice to have a life-partner I can love by giving myself to him just as to Jesus. “Divorce” is truly not an option to me, because it is not about me, or my husband, or my children. It is about the love and relationship between Jesus and the church! I am His church, He is my Lord, who I love.
“For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit-- a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God. "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:5-8, NIV)
My dear friends, Isaiah chapter 54, verses 5-8 was given to me from the Lord. This is the hope He gave me when I had failed and was lost. Place your hope in Him. “Divorce” is not the way we should choose, so please do not lose hope, even in your hardship. Seek the Lord, and believe that He knows how to teach you the right way to love and to have relationship between the church and Himself, between wife and husband. No matter how complicated it is, He is above all problems we have in this world. If you were divorced, please don’t loss hope and walk away from Jesus who loves you the most. There is not a single mistake our Lord cannot forgive us for and fix. He is the Restorer and He is also the Builder. Seek Him, and He will guide you. May the love of our Lord Jesus complete you and your family!