By Dr. Karen D. Bolser
Divorce in my mind is the death of dreams you had when you committed yourself to “for better or for worse”. I never thought the day would come where I would have to bury my dreams. While burying my dreams I experienced piercing pain and agony, only to find myself again longing for what truly turned my life upside down, “marriage”.
I loved my husband but love was not the reason I married him. I married my husband because I was young and afraid that God would not provide me with the life that I longed for which was security, love, and acceptance. I married my husband out of fear and the overwhelming sensation of inadequacy. I overlooked the big issues he struggled with such as alcohol, anger, control issues, salvation, and unbelief.
It was not until years after emotional abuse and infidelity and me on my knees reaching for the “hem of His garment” that I knew that this was not the “definition” of marriage God had intended for me to live out. After, years of praying for reconciliation, I had to come to terms that my soon to be ex-husband was not trying to live a life according to Biblical standards. At that point, I allowed my husband the choice to leave our family. Yes! You heard me correctly, I left the choice up to my husband on whether to stay or leave the covenant he had made with me. Scripture states in 1 Corinthians 7:15, “yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace…” It was time for my son and I to live in peace…
Jeremiah 24:7 states, “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.” I had to accept that it was God’s job to change my husband’s heart and not mine. That decision freed me to pursue my relationship with God without the burden of having to bring my husband into a relationship with the Creator.
Resuscitating the Dream
As a Christian, you cannot simply divorce your spouse one day and hit the dating field the next. As with any death, big or small, time is needed to grieve, heal and to reassess who you are in Christ, where you have been and where God wants you to go! I took three years just to do that. I realized if I started to date prematurely, I could be hurting my partner rather than honoring him.
I had been beaten down by life not only by my ex-husband but by people, and for this reason; I found it difficult to face life with any confidence or worth. I was lifeless and dead. Not until I heard the Lord speak clearly and He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:7-10).
During this time I learned that I did not have to hold my head in shame or feel like I was worthless. I realized that my Heavenly Father loved me and had a wonderful plan for my life and my next marriage. Jesus brought beauty out of my ashes and redeemed me through my lifeless marriage.
Rebuilding the Dream
The past few years I have started to “court” and I was even engaged for a year. However, that did not go exactly as planned either. The difference this time is that I was able to “see” the red flags and hear the “voice” of the Lord before I made a commitment to “for better or for worse”. I no longer had the fear of being alone or God not providing an absolute beautiful life for me. Nor did I find the need to search for a partner to make me feel complete. Now, my self-value and esteem are grounded in Christ and not man.
Don’t get me wrong. I want a husband and I want a marriage but I want my next marriage rooted in Christ alone. These are the hard questions I ask myself when viewing a potential marriage partner:
- Does he have a love for God?
- Is he committed to building the Kingdom of God?
- Is he generous with his finances?
- Does his biblical knowledge match his lifestyle? Do they connect?
- Does he pray?
- What is his attitude about sin and the world?
- How does he interact with his family? Is he secretive?
- What is his connection with other Christians?
- Is he honest?
- Does he keep his word? Or is he manipulative?
I am encouraging Millennials who are divorced to hold on to the promises of the Lord. God promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come”. From the dawn of human history, marriage has held a special place in the heart of God. It was God who ordained the institution of marriage. Continue to rebuild the dream of marriage…
Dr. Karen D. Bolser
Dr. Karen Bolser resides in Newport News, Virginia and is the CEO of The Bolser Group, LLC. She established the firm with the purpose of providing organizations and companies with excellent leadership and management development. Karen is a passionate teacher, consultant, author, speaker, and inspirational leader. Transcending socioeconomic and denominational barriers, her powerful message of healing, love, and restoration of leadership resonates hope among individuals from every walk of life. A gifted exhorter and motivator, the core of Karen’s message is “delivering leadership truths that transform the world.”
Through the years, Karen has traveled with numerous American and international missionaries and has had the opportunity to serve individuals in many different areas. Today, Dr. Karen Bolser has recently published a book not only for the Millennial generation, but all generations, teaching them how to lead and keep the biblical values and truth in leadership. You can purchase her book at: https://www.tatepublishing.com.