I have a long-time friend who moved to a different state several years ago. We don’t talk often, but we do keep up because our oldest daughters are good friends.
We talked last night for a long time. She’s that kind of friend where we simply pick up where we left off, always comfortable. And, interestingly, always some same themes run through her conversation. One of those themes is a topic we cover often out here from many different angles.
My friend is married to a nice, quiet kinda guy. He’s solid and predictable. He’s kind to her and their three daughters. He provides well for their family. But compared to what “Christian circles” teach of how a “Christian Husband and Father” should be, he’s a wet dish rag. He doesn’t train the children properly. He doesn’t lead the family right. He doesn’t measure up on the Christian Dad Yard Stick at all, and he certainly doesn’t hit all the bases on the Christian Husband Ball Field of Life.
Oh, don’t get me wrong … he’s not a Bad Boy on any level. He’s an all-around Good Guy. He just doesn’t come home, sit the kids down, and drill the Bible into them … or force them to memorize scripture … or sit his wife down each night and read the Bible to her … or have family and husband/wife devotionals … or search out ways to lead in ministry all over the church. He’s your Average Joe trying to lead a good life, be a good husband and father and provider for their home, and live a life of character and integrity. He does love God and have an intimate relationship with God, he’s just not all preachery about it.
So I spent a good amount of our conversation laying the truth of divorce out for her. Divorce is hell. Divorce is a hell that never ends. It’s horrible.
“But, doesn’t it get better when you remarry a good man? Doesn’t your new husband wipe away all that old stuff?”
Interesting question. And, no. Don’t get me wrong, my New Husband and I have a great marriage, but we would both give it up in a heart beat if we could have our first marriages back. The pain and sadness of divorce never goes away.
She thought about that some. Her parents divorced when she was a child. She said her dad has had a sadness in him since then that has never left. “But my mom was the one who left, and she was fine,” she mused. Yet after talking it out for awhile longer, she realized her mother never was fine after that. She did remarry, but she also was unhappy and became an alcoholic.
I cautioned her to be careful what she hears from her friends when they talk about their husbands. No one ever tells the whole story. Sure, her husband may lead family devotionals, but he’s just another man. His wife doesn’t need to, and shouldn’t, share all his weaknesses with the masses (or women’s bible studies).
Interesting that it is in the Christian world that she feels her husband is deficient as a man to the point where she wonders if staying married to him is the right thing to do.