Beauty for Ashes: Christian Remarriage After Divorce

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“…to give unto them beauty for ashes…”

In a perfect church, everyone hears the gospel and believes at a young age.  In a perfect church, two people who profess Jesus Christ to be their Saviour and take marriage vows are truly both regenerated.  Two people who marry in Christ understand the marriage vows to be permanent. Though these sinners saved by grace may have difficulties, they look to Christ for the grace and strength to endure. In a perfect church.

But there are no perfect churches.

In an imperfect church, you’ll find divorced people. Some have been remarried. This is part of diversity in the church. We all have diverse pasts, diverse circumstances and diverse social statuses. We have married couples, singles, widows and widowers…and we have divorced people.

I thought it would be good to start my third year of blogging by revisiting the topic of remarriage after divorce, though I will not argue whether remarriage after divorce is right or wrong. That was the topic that launched this blog. For the Biblical arguments please refer to that post (which was my most popular to date!) here: Can Two Divorced People Remarry?

Secular statistics on second marriages show they are doomed to fail. I do not believe we can use secular statistics for the church. If Jesus Christ is the staying power, the faithful One in the bond of Christian marriage, the marriage cannot fail.

So, I say poo-poo to statistics. Here are three beautiful examples of blessed remarriages [names have been changed to respect privacy]:

I Just Want to Be Happy/Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Couple #1

Alan was a covenant child – raised in the Christian faith. His parents brought him up with the Bible and church attendance. He made a profession of faith as a teenager. Sadly, he did not continue walking with the Lord. Over his dad’s objections, he married young. After 14 years of marriage, he divorced his wife. Alan blamed his family for his lack of happiness and peace. He remarried (without seeking the Lord) and divorced his second wife.

Cathy also grew up in a Christian family, but sought satisfaction in career and family. Her first marriage ended in divorce. Her second marriage was planned, but her intended died of a heart attack before the wedding. She threw herself back into her career. Then she met and married Alan, who came with three children from his first marriage. They bought a home and had one of Alan’s children move in with them.They felt the child needed to attend church, so that got Alan and Cathy physically back to church, but not yet spiritually. It was then that Cathy began meditating on the Word and asking questions. Alan helped her in her understanding and in the process, he repented and rededicated his life to the Lord. Couple #1 sought counsel of church elders. Alan asked forgiveness not only of the Lord, but of his family and children whom he’d wronged. Alan and Cathy  determined to rebuild a Christian family. They adopted four children. Two of them were special needs babies! Sadly, their first baby died at 17 months. They praised the Lord for her life and the privilege of having her, even for a short time. The Lord kept them through trials and disappointments. They went on to raise their children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Couple #1 is one of the most beautiful, faithful couples I’ve come to know in our church. They recently celebrated their 41st anniversary. They enjoy visiting their children, grandchildren and twelve (so far) great-grandchildren. What would it be like, had they been refused marriage? Continue reading

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Trials and Triumphs: Happy Anniversary to Us and This Blog

We recently celebrated our fourth anniversary. And what a special celebration it was, after hearing the good news that I am cancer-free. Mike and I reflected on all the trials we’ve faced in these four short years. We’re praising God for every thing we’ve been through: both kind and dark Providences.

Our marriage has endured unique difficulties. We lived apart almost our entire first year. Mike worked in Portsmouth, Ohio and owned a home in Cincinnati. He had a long commute to work, so he also had an apartment near Portsmouth. He’d get three days off in between rotating shifts and that’s when he’d visit his wife [me!] in Indy. So we were in perpetual dating mode for a while. Fun, but not really. We were living in limbo.

When does this end? I can’t live without you!

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Husband moves in. What do I do with all his junk?

It ended the following year, when Mike lost his job in Ohio. That’s when we had to sell his house fast, and get mine off the market (which I was very thrilled to do. We love the Storybook House). That’s when we suffered six months of unemployment for Mike, financial loss on the Cincinnati house (bought before the housing bubble burst), and total confusion (having some stuff packed for Cincinnati, and now packing Mike up for Indy).

 

When does this end? I can’t live WITH you!

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The Cave Man, or The Cook in the Nook.

Yes, it was hard seeing him plopped in his favorite spot — our cozy, cave-like breakfast nook. Guys do love caves. They don’t seem to need much light. Poor guy searched for jobs every day. I murmured that I couldn’t get anything done. I felt like I was chained to the stove. He was hungry every two hours, like an infant. Sometimes he’d look up from the nook and say, Is that burning? A most insulting thing to say to an Italian American cook.

I have been cooking for forty years! I know what I’m doing! I’d shriek.

I continued my job as web editor from my home office, but I was greatly distracted by this lumbering, lurking man. I guess this was technically our adjustment year. God gave us a crash course in tolerating each other’s habits, er, um…sins.

By 2014, things were looking up. And we certainly kept looking up to our Lord Jesus Christ, but not enough. Mike was blessed with a great job in the Spring of 2014. Shortly after, I quit mine.

2014 and 2015 were pretty good years. This year was the most difficult so far. My cancer diagnosis was a shock for us, but praise the Lord, we are rejoicing that He has healed me. Happy Anniversary to my beloved husband, who has stood by me for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, truly!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

We received this timely mailing [pictured above] shortly before our anniversary.

I can promise you this, Michael, I would have thrown this book in your face if you handed it to me on our anniversary. This is a lazy cop-out of a gift, and what’s worse is its COST. I prefer the blundering, blithering fool I’ve got than the poetry of dead men and women who never knew me. So there.

Marital Bliss

I tell him repeatedly, stop hovering over me (because he thinks he knows how to cook, or clean, or whatever). Or, stop pacing (because sometimes he can’t seem to stay still). He calls me Old Befana (because I love to sweep) or the Crumb Nazi (because I see every speck even without my glasses). But now these words are tempered with love. Most of the time.

Our current trial is Mike’s new work shift: 3pm-11pm. You can be sure there’s lots of hovering, pacing and shrieking between the hours of 9am-2:30pm.

New school year, new blog year

When I started this blog back in September 2014, I used the subtitle: the trials and tribulations of our second time around. I had no clue just how numerous or difficult those trials would be. Looking back in hindsight, I can see how God used these trials for our good.

My favorite season is coming soon. Autumn is a great time for a fresh new start. New notebooks, pencils and folders. Time to get writing. Time to continue learning in the school of Christ. I am a forever student.

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Divorced, Reformed and Remarried!

I want to return to its focus on marriage and remarriage after divorce. Stay tuned for more of our adventures.

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Our Storybook House where we live happily ever after.