Are Divorced People Stupid?

Are Divorced People Stupid? April 28, 2024

Marriage certificate destroyed
Are Divorced People Stupid? Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Despite how many in the Church treat divorced people, divorce is not an unpardonable sin. Nonetheless, it’s almost always painful. Jesus made it clear that divorce “pulls apart what God has put together.”

Even if a couple separates amicably, tearing two back into one hurts your soul (and wallet). However, when married people split in heartbroken anger, it’s excruciating, and the nuclear fallout burns anyone within range.

The prophet Malachi wrote, “For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.”

The word picture Malachi used is graphic and one of war where people are covered in blood due to wounds and dismembered body parts. Divorce is not pretty and typically resembles a bloody battle, and because of what it does to people God loves, He hates divorce.

Now might be a good time to remind you that no sin can stop God’s love for us. Paul wrote, “While we were miserably lost and broken in our sin, God loved us so much He sent Jesus to rescue us” (Romans 5:8, Bubna Paraphrase). The Apostle Paul, who called himself the greatest of sinners, said Jesus came to save us rather than beat us up and reject us.

Beach Couple Sunset
Are Divorced People Stupid?
Image by Duncan Dao from Pixabay

This article isn’t to make or break any theological position you may have about divorce. I will write about my theological perspective at another time. (That said, here’s a good start regarding a biblical perspective on divorce.)

I agree wholeheartedly with my fellow Patheos columnist, Adrian Warnock, who wrote, “Somehow we have to find a way to reduce the stigma of divorce and to help those who are going through its pain.”

Bad theology is never okay. Agreed. However, mean-spirited, hyper-religious, and self-righteous Christians never reflect the mercy and grace of Jesus, and that’s not okay either.

Barista Blasts Divorced People As Stupid

The barista, Tyler, was talkative and had no idea he was about to step into a hot, steamy cow pie.

When I asked him how he was doing, attempting to engage in a light conversation, he said his brother was going through a divorce, and he rambled on with more detail than you would expect.

Coffee cup
Image by Albrecht Barrisat “Divorced people are stupid!”
from Pixabay

Then he paused, shook his head, and said, “Divorced people are stupid! And I fear my brother’s soul is at risk!”

I smiled at him and said, “Oh, you think so? What makes us so stupid? Up until that moment, he had no idea I was divorced. As you might imagine, he was a bit embarrassed after he pulled his foot out of his mouth.

I came to his rescue and said, “Sometimes we do act stupidly. Certainly, we are all broken at some level, and I would be the first to admit that I’ve made many foolish mistakes. But ‘stupid’ is a label, and labels are shameful and not helpful.” (I wrote about shame here.)

Interactions like the one with this barista always make me scratch my head and wonder:

Not for a second am I suggesting we ignore sin. I understand the biblical call to holiness and godliness. I know firsthand that our choices have consequences. And without question, I have acted stupidly and foolishly far too many times in my life.

Desperate and divorced
Desperate Divorced Man Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Remember These Things When Dealing With Divorced People:

  • Mercy triumphs over judgment.
  • Shaming someone for their failure does not help them escape the bondage and weight of their sin.
  • Shaming “drives people underground,” as Krystine I. Batcho, Ph.D., wrote in a beautiful article.
  • Love keeps no record of wrongs.

What the broken need most of all when they are wrong is a friend who will love them unconditionally.

Jesus was accused of being a friend of sinners, and I’m sure He is so because, in my darkest and worst moments, He was a friend to me.

As Carlos A. Rodriguez wrote in his book Drop the Stones, “Nothing reaches people like being loved when they least deserve it.”

When Tyler handed me my Grande Sugar-free Vanilla Americano, I looked him in the eye and said gently, “I’m sure right now your brother needs your love and friendship more than ever.”

He started to tear up and said quietly, “I know. You’re right. Thank you for the reminder.”

So, who needs your love right now? It may be better to surprise them with tenderness and affection rather than judgment and rejection.

Sad Divorced Woman Feeling Alone in a Crowd
Sad Divorced Woman Feeling Alone in a Crowd Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

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