Scrip­tures help when peo­ple are judg­men­tal about your mar­i­tal sta­tus

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - Dayna Spence Ask the Chap­lain Ask the Chap­lain is writ­ten by Rev. Dayna Spence, an or­dained min­is­ter, li­censed evan­ge­list, and chap­lain who’s served as a hos­pi­tal chap­lain and is cur­rently serv­ing as a hos­pice chap­lain Ch­ester County area. Please email “

DEAR CHAP­LAIN>>

I re­cently got a di­vorce and I feel like such a fail­ure. I know I had just cause, I’m not ques­tion­ing that, I just feel like I have a black mark against my name. I was booted out of our mar­riage min­istry at church and I sense that peo­ple in my cell group and some of my mar­ried friends are judg­ing me. How can I over­come this feel­ing? Signed, Di­vorced and Down

DEAR DI­VORCED AND

DOWN>>

First, God loves you. This is not a fact that should just re­main in your head, but it is a truth that must move from your head to your heart. Study, pon­der, and med­i­tate on the woman at the well, in John 4:7-29. This woman was truth­ful, wise, and dis­cern­ing. And based on the text, she made many cor­rect choices; how­ever, she had is­sues in per­sonal life. Al­though many peo­ple, even to­day, choose to fo­cus on her per­sonal weak­nesses, Je­sus, in his com­pas­sion and mercy chose to fo­cus on her strengths. He was not moved by her 5 past mar­riages, but rather he saw all that she would be­come in the fu­ture. When she be­lieved in her heart that Je­sus ac­cepted her, wanted the very best for her, and truly loved her de­spite her past, it changed her whole life. So it is im­por­tant that you stand, walk, and move, know­ing and be­liev­ing that even af­ter the ink has dried on your di­vorce pa­pers, God still deeply loves and de­sires the very best for you. Sec­ond, you have to love your­self. The great­est com­mand­ment is to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind, and the sec­ond is to love your neigh­bor as your­self. Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, you are not dam­aged goods! Al­though the world may la­bel you as such, and though you may be tempted to feel this way about your­self, it is sim­ply not the truth. In the world, the ug­li­ness of di­vorce car­ries with it shame, stain, and stigma. But re­mem­ber, al­though you are in the world, you are not of the world. You are in Christ Je­sus, and there­fore no one (not even you) has the right to con­demn you, for what God has al­ready for­given you of, in­clud­ing a failed mar­riage. If you are hav­ing dif­fi­culty for­giv­ing your­self for the past, try tap­ing this scrip­ture to your bed­room mir­ror, and read it daily un­til it sinks deep into your spirit. “There is there­fore now no con­dem­na­tion to them which are in Christ Je­sus who walk not af­ter the flesh, but af­ter the Spirit.” (Ro­mans 8:1). Last but not least, re­mem­ber this scrip­ture when peo­ple are judg­men­tal about your mar­i­tal sta­tus, “You, there­fore have no ex­cuse, you who pass judg­ment on some­one else, for at what­ever point you judge an­other, you are con­demn­ing your­self, be­cause you who pass judg­ment do the same things.” (Ro­mans 2:1). The fact is this, those who judge you have al­ready com­mit­ted sim­i­lar, if not worse of­fenses. And those who look down on oth­ers, of­ten do so be­cause they don’t feel so good about them­selves. I pray that you are en­cour­aged.

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