On a “normal” Monday (I’m a single Mom of five boys. Nothing in our lives is “normal!” 😉 ) I’d talk about Sunday’s Gospel reading and how it applies to hurting families. Today, I couldn’t look at just the Gospel. Today, every reading struck me as so applicable to what so many of us are facing, so this week, I’m taking separate looks at the first reading, the responsorial Psalm, and the Gospel.
Today, we start with first message I got from reading: Isaiah 25: 6-10.
Is Divorce Worse Than Death?
The 1st Reading – Isaiah 25:6-10
Early in the reading, we are told that God will destroy death forever. What living death is more pronounced, what death is felt by more than a small group of people, what death impacts the entire society more than the destruction of the family?
I can think of none.
It has been said that divorce is worse than death. This is not at all belittling the loss of a spouse through death, but when a spouse dies, the Love his family has for him continues. Those left behind can move on in part because Love carries them through. Love helps remind them that they can Hope to meet again.
In divorce, the deserting spouse is, in many ways dead, but Love has also died. In divorce, instead of allowing the grieving spouse to move on, the deserting spouse lurks in darkness. There is no joyful anticipation of a meeting in Heaven. Instead, there is the often dreaded waiting to meet in other circumstances: an exchange of children at a location approved by the court, a tete-a-tete over financial support, daycare, and children’s activities, over holidays and vacations. Even in extreme cases, the custodial parent knows the absentee parent could show up and claim parental rights at any time. The custodial parent knows there is little he or she can do to prevent this from happening and often questions whether it would be right to prevent it even if she could. She may often find herself asking if a bad father is better than no father?
When a Good spouse dies, Loved ones laugh at jokes and silly remembrances. They look forward to holding their loved one again in Heaven. When a marriage dies, when one spouse walks away leaving his marriage and his children (even part time), there is little remembered laughter, silly jokes must be first mulled over to be sure they are not seen by the abandoned spouse or partially abandoned children as insulting to the absentee parent.
When a spouse walks away from his vows, he sins so grievously, there is no guarantee of a meeting in Heaven one day (Not that anything is guaranteed since only the Lord knows what is truly in our hearts). The spouse’s sin may prevent him from getting to Heaven (we can’t know this for sure and sincerely must Hope and Pray that it does not!), but the sins of anger and bitterness and fear can consume the abandoned spouse and prevent her from getting to Heaven too. We must be watchful of this. Satan reaches out to God’s children in our pain.
Isaiah tells us
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from every face;
What comfort this provides to those mourning the death of a marriage, the loss of their family, the destruction of dreams, the dashing of Hopes for their future and for their children’s futures.
God will destroy death – even the living death of the recently divorced.
He will wipe tears from every face – even yours!
Please join me for tomorrow’s reflection on Isaiah 25 and how it relates to dating again after divorce. Where do you put your Hope?
Thank you and
6 thoughts on “Death vs. Divorce – Lessons from Isaiah 25”
Btw, one contemporary writer who really gets divorce is V.S. Naipaul.
Yes, death is better. If you want me to kill him, just ask. Well, I’m kidding. We have to really love our enemies, and I told Father it’s his only sermon I hated. Because it’s the hardest one.
But neither you nor I are free to date or re-marry, if our marriages were legitimate. Marriage is till death. That’s our cross and our way to heaven, and it’s the better example to our kids, too. True love or no love.
haha! Yes, Janet Baker. I have to admit, I have thought of wringing his neck myself many times and have plenty of other offers too! 😉
I have not begun dating (who has time??? 🙂 ) but I did meet one man, which I’ll talk about in a post eventually (again, I need more time! 🙂 ) I decided to concentrate on waiting for the Annulment to go through to see whether the church thought the marriage was valid or not, and honestly, I still have a lot to do with the kids and have to make them, not a future spouse, my priority.
I have thoughts on whether my marriage was or not valid and do believe people make mistakes when getting married. I honestly still don’t know what to think. The church excused my marriage (and this may sound heretical) but the church is made up of men who don’t know all the details and who also make mistakes. I would like to think I can hold myself to a higher standard and look at whether the marriage was truly valid or not with insight they can never have secondhand. I believe the marriage may not have been, but I believe almost any marriage can be proven invalid – who really knows what they’re getting into when they first get married???
You are right in loving our enemies. I have thought of that many times. It is SO hard to do, knowing when to stand up for yourself and your children and when to back down because you’re standing in bitterness or anger rather than standing for Strength and Love. I have thought many times about what Unconditional Love means. My husband left, not because of the temptations of this world although that was the lure Satan used on him, but because of his fundamental failure of Love, because of his failure to be able to stick to anything long term. If I hate him or his girlfriend, I am no better than they are even though I know God is calling me to be better. When we make our vows, we say, “for better or worse.” This doesn’t mean “for better as long as you love me and live with me,” but for better or for worse. no matter how big of a jerk he can be – YIKES! Have I got a long way to go in learning to Love Unconditionally! 🙂
Thanks so much for commenting, and I will definitely check out V.S. Naipaul.
God Bless You.
Powerful post! More people need to understand the devastation and prolonged suffering caused by divorce. Jesus, we trust in you!
Thank you, Debbie. Too many people just forget about divorce or sweep it under the rug as no big deal, especially those who want divorce and look to shrug off their actions. Few realize (or at least I didn’t before this happened) how truly life altering divorce is, not just for the heart broken spouse, but for the lives of innocent children for decades to come.
Yes, Jesus I trust in You! Those words never meant as much to me as they have these last few years! I am so grateful to have learned so much in this experience. He does take the bad and use it for His Good – AMAZING! 🙂
PS So glad you’re back! xoxo
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