About a week ago, in my post called Forgiveness, I wrote about the danger of hating, or at least not trusting, everyone of the opposite sex as a result of a divorce. Now I'll tell you about the flipside of that.
I have a friend who was divorced about the same time as I was, under circumstances that were similar to mine. This friend is a wonderful Christian man, except for one thing.
He keeps jumping into relationships with women.
To the casual observer, there would seem to be nothing wrong with his behavior. After all, he is divorced on biblical grounds and has every right to move on with his life.
But to those who care about my friend, there is something wrong. He hasn't given himself time to heal from his divorce, so he is vulnerable. When he meets a woman and they seem to be attracted to one another, he allows his heart to get too involved too quickly. Then when the relationship fizzles, my friend is hurt badly.
I know someone else who made this same mistake, only she ended up hurting more than herself. That person is me.
At the time of my divorce, I was lonely and feeling pretty down about myself. I had two single male friends from college days whom I had been spending time with, either online or in person. One of these friends, it seemed, was everything my ex-husband was not, and without realizing it, I lost my heart to him. Unfortunately for me, his understanding of what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage would not allow him to get involved with me. Fortunately, he was able to explain this to me very gently, and we are still friends.
The other friend, with whom I occasionally enjoyed dinner and a movie, was the unknowing victim of my double rebound from my divorce and the one-sided relationship with the man I had lost my heart to. We started down the road to romance, but I figured out within a couple months that this relationship wasn't meant to be anything more than a friendship. In the process, I hurt my friend.
I think the cure for this mistake is to guard one's heart during and after a divorce.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23.
The best way to guard one's heart is also found in scripture:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I think that the mistake we often make when we've been divorced is to let our anxiety about whether we will ever be loved again overwhelm our hearts. Instead of resting in the peace of God, we decide to pursue what we think we need to be happy. But if we are quiet and wait on Him, He will give us peace and the reassurance we need.