Helping to Heal the Wounds of Divorce
By Rhonda Reese
When a woman at church lost her husband to death, people scurried to her side. But a few months later when another woman lost her husband to divorce, few rallied to help her. Witnessing the wounds that follow divorce showed me why God hates it so much. But since our Father in heaven binds up wounded hearts, let’s do our part, too, and offer a healing balm to all who suffer.
- Help your friend establish an “evidence book” -- a written document of the ways God unexpectedly helps the hurting. When the Lord miraculously provides groceries or money, encourage your friend to write it down. When God motivates someone to phone just when the hurting person needs it most, tell her to write it down. Then challenge your divorced friend to reread this evidence of God’s faithfulness during days of despair.
- Encourage your friend to bask in the Bible. Call and read a passage to her, or ask her to read a bit to you. Write appropriate verses on cards and suggest that your friend read them daily. Initiate frequent conversations about God.
- Don’t ignore your divorced friend. If you don’t have eloquent words to speak, just say, “I’m sorry you hurt. I care.” Or simply listen. And listen. And listen. It is wisest during such times for a female to assist another female, and a male another male.
- Consider a pinch of redecorating. Several months after a coworker’s husband left, I gave her a new bedspread and pillows. I wasn’t prepared for her response. “Everywhere I look, I see him,” she said. “Especially in the bedroom. I’ve wanted to redecorate but had no money. Thanks so much!”
- If children need a man’s influence, perhaps you can find a trustworthy male to assist. The same applies if a female’s influence is needed.
- Recruit some friends to help with yard work, car care, cooking, or babysitting -- whatever services would be most helpful to your hurting friend.
Continue to include the divorced person in your life. Don’t let him or her disappear from Bible study, church, or social activities. The divorced already feel rejected and need a loving circle of friends.
Rhonda Reese, Sabbath School Department of General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists