Faith and Divorce
Many people have grown up in a faith community with a deep, rich history of traditions and theological beliefs. These church communities are often like family to each other and when someone is in need they are the first to give a helping hand. This bond can also make it very challenging for a couple or person in the marriage relationship to make the difficult decision of getting a divorce.
Complicating the already painful dissolution of a family is the shame so many men and women feel within their church. They may have had counseling through their church and even tried everything they could to work things out, but to no avail. The stigma attached to divorce in many faith communities can be very hard to shake off.
When there is abuse or infidelity it can be especially difficult and humiliating. Often a person going through divorce will simply withdraw from their church or community and miss out on the support they could get.
Here are some tips to help you reach out to the community that has always supported you in the past.
- First, take courage and reach out to your church family – they may not be judging you like you may think they are. If your spouse continues to attend the same church and you feel no support there, find a new church. Your life is about to change dramatically and by moving on you can make new friends and find a support system in a new church.
- Keep your mind open to those who are wholeheartedly embracing you. It may not have been the same people you were keeping company with before, but it is the support you need.
- If your children are active and love their church, stay active with them. Talk to your pastor and ask if he/she can help connect you with a support group either through your church or recommend one in your community, and connect you with someone else who has walked in your shoes.
- Get involved with a church activity that you have not been involved in before. It helps to give you a fresh start and a support team that you may not have ever met before. Begin to establish new friendships.
- Reach out to a faith-based counselor. Life is too short to not begin the healing process.
Having a solid network of supporting relationships is vital for getting through divorce. The church community you have relied on in the past can be there to help you through this difficult event in your life – reach out to them today.