Wednesday, 28 March 2012

How do you tell your church it’s over?

I used the medium of writing to convey the news of my divorce to my family and to my church. It was harder to convey the news to my church. While my siblings got the news the day after I learned of it (through a call from my lawyer), I waited another week before broaching the subject with key church members. I spend a substantial amount of time with my fellow church members and leaders at least once a week. With the advantage of proximity, they left no stone unturned in trying to piece my shattered marriage back together. It was therefore really hard to share the news with them. I would begin crafting an email, and then end up deleting it. I did this several times before I finally took a deep breath, and hit the ‘send’ button.

Here, I share my final email to select members of my church family.

Dear Friends and Beloved Brethren in the Lord,

I trust that 2012 is treating each of you well so far.

Pardon me for relaying this message via email. I would have preferred to call each of you individually to convey this sensitive message, but since I’ve kept postponing it for various reasons (including travel, etc.), I thought it best to send an email before the month ends.

Fourteen years ago, on February 15, I took a leap of faith and got married. We were two young Christians, full of dreams, and with the best of intentions toward one another. Unfortunately, the union did not last and each of you is aware of the details. Ironically (and uncannily), our divorce was finally granted on February 15, 2012, exactly 14 years to the day of the marriage.

I wanted to let each of you know how deeply I appreciate your enduring concern over this matter, which each of you expressed in word and deed in ways that I will never forget. Each of you really continued to fight for the relationship, even long after I had no more fight left in me. I have no doubt that God will richly reward your efforts. My prayer is that as you have watered me and my family, may God Himself water you and yours in return.  May everything that my marriage lacked be granted to each couple represented here in abundance. May every struggle that my marriage faced be a non-issue in your own unions. May God give each of you strength for your respective marriage journeys – strength to make it until the end. May your marriages be nothing but a source of pure joy – marriages in which you actually enjoy each other, rather than merely endure one another. And may your children have the privilege of witnessing what a true Christian marriage is supposed to be like. May that foundation lead them into their own stable marriages. In Jesus’ Name.

I am grateful to each of you for always pointing me toward reconciliation, and for your genuine concern that I do God’s will. The divorce was not a recommendation from any of you, or even from anyone else that I know. This was purely my decision. Thank you for pointing out the potential consequences of this decision, and for sharing your perspective on this decision, based on your understanding of scripture. Thank you also for respecting my decision, nonetheless.

Blessings to you all.

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