Today we are at the beginning of a new week, new month and New Year.
The year 2015 has gone with all its failures and disappointments. Divorce 2015 and embrace 2016 as your year to experience the love of God.
Today I wish to address the controversial subject of divorce. Whether we want to admit it or not, separation and divorce are realities of the world we live in. I'd like to commence by clearly defining what divorce is not.
Divorce is not experienced exclusively by unbelievers or ungodly people, but the truth is that it's a reality in the lives of both Christians and non-Christians. The Bible states in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 13 that "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (KJV)
This scripture indicates that whoever is tempted to do anything, including going through a divorce, is not being tempted by something that is exclusively experienced by him or her, but that all of mankind is subject to such temptations as they are common to the human race.
The fact that couples can boast about how many years they've spent together, doesn't mean that there weren't times where separation or divorce were contemplated by one or both partners. It's important for married couples to understand that a marriage is sustained by the grace of God and not by anything that they can praise themselves about.
In Matthew 5 verse 45 Jesus Christ said "so that you will become children of your Father in Heaven, because He makes His sun rise on both evil and good people, and He lets rain," (ISV). The Lord is indicating that just as God doesn't limit His provision of sunshine and rain to only those who profess to be His followers, but because He is God who provides for us all, it likewise means that calamities of this life are experienced by us all.
Furthermore, the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1 verse 9 "That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (WEB) Divorce is as old as the existence of mankind. It's not something that has suddenly infiltrated the church of today.
Studying the scriptures shows that in the times of the Prophet Moses, divorce was so rife that men could separate with their wives for any reason, as long as they provided them with a letter of divorce.
Divorce is not the unpardonable sin. The Bible clearly defines what constitutes committing an unforgivable sin when Jesus explained it in Mark chapter 3 verses 28 to 30:
28 I tell all of you with certainty, people will be forgiven their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter.
29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, but is guilty of eternal sin.”
30…because they had been saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” (ISV)
People who will see God move through a man or woman and say that the Spirit operating in that individual is demonic or evil, will be guilty of committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which is the only sin that is unpardonable.
Divorce is not that sin that God can't forgive. In this generation divorcees are made to feel like they are the worst sinners and that God will never forgive them.
I have been judged by the church as well as the general public as one who doesn't qualify to minister the gospel as I have experienced some failed marriages.
I need to confess that though a lot that was reported in the media about my past it was exaggerated and not factual, that there were a few things that were mentioned that I actually did do while I was young.
It is for that reason that I made a public apology while married to a public figure about the things that I knew I had done that were not pleasing to God. My apology that is readily available online clearly states what I knew was true and needed to ask forgiveness for.
I also used the opportunity to clarify all misconceptions about false allegations not as a defence mechanism, but to set the record straight.
I took further steps to ask for forgiveness from all my previous spouses not only privately but I was bold enough to do it publicly. By the special grace of God I also forgave those who falsely accused me and we adopted a child that I allegedly fathered, but DNA tests proved was a lie. Regardless of the damage that these allegations caused in my personal life, my ministry and our family, I chose to forgive my accusers as I know that in order to be forgiven, we need to learn to forgive.
If there is anyone reading this publication who still feels that you have justifiable reason to judge me, I hereby ask for your forgiveness.
As my wife and I travel around the world preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and strengthening marriages through our MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE CLINIC, I have publicly gone on my knees in front of thousands, asking for forgiveness from women on behalf of all men who have hurt them.
Divorce is not a death sentence. I'm a living testimony that there is life after divorce. I can say without any fear of contradiction that whoever has gone through a divorce and went to God to confess your wrongs, He has forgiven you.
I had my own share in the failure of my previous marriages. The quicker we realise that humans are neither exclusively good or evil, the quicker we will realise that we also contribute to breakdown of our relationships.
Even when you think that you didn't do anything wrong, that thought alone is wrong as Ecclesiastes 7 verse 20 reveals that "For there is not a single righteous man on earth who practices good and does not sin." (ISV).
Even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ refused to be called "Good Master" while He was still in the flesh in Luke 18 verses 18 and 19, because though He was God manifested in a human body, He was teaching us that as long as we are in the flesh we cannot be completely perfect.
My advice to divorced individuals is that you firstly need to forgive your partner in case you have reasons to blame him or her for the failure of your marriage.
Secondly you need to forgive God in case you are blaming Him for not doing enough to save your marriage.
I've learned that many people walk around with grudges in their hearts against God, because they feel that He failed them.
The fact that God didn't show up in your situation as you expected Him to, doesn't make Him less of God in your life.
We will later deal with God's perfect will and His permissive will and this will bring more light on understanding God's ways.
Finally, you need to forgive yourself. Stop beating up yourself because you could not make your marriage work or feel like you could have done more to save your marriage.
Realise that sometimes very bad things do happen to really good people.