There is Life After Divorce!

“Divorce is not an option” is one of the craziest lies I’ve ever heard. Because it is in fact an option. Serving ten years as a minister I have witnessed people condemn divorce, while they themselves may be married legally but are in fact living as divorced people under the same roof. I have seen others feel as though everyone’s marriage should be easy because theirs is; however, that is just simply not the case.  If we are ever going to become the effective church of the 21st century, we are going to have to stop ostracizing people because of their situations, and just begin to minister to people where they are.  God is able to give them the future that HE intended for them to have.  If you are one of those people who feels as though EVERY marriage is going to work, then you will probably just want to read a different post; because this post is intended to help those experiencing divorce, moving on, finding healing, and knowing that God yet has a plan for their lives!

Contrary to the popular belief that nowadays people are just jumping in and out of marriage like dirty underwear, there are still many people that take the vows of marriage very serious. Most of the individuals that I’ve encountered took every precaution possible to save what they believed was a life long commitment, only to find themselves on a ship that had sank long before they decided to get off: enduring endless back and forth, pointless conversations, meetings, and counseling sessions, unhealthy mental and emotional stress because even though they said they didn’t care they really did.  

A true fact is that who you are today is probably a far cry form who you were 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. And one thing that is certain is that just because you are growing older chronologically doesn’t mean that you are growing older mentally. There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with a 20, 30, or 40 year-old-kid! Oh and don’t think these statements are gender specific, they apply to both men and women.  Then there’s the case where you have been fooled by an individual:

They said the right things while you were dating. You did all that you could to get know your mate. You went to pre-marital counseling. And … wait for it… you get married only to find out that the person you married knows nothing about loyalty, fidelity, Jesus or anything else you thought was commonly practiced in a Christian relationship.

There are other factors that can cause a marriage to ultimately fail:

Outside interference – one mate continues to allow others to invade the relationship and control the affairs of the family.

Lack of Trust – one mate is not honest about serious issues thus causing a breach in the trust of the relationship.

MONEY – it gets real frustrating when there’s not enough of it

Abuse – one mate is intentionally and continually harmful to the other; physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually

There are many more reasons as to why you may have suffered from a failed marriage, but this is not the end of you! There is still more life left in you and you can and will be restored to 100%! You know I like lists, so here is a list of suggestions that can help to bring back whatever you lost in the process:

  1. Allow time for healing - A common mistake that many divorcees make is to get involved with another individual without allowing the necessary time to heal mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We can’t neglect the fact that when you divorce you are losing a significant part of yourself for the bible says that TWO shall become ONE. With this being understood please understand that you must get familiar with who you are now; after all, you have just lost a piece of yourself. It is difficult, and nearly impossible, to become familiar with yourself while learning someone else.
  2. Accept the change – Even though the marriage may have been a living hell, you must be comfortable with the fact that you learned something from it.  Accept what you have learned and use it freely as it is a part of you that you’ve earned. Also accept your new singleness. You should have more knowledge of yourself and what you can and can’t handle. Go and grab life! You now have new tools to guard yourself and I BET, if you giver yourself time to heal, you can recognize someone with the mentality of you ex a mile away.
  3. Erase any battle lines and forgive – When you go through a divorce everyone around you suffers from the effects of this life altering situation.  It is easy to damage long standing relationships because you are un happy with the fact that a friend refused to take your side... or maybe felt that something you did was wrong… or gave their perspective on things and you weren’t viewed as the angel that I am sure that you are… Listen, you will never get any where holding on to “how bad you were done”. Forgive everyone! By doing this you are releasing yourself from any negativity that could hinder you from moving into your newly formed successful self. Remember even Paul had to forget things that happened in the past and move on…
    • Allow your friends to be friendly to both. Don’t worry, you will gradually evolve and either develop a new dynamic on your relationship or grow apart. Be at peace and know that every Judas helped you.
  4. Increase your dedication to ministry – You now have more time to dedicate to fulfilling your purpose. The church has a ministry that can allow you to utilize any skill set that you desire to use or develop. This will allow you to grow in your desired area and remain spiritually grounded.
  5. Don’t play games! – There is nothing worse than playing games with your ex.  If your ex is healthy and is not a threat to your children, you need to allow them to co-parent. To play with anyone’s child male or female is a breeding ground for drama, because no one wants to be denied access to their the children.
  6. No SEX with the ex! – Y’all know I’m a real person. You shouldn’t be sexing any one, seeing whereas you are now single. Most of the time after a divorce some one loses weight, gets a make over, rediscovers their sexiness, or any or all of the above. It is very easy for sexual tension to build between the two seeing that you both know each other very well. You must at all cost avoid this unless you all re-marry! Sex with the ex is the devil! (j/k) All it does is complicate things.
  7. Don’t make your ex the reason you succeed – Don’t do one thing to make your ex jealous! They no longer are a part of the equation so it is irrelevant how they feel about anything that you do (unless it directly affect the children)…

Keep in mind this is 3a process but you will come out better than you went in! God still has purpose for you and will use you too. Please leave a comment below... hopefully we can open a healthy dialog regarding this topic...

"Can we talk?" (Tips on dating)

 Dating is a very controversial topic in the church at large… luckily I only pastor one church so I’ll give you my take on it.  First, I would like to state that I believe in dating before marriage! I feel as though there wouldn't be as many divorces if we would get to know a person before we married them. Before we go any further I must define the difference between the phrases “We’re dating” and “went on a few dates”:

The phrase “We are dating,” in my opinion, refers to couple that has for the time being decided to become monogamously involved with one another as a means to get to know each other for the purpose of life long marriage in the future (no fornication involved).
The phrase “We went on a few dates,” in my opinion, refers to two grown individuals that decided to see if they are compatible with each other to begin dating (no fornication involved). 

As a single Christian you have so much pressure to live under now-a-days: Some have parents telling them that they need to get married, then you have married people who think you want their mate, and then you have to turn down every player or harlot in town. On top of this you have those that will jump to conclusions about an individual because he/she is not in a relationship.   This becomes complicated because you have to not only address those that are pressuring you then have to find a way to a. meet, b. court, and c. some how build a life with an individual while d. maintaining morals.

Pastor and First lady Walter & Patrice Rogers

Pastor and First lady Walter & Patrice Rogers

I was married at 22 years old and have been married for the past 8 years (Oct 23, 2005). When I was dating my wife I had to be ultra careful because I was a young very attractive pastor (I have pictures to prove it lol), and there were many young men watching my example so that they could replicate what I was doing in their own lives.   My wife and I “kept it HOLY” so to speak both in public and in private… but I would be lying if I said it was easy!!  At every turn someone had an opinion or a rule regarding something we were doing being that she and I went on a few dates before we were exclusively involved with one another. Even though my wife and I were young we didn't have time for the games and did want to waste each others time, so we went on a few dates to see if we even liked one anther.  Church people didn't like it, but as a Christian if you are going to enjoy life you are going to have to learn to live a life that pleases God and God alone. I have put together a few guidelines that I feel will allow you to date as a Christian.

  1. Remember that the scripture says let not your good be evil spoken of so I would suggest all dates that end before 10:00 pm unless it’s a group setting (karaoke, group date night @ Dave & Busters etc.)
  2. Refuse to be kept a secret  - you are an adult and don’t HAVE to hide anything from  anyone
  3. Don’t date anyone in the “midst of a divorce" (whether it’s nasty or not)  you are married until you get the final decree! From there it’s all good…
  4. Avoid long conversation with the person you’re dating that have a heavy sexual connotation (realistically it’s going to come up, but have STRONG boundaries)
  5. Be honest if it’s not working no need to prolong a bad situation "end it" in the most mature way possible 
    1. Break-ups don’t have to be childish! However, its common that during the break up you realize you were dating a big kid (but that’s another blog)
  6. Be yourself, if they “fall” for you want to make sure they know who “you” actually are
    1. Plus fake people suck - keep it 100
  7. Be transparent with friends and family but they don’t need to know ALL of your business
    1. The less people involved in a relationship the better
  8. If you are “dating” someone make sure there is a spiritual element involved
    1. pray together
    2. study the Bible together
    3. go to church together
  9. Don’t be too invested!! "They" are not yours until you are married. Conduct yourself in such a manner that if they leave...  you've lost nothing but time… although time is irreplaceable you don’t want to have lost your time and your dignity after dealing with someone.
  10. Be open (with reason) don’t try to mold anyone “into” someone they are not. Because life is a journey, you are constantly learning about yourself and you  never know… you may grow to like someone or something you never thought      you would… opposites attract

If there are children involved it changes the game a little whether you are a women or a man. You don’t want to bring a lot of different men and women “in-front" of your children; it just sends the wrong message, and can be a little confusing to them.  I would suggest you not only wait until you have a definite handle on the relation, but also until you have a very good feel for the individuals intentions and character before they have the pleasure of meeting your children.

I would like to say however that I feel that it is healthy for a child to see a single parent date at one point or another. This will help them to develop a realistic view on healthy romantic relationships when they become an adult themselves.

In closing, Christ came so that we can have life and that we may have it more abundantly! So  you better enjoy that bad boy cause you only get one... As always this is Pastor Walter B. Rogers telling you to be postured for correction, but not positioned for manipulation…

Feedback is welcomed please leave a comment below…