I’ve talked here often about how I’ve been judged through my separation and divorce process (heck, I was even judged for the kind of wife I was) and how much pain that added to my already broken and fragile heart.
And I was reminded of the harshness of judgment when I saw a post on Facebook.
A fairly famous couple were congratulated for fifteen years of marriage.
Their back story is that they were both married, then they both divorced, and then they married each other. There was speculation over the nature of their relationship throughout their marriages, though they claimed to have only been friends until they were both divorced.
And though most of the thousands of comments seemed kind, here were a few that stood out to me:
Have a hard time supporting a marriage that destroyed another Christian marriage…..and calling it “Godly”!
Sorry, but their marriage didn’t begin in a godly way and another marriage was destroyed to make way for this one. Not something I can pat them on the back for.
Don’t support them; she was a married “Christian”.
Nice but too bad two marriages had to BREAK UP so they could get married!!!
They both divorced their spouses to marry each other.
I don’t support them at all. They broke up their families to marry each other. That is against God’s law. No way will I wish them happiness.
Wow. First of all, this is a celebrity couple. I’m wondering how many of the above people actually know them, are friends with them. I’m guessing zero. So, in other words, they do not know the details of their individual or collective stories.
Secondly, this was on a public Facebook page, inviting words of congratulations. Have these adults never heard the saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? Why are they sitting around filling up the internet with venom?
Thirdly, this was fifteen years ago. Perhaps these commenters should move on.
Fourthly, the meanness and cruelty of these words is stunning to me. Non-Christians wouldn’t speak this way because, frankly, they probably wouldn’t care all that much about a couple of people divorcing and then getting married to each other. Which means that, odds are, the above comments were written by Christians. In fact, stop right now, scroll back up and re-read those words. Those words are coming out of the what-appears-to-be hate-filled heart-well of people who love Jesus. It should take your breath away, really. We should never, ever speak of someone else the way these people are speaking (let alone in public, about them, as opposed to directly to them in a setting of loving confrontation), EVEN IF WE KNOW EVERY SORDID DETAIL and EVEN IF WE KNOW THE PEOPLE PERSONALLY and EVEN IF WHAT THEY DID REALLY WAS SIN.
And finally, on a personal note, this makes me so very sad. And a bit apprehensive. I’m practically bracing myself.
Because I was once married. And then I divorced. And now I’m going to remarry. Am I about to be on the receiving end of unkind, harsh, cruel words (I mean, other than commenters on my Crosswalk.com articles who have told me that if I remarry, I will be an adulteress…thank you, kind sir…)?* (Please, please refrain.)
So, I guess, all this to say: if you have something to say to someone you don’t know, either keep it to yourself or just say it to God; if you have something to say that is unkind, do not say it publicly; if you find yourself typing hateful words on the internet, hit ‘delete’ instead of ‘enter’. And if any of these are you, you might want to take a look at your own heart. What is going on inside of you that feels you are superior, that feels you are without sin? Because last I checked, I have enough sin of my own to keep me focused on myself for a very, very long time.
*By the way, I have a statement from my elder reassuring me I would not be committing adultery if I remarried. In case any of you are wondering.
If this post convicted you, you might benefit from reading World Split Open, which talks about the intricacies and darkness of a difficult Christian marriage, found here.