I read a blog a few years ago that was from a lady who abandoned a second marriage to return to her first. She said that it is what would honor God the most.
As I write that, I still have the same feeling I did when I read it originally. Like someone got some wires crossed and was using God to do what she wanted. I think that if she realized she made a mistake and still loved her first husband, she should have just said that. She ended up sending a message of condemnation to every person who has ever been married before that the only way to please God was to do as she was preparing to do.
How did she, in a committed marriage, find the certainty that her former husband would take her back? I’m only guessing, so that means that I am moving from her personal story into the territory of “what if” and there is no truth regarding this woman from here out. I don’t know her name, her story, or her heart, so do not think that my guesses are about her, specifically.
A person could find out that her previous husband would take her back if she were stepping outside of her current marriage to find out. That is, cheating again. A person who ended one marriage to begin another is clearly wrong. However, I know that God can take our selfish sins and create something new. I know that He can and does bless second, third, or whatever, marriages. I’ve seen it and experienced it. It’s not without consequences, those are to be expected, but God can and does shower grace and mercy on those who don’t deserve it. Go figure.
I think that the bigger problem is that people are so unsure of grace that they still think they have to make sacrifices to earn it. Maybe a person who is in a second, or third, or whatever, marriage is afraid that God has not forgiven the selfishness and/or mistakes that got them there, so they think they need to backtrack to find Him. Thinking that grace is reserved for only a pocket of existence, people will accumulate damage and rip up new growth, trying to fix their lives into that pocket.
The sad thing is, sometimes they go back to their vomit and think it will be different this time. “Maybe,” they think, “God will love me more now.”
I learned a lot from my own sin. Immediately after, I learned about myself. I am a deceitful person who would spit on my own friendships for the sake of selfishness. That’s debilitating knowledge, of which I could not rise above. Not too long after that, I learned that Jesus would get just as dirty as the sinner to save her. He has no problem being lumped with me. That was life giving knowledge. Over the years, I learned that my selfishness was unnecessary and purely my own doing. That’s practical and useful knowledge.
I have been given another chance. I have been given the ground to do things differently, to apply my lessons and renew my perspective in such a way that would have shielded me from the traps that ruined my first marriage. If I had known then, what I now know about marriage and grace, I would not have had an affair. My fences are further out and much higher. They get stronger, even still.
There is a garden of grace where ashes of sin once smoldered. The interesting thing about burning out a plot of land is that it burns out the weeds, too. You can plant and mark new flowers and recognize the weeds as they try to grow in. It’s a big do-over even if you or I don’t deserve one. Like flowers pushing up through volcanic ash, or a field growing through the remnants of a torched house. Life pushes through death and eventually swallows it up completely.
This “forgiven much loves much.” I tend the garden born of ashes.