When They Walk Away

We all know someone, or multiple “someones,” that have experienced the emotional turmoil of being abandoned by their spouse. It truly is an unbelievably hard time for the individual. As a pastor, I have yet to meet someone in this situation that is willing to say, “everything is fine.” It’s actually the complete opposite. The people I meet are more broken than words can adequately describe. I once heard it put this way, “It is more tragic for someone to walk away than for someone to die. For when they walk away it is done on purpose.”
Yet, there is hope for the abandoned! Those that have experienced such hurt can respond, survive, and even thrive in their abandonment. Below I have listed four steps that I hope will serve as a starting point to the road of recovery for those facing abandonment.
 
#1 Seek Godly Counsel – Search out a friend that can not only listen, but also can deal out simple and godly advice. Listen to outside wisdom instead of inside hurt. It is hard to evaluate your situation when you are experiencing hurt. When deciding from whom to receive counsel consider:
I. Do they love Jesus supremely?
II. Will they be honest to the point of hurt if needed? (Proverbs 27:6)
III. Are they too emotionally involved with you to truly give you the advice you need?
 
#2 Behave in Godly Manner – Honor God with your behavior. Make His standard the only standard that you aim for. Do not act like you feel. Do not act like how some around you think you should act. Work hard to be above reproach in your time of hurt. Appropriate behavior will set your heart in order to forgive as Jesus has forgiven. Our hearts deceive us. They tell us to get even or “get the truth out there.” We must trust God with our defense. 
 
#3 Have Your Time – Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for all seasons, including mourning. There is time to mourn. Have your God-given time. Mourn before God. Mourn with those who hurt with and for you. There is a blessedness in holy mourning. During times of intense pain, the church has the opportunity to shine beautifully. We are called by Christ to “mourn with those who mourn.” I pray you are involved in a Christ-centered church that is willing to encourage you and even mourn with you. Seek a church to join that will encourage you and will give you an opportunity to encourage others. 
 
#4 Encourage Yourself in the Lord – Pray, worship God faithfully, serve where you can, and sing to God. Pain is personal. Good advice should be heard and taken. Good behavior should be a top priority, regardless of the feelings within your heart. Mourning should be given a season, but it should never become your identity! Trust God that your mourning will be comforted!
    Scripture: Matthew 5:4
 
In Closing – Please remember, only you and God can completely understand your sorrow. Spend much time with Him. Cast your cares upon Him. He cares for you. Even when we are faithless He is FAITHFUL! No matter what your spouse does, God is staying! Find encouragement in His character today.
    Scripture: 1st Samuel 30:6
 
Contributors:  When dealing with sensitive topics, I endeavor to seek wisdom from my mentors. I want to thank Dr. R.L. Brown Lead Pastor of Victory Baptist Church in North Augusta and Brandon Dobson (MDiv) Lead Pastor of Bonlee Baptist Church in Bonlee, NC. Your care for others is faithful and refreshing.

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