The Art of Divorce.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?

If I were still trying to please men I would not be a servant of God. Galatians 1:10

In general terms, divorce means a total separation; disunion.

I’d been wrestling with niggling guilt about an unpleasant situation that occurred recently, frustrated and astounded that forgiveness for unintended wrong was not granted. Apology rejected.

Seriously? Who does that? 

Hurt people hurt people.

As I shook my head and blew out a labored breath, the thought came to me, ‘Man, this individual has the art of divorce down pat’ 

Turned out, there’d been wounds inflicted long before our lives intersected. I learned of others who’d been cut off. I’m guessing refusal to extend grace had become a well-rehearsed, defensive response.

Yet there were still those in the person’s inner circle who’d managed to meet the high standard of acceptability. I used to be one of those, but was cruelly cast out like a leper.


Thus, I experienced my first bonafide divorce. An unrepairable disunion.

As a result, a disturbance rattled inside my soul…

Why did I long to have our differences ironed out with a happily ever after? 

Why weren’t my verbal apologies accepted? 

What would it take to put a peaceful end to this conflict?

Code for: Mary struggles with idolatry and loses sleep over the fact that SOMEBODY out there has found fault with her.

Yes, I admit it. I need peace and kindness and get-along-ness among those I interact with…husband, kids, neighbors, cops (always wise to keep them smiling), my pastors and congregation. Even fellow shoppers in the mall.

But the fact is, I share the planet with fellow sinful, fallen peeps.the-art-of-divorce-2-picmonkey

And here’s the thing, if I’ve made every effort to live in peace with men (Hebrews 12:14) and reconciliation is just not happening, then God urges me to practice the art of divorce. Meaning, to establish healthy boundaries and separate myself from those who do not (or can not) show kindness and humility and grace. 

The art of divorce means I should not want peace so much that I desire to please man (people) more than to please God. 

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?

If I were still trying to please men I would not be a servant of God. Galatians 1:10

But I’m to pray for them. Perpetually. This will inevitably develop a heart of compassion for the deeply wounded individual.

I must also divorce myself from reckless slander, to exercise respectful silence. Because, believe me, others will be itching to know, ‘What’s up with you and…?’

While I’ve never experienced marital divorce, I’m called to be a divorce survivor of a different kind, to separate myself from unyielding individuals who may be harmful to my spiritual well-being.

How about your inter-personal relationships? Is God calling you to practice the art of divorce?


  1. TT says:

    That word divorce cuts deep. Nice post.

  2. Patricia Wood says:

    Galatians 1:10 is a good verse to go to when I need to evaluate my motives in difficult situations. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  3. Beverly DeBonis says:

    You nailed it!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      I appreciate that, Bev. The “D” word, right? 🙁 But it’s essential when there is toxicity in a relationship.

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