I remember the first time I had to complete a survey that gave the option of the following boxes:
□ Single □ Married □ Divorced
Even though I completed forms like this a million times on paper and online, the first time I had to following divorce I felt devasted. I even tried to leave it blank, but a response was required. Somehow, I didn’t even want complete strangers to know that I was in the divorced category. If you think checking a box was difficult, try saying "I’m divorced" aloud for the first days, weeks and sometimes years.
Why is it embarrassing to admit being divorced? Is there the fear of others being judgmental? Is there the fear of our testimony being ruined? I told a friend I was writing a book entitled: Divorced and Still Highly Favored and tears began to form in her eyes. I was concerned about her response and asked her if I had said something wrong. She shared with me that she still feels stigmatized by having to admit she failed at marriage not only once, but twice. Even though her last divorce was more than five years ago, the pain and embarrassment was still there.
I too remember feeling like I had let the whole world down. I didn't like having to admit I was divorced. In speaking with my current husband, he indicated it was over five years after his divorce before he felt comfortable saying the word “divorce.”
The Bible offers a remedy for our emotional shame when admitting being divorced. Read John 4: 1-42 where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. This woman needed water for her household but deliberately came to the well at midday as to avoid others. Jesus knew she had been married five times and took the time to minister to her to let her know she was worthy of salvation. After her conversation with Jesus, she was no longer ashamed and ran through out the community to tell others Jesus told her everything about her past. In fact, she set the record for being the catalyst for a whole town getting saved.
After encountering Jesus, she wasn't worried about the gossip and what other's thought of her. This story did wonders for me. I hope it will encourage you as well. Just because you are divorced, it does not mean that God no longer loves you or that He is mad at you. In fact He wants to go out of his way as he did for the woman at the well to redeem you.
Now, I can not only admit that I am divorced, but tell the world "I am Divorced and Still Highly Favored."
Have you ever been accused of nagging too much?
Do you know anyone who nags all the time?
Dictionary.com defines nag as: to annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent fault finding or continuous urging.
Nagging according to the Urban Dictionary is: “A form of moaning: primarily used by women to complain about nearly anything and everything.” Sounds like a definition only a man could come up with.
Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to research what the Bible says about nagging. Believe it or not it mentions nagging or quarrelsome seven times. Four of the seven refer to a quarrelsome wife, so heads up ladies. Here are the four mentioned.
· Proverbs 21:9 and 25:24 (ESV) - It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
· Proverbs 21:19 (ESV) - It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
· Proverbs 27:15 (ESV) - A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike.;
Wow, nothing is mentioned about a quarrelsome or nagging husband, only the wife seems to be an issue. Either way, I’m sure I would be bothered by a nagging husband. These scriptures demonstrate that a man prefers peace even at the price of physical discomfort. It is suggested that a man would be better of living in the desert or on the corner of the roof rather than with a nagging woman. I had to laugh because my husband has a fear of heights and has gotten stuck on the roof twice trying to hang Christmas lights before I started bugging him about getting it done.
In expanding on these scriptures, Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary states “what a great affliction it is to a man to have a brawling scolding woman as a wife, who upon every occasion, and often upon no occasion, breaks into a passion, and chides either him or those about her, is fretful to herself and furious to her children and servants, and, is both vexatious to her husband.
A nagging wife is even compared to an annoying drip. My husband has gotten out of the bed to stop a dripping faucet because it irritated him greatly. Early in our marriage as a stepfamily, I found myself asking him several times to tell his children something on my behalf. If I didn't think he was doing as I had asked, I would ask him again, with a little more high pitch in my voice. Even now he has mentioned that I don't ask one question, I rapidly fire them off. Uh oh, is he secretly accusing me of nagging? I better check that out.
So what’s the solution when we need to get information from our spouses or get some things done? You know, if they would just do what they are supposed to do, we wouldn’t have to complain right? The answer is as simple as communication 101 for couples. Learn to communicate in a positive, non-accusatory tone of voice and don’t forget your body language. Remember, it’s not necessarily what you say, it’s how you say it. If you
speak in a tone of voice that indicates quarreling or repeat the same question
over and over or ask questions in a condescending manner you may be accused of
nagging. Better go check the roof.
I love hats and wear them whenever I have a chance. On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a "tea party" complete with hats and gloves. It was a wonderful occasion. There were hats of all kinds, in every color imagineable. I was running late so I didn't have an opportunity to run by the house and pick up my hat, however when I arrived the hostess (a hat lover) had an assortment of hats at the front door so that everyone could participate. What a fabulous time we had.
As I looked at all of the lovely hats in the room, it reminded me of all of the hats we have to wear as women. We are moms, stepmoms, wives, daughters, grandaughters, aunts, sisters, church members and co-workers. How do we manage to do it all? For myself, it requires getting up early in the morning and praying for the strength and the wisdom to make it through the day. I start out with my wife and stepmom hat on and then switch to my work hats. During the day, I had to switch to my mom hat when my son sent me a text asking me how to make fish tacos and my daughter asked me how she was going to get all of her clothes home for the summer break. As I shared with a co-worker, I modeled my friend hat. End of the work day and back home to change hats again and you get the picture. Hopefully as I try to model all of these hats I can achieve the gifts of the Proverbs 31 woman, "Her clothes are well made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile." (Proverbs 31: 25 The Message).
Well it's time to take off my blogging hat and put the wife one back on. Happy Hat Wearing!
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach