[, Music, ], so [, Music ] welcome to the scott harness podcast. Well, it is great to have you with us today we are going to continue our discussion about divorce man, what a tough topic that it is, but we’ve discovered a lot of stuff. If you haven’t seen the first podcast for this, i would suggest you going back and watching it and to look at the content that we covered with that you know. As always, i want to say this to you: we’re constantly trying to produce content that has impact on your life. That’S going to help you understand what god wants from you and how you can live better and how it is that your life can really live in harmony with god, and so we’re constantly producing that you can help us get the content to you if you’ll like And subscribe we’ll make sure that you get it there.

You can ring if you click the bell on on youtube: it’ll get it there um on facebook. If you’ll share the video with friends you’re going to get people, i’m having an opportunity to see it as well. Today, in the room, we have uh really some distinguished folks in here with me as we discuss as we discuss as we discuss divorce man. This is a big topic, so across the across the table from me is karen peeler and karen is a professional counselor here at that church. That’S right and she is on staff here um and i don’t know i mean how many, if you were just like that number spitballing, how many people or how many, how many folks do you think you’ve canceled since your time as a counselor, goodness, i don’t know A lot a lot, maybe thousands i bet it would be if you consider how many come in during the week, but a lot and then on the phone and yeah and count and and it didn’t, shut down during pandemic, we’re still not at all.

We did zoom and talk to people uh i mean in a lot of ways: phone uh inbox. However they needed to reach out. We tried to be there to give them a next step. Yeah, it’s funny as a pastor. You know people ask you know what what do you feel like that you know you’re calling as i’m so i’m called to speak and preach and teach but but and lead to church, but one of the greatest things that we do as a church that i think, Probably has more impact than than anything else is our counseling and karen leads all that, and it’s got a bunch of moving parts.

It’S messy lives are messy, people are messy stuffs, sin is messy, the world we live in is messy, and but i i i can’t i don’t i run into people constantly they go, you know i came in and karen or lynn or mark, or you know jenny. They just steve they’re, just they made a difference. You know i i was at a hopeless place and and sitting down and talking with them and just navigating through it. I know for me personally just being able to have that resource when i’m talking to people go hey, you need to go this. This is not.

I can’t, in five seconds flip a switch. That’S going to fix, what’s broken here this. This took a little bit to get to and it’s going to take a little bit to get out of, but you need a navigator, you need somebody and they’ll and they’ll do it for you and the one thing that i always know is that i know they’re Going to hear the gospel, absolutely you know yeah, so we uh, we give that spiritual guidance open the word. It’S all about teaching people what the bible says about their life. You know my husband is a licensed counselor and i’m a minister ordained through the church to counsel sure um.

So it’s those things together help so many people, it’s good and our our counseling team is always ready to meet with people and help them navigate those difficult situations huge. It’S absolutely huge. I think i think one of the biggest things that we face you know is sometimes just having somebody to listen to us and somebody that can give us good godly direction. I talk to so many people that are out of state that they just don’t have this available and it’s like impossible now they may have, they may have counselors and it’s on a secular side and boy. You know that’s different.

I mean it’s crazy. How practical and applicable the word of god is to every aspect and every element, every level of life, so so that’s good stuff, so karen’s with us, kendall harness is with us yeah pastor of our cabot campus baby, yeah yeah, and so i’m here, just as comedic Relief, i guess we’re here, to help you navigate divorce and if you should or shouldn’t get a divorce which we sort of covered the last one. I guess and then uh in this one we’re talking more about prepping and walking through, and so it’s gon na be really good. I’M excited we got b ready g too. That’S right!

Brady, gill, he’s over there running all the time. Look at all the buttons and stuffings yeah – i’m probably not gon na – have very much to say, because we got professionals in here: [, Music, ], so i’m doing all the technical stuff. So we’ve had a few people. Ask brady a few people ask that. Is that a noose behind you, but it’s not it’s a light, bulb y’all yeah, it’s a light bulb.

That’S a light, bulb i’ll video y’all up a little bit. Look at that see. That’S a light bulb hanging down, not a noose, not a news yeah. No, that would be morbid and we’re not doing that. Yeah.

The very first time we had like a we had like a the mic and it looked like this yeah. It was like right here and it was like it really did. Look like a news. We were like all right. We got to cut that out.

We got to get that out of here. People are like what kind of things are you doing? What are y’all trying to what you’re trying to say about this when a staff member doesn’t perform? Well, hey, listen! It’S a throat!

All right! Let’S jump into this, we got a question. Here’S the question we got married for the wrong reasons, so this couple comes together. They probably left their spouses or whatever um living in sin. They got together and eventually got married um after we’re married.

What they’re asking is, are we still committing adultery together, um, and let me read the verse to you that they’re talking about in luke chapter 16 and verse 18. It says anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. So their question is, is: are they continuing to commit adultery by being together because their marriage didn’t start rightly, and then the second to that is, is? Should they get a second divorce, so they divorce each other? Is god asking them to to divorce their?

You know their spouse, so what would what what’s the counsel you’d give to that karen? Oh, i think from the beginning. You know, god addressed any type of sin with a question he wants us to be introspective, you know what’s going on, what are you doing yeah and we do not control grace. So i’m grateful that god’s grace covers sin, that’s good, so we have to believe that there is restoration for all situations, but what we don’t want to do is continue to repeat the same things over and over and over again when sin has so much relational consequences. Yeah we want to stop, take responsibility for what’s going on and then seek the help that we need.

That’S really good. I think one of the things you do is you start off with this? You know first of all is is recognizing where, where things went wrong and what mistakes you made repent of those things admit them just tell the lord lord. You know this is where we messed up. Does that mean even in that process, you might need to reach out to the people that you hurt?

Maybe you know, send an apology write a letter. It’S not important that they receive the apology, it’s not important that that they even reciprocate, but it’s just important that you did what you need to do to reconcile it’s good for you and then. The second thing is, is that you make a commitment that what god has said you’re going to be committed to this from this point forward, and you ask for god’s forgiveness, and you ask for god’s strength, um god we want to be the people. You want us to be. None of us started off right, we’re all born into sin yeah.

So so you know so it we already all of us started broken, that’s not a license to say. Well, i can do anything that i want to because ultimately god’s going to forgive me, it’s not that, but what it is is this: it’s it’s, this understanding that god redeems and restores – and you know, and again i go back to david and bathsheba their their relationship Started in sin it was, it was a mess. You know yet and there’s consequences of that. There’S cost. There’S feasts.

You know, there’s a better way to live um, but in the end, god blesses that relationship you know, solomon is born out of it. One of the great kings of of israel, and so so yeah no don’t get a second divorce. That’S not a good idea, no put it in god’s hands. Let him redeem it! Let him you know, make it holy as he can um and then you go from there all right.

So here’s another one, another good question, so we’re talking about divorce um does the. But what does the bible say about marriage in heaven? So are we going to be married in heaven kendall? What do you got on that? Are we going to be married in heaven uh, specifically speaking, jesus says no, and i typically do my best as a pastor not to disagree with that guy.

But i will say this though i think this is an interesting point is that when jesus says that there’s context and there’s pieces to it, but at the same time i think the main thing is this is that man, at the end of the day, what jesus Is really saying is that everything in our world there will be semblances of earth in heaven, but in heaven our focus will be completely different because we’ve never seen a life void of sin. We’Ve never seen a life void of brokenness we’ve, never seen a life void of need. For instance, you know, there’s things that your spouse needs from you in marriage that they won’t need from you in heaven because they’re getting it from god. So there’s things that there’s times where my wife, when she encourages me, i need that from her like as a pastor, there’s times where you know you come out of work, you come out of offstage and, and the world has taken some chunks out of me. Man, i’ve gotten bit and i’m like dude, i feel beat up, and my wife can say one thing: it’s like.

I feel better. Oh man, i needed that from her from her. No one else could really do it from her, but i’ll be getting that from god. At that point directly, you know when we get to heaven there will be no need for those things and so and not to say that those things won’t exist or whatever, and i don’t think that’s even what jesus is saying. I think what jesus is saying is that you can’t fathom what life in heaven will be like, because it could be so different than what you’ve experienced here on goods um.

So i don’t know that his statement necessarily is applying directly to the institution of marriage in heaven, but more so to the understanding of what life will be like outside of earth. I think that’s that’s more. What he’s saying? I think, that’s really good. You know there’s that verse of scripture too, that i think about because marriage marriage is, we talked about last week.

Marriage is an image, it’s a picture of god. Yes, so it’s a picture of god in the husband and wife. You have this picture of god. In fact, the bible in genesis – 1 27 – tells us that that you know you, you have god’s image in him and her and as the two come together in marriage, you you have this. This unified uh picture um i’ve got a verse of scripture that i want to share with you that i think that i also think is really really good um.

Let’S see pull it up, pull it up a little bit um. First, john 3. 2

Um and here’s what it says: listen to this verse, because i think this goes along. That line says. Dear friends, we are already god’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when christ appears, but but we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him, as he really is.

That’S good, and so one of the things that happens in heaven – and i think it’s an important part of our understanding – is that why marriage isn’t the same in heaven as it is here, is because marriage here on earth is the resident image of god. So we’re image bearers of god in heaven god’s image will not need to be bore by anyone, because he will his image will be present and, and the bible says, will be transformed into his image. And so what we have is this. You know right now: marriage has to be fought for this relationship, because the image of god is always under attack yeah. You know because the last thing the enemy of this world wants is the image of god to be clearly seen and so he’s constantly fighting it and that that’s battles on the gender level.

That’S battles on um, the relationship level. That’S the battles on the marriage level. You see these wars taking place because the image of god is under attack here in heaven that image of god will no longer be under attack. It will be fully seen fully clear. Paul said we look through a dimly lit mirror.

Now we don’t see god fully completely when we’re in heaven we will and so marriage one of its greatest contributions. It’S that we tend to think about procreation being marriage greatest contribution. Marriage greatest contribution is the image of god. It bears the image of god and so bears witness to the gospel. That’S exactly right in heaven.

The gospel doesn’t have to be preached because all of those who are there will be redeemed, it will be celebrated, it will be reminisced on, but it doesn’t have to be preached because redemption has already come full swing, that’s right, and so in heaven that marital relationship Won’T look the same. It’S not going to be like be like that so um, i think the other part that’s important is that we don’t find anywhere where um anybody is disappointed in what they got in heaven now you know nobody’s looking for their money back. You know – oh no, that’s great, so so i think you know, because i know that i know for me and maybe a lot of people go well. Does that mean my spouse? Won’T suppose it’ll be better than that yeah, because, right now my spouse is my spouse and their sin still involved.

Absolutely i have a broken sinful nature. It’S affected every level of my understanding and my emotions and my feelings and my decisions and everything else. I won’t have that there right, so what i will have in my spouse will be even greater and what i’ll have in every other relationship that i have will be great too also say because i was like you know. We we talk about sin affecting our relationship to god, we’re like well, it affects my relationship to god, and i think it absolutely does. It does affect your relationship to god, but it also affects all your other relationships and not just sin against the person.

You know, for instance, like we talked about adultery in the last podcast. You know sin that would be adultery would be sin against that of the person which, which you would expect that would affect that relationship, but sin being existent in your life in general, even if it doesn’t affect the other person, affects your relationship with them. Whether you like it or not, you can’t have the depth the fullness, the incredible pieces of those relationships and things like that, because sin ultimately like scripture says, separates it separates and it not only separates us from god, but it separates us from our ability to have Deeper relationships with other people, i absolutely believe: that’s true. Okay, it’s good! It’S very good!

You know um! Let me ask you this, so so we’ve we kind of covered. You know how divorce affects. You know the husband and the wife and that and what what happens with that um we talked about that in the last podcast. We also talked about um.

We talked about how that you know come with some of the first steps. So when you find yourself, your marriage is slipping, some things are going on. What are some things that you should do and if you hadn’t seen that again, i’m gon na go back. You need to watch that last one we’ll put a link in the description for for this, this video for you to go back and watch it because i felt like we hit some of the most practical stuff karen’s got. She brought the big guns, it’s good stuff.

So now, let’s talk about kids a little bit and, let’s just let’s just sort of you know, work around the room a little bit. What should a parent do to help their kids process the impact of divorce? How do they? What should they do? Karen, when you, because i know kids, are crazily affected by this – and i know there’s some parents going man – i just don’t – want to ruin my kids lives and – and let’s just say, they’re in a divorce that you know they have no control of fixing by the Way, if you you know our first emphasis is, if you have any any influence, any effect any control.

Your first move needs to be trying to reconcile your marriage. That’S the best thing you can do, especially for your kids. But let’s say you don’t it’s it’s! It’S not something you control um. What are some of the things that you could do to help your kids process through this and minimize the impact of it?

I definitely think taking responsibility for your behavior in front of your children. You know they pick up on way. More than you realize, that’s good kids need stability. You know they’re very resilient kids bounce back. It’S pretty amazing how resilient they are, but at the beginning, when everything changes, they really need the support of their unified parents.

So, even though you’ve decided okay, we can no longer be married and we’re going to divorce. It’S not the end. You still have to build some type of relationship with one another to where you can be friends on on some level and set a good example for your children, because you’re you’re, my you’re, still modeling christ in front of your children. So the way you treat one another is so important and kids need stability. They need a routine.

You know yeah the things that are important to them. Let them keep it sure. Just work together, learn to work together. Uh, for the you know the benefit of your children, yeah yeah, you know – and i know i know, especially from a counseling perspective. You know having somebody that can sit down with those kids and maybe help them unpack.

It’S not. You know one of the one of the problems you have when you are in the divorce. Is that you know your kids feel the the pressure that it puts on you and the hurt that it puts on you, but they’ve got things they need to talk about, but they feel like that. If i talk to mom about it, it’s going to hurt because mom cries yeah they get put in the middle yeah yeah. So you know, i think, counseling is one of those things where you can you put them in an environment where they have a chance to talk to somebody that their conversation doesn’t hurt the other person yes, definitely, and also the parents sitting down with someone they can Talk to you know with a counselor or someone, because you don’t want to say anything in front of your children that will harm them yeah.

So everybody having a safe place to talk those things through is so important. It really helps the family unit be able to move forward and create that new, normal, that’s good, even deferring to to god. You know we’re going to you know we’re going to pray for mom we’re going to pray for mom we’re going to you know. This is not how it’s supposed to look, that’s not how it should be, but we’re going to be we’re going to be praying for for daddy. Definitely, you know we’re going to be.

You know god’s got this and he’s got us. You know and having you know, having your kids in the middle of a bad circumstance like this, but also exposing them to the greater you know a will of a god who’s. Sovereign, you know is really a big deal because, because you have to understand that we are image bearers of god to our kids, we’re the first exposure that they get to what the godhead looks like you know, dad mom, you know the picture of of justice and The picture of mercy, the picture of holiness and the picture of grace is all, and so when that gets broken up for a kid, it’s really that’s very turbulent, yeah and so having them understand that this was a picture, that’s being held by broken hands um. Yet there’s a god in eternity he’s still in control and he’s he’s going to work with us and us deferring to that, and – and that may mean you know, taking the higher ground every opportunity you get rather than you know when, when the the negative mean bitter Statement is thrown at you or someone says something or whatever you don’t volley it back. Instead, you say you know what we’re going to put that in god’s hands.

We’Re going to trust him with that and your kids start seeing a pattern of. I can trust god in hurtful times like this, where, where things are not going the way that i want them to go, and so you definitely teach your children how to respond to stress yes, when you’re going through a really difficult season. So it’s important to be mindful: we don’t have to be perfect, no, you can lose it one day and then come back and say: okay, you know i lost it yesterday, but i should have reacted this way. A b and c. That’S right!

Teach them through it, but don’t forget them or leave them behind, because they’re living through this divorce. Just like you are that’s right. Well, and i think you know when i was when i’ve walked through it and seen it. You know happen and i’ve had people ask me like you know what kind of what do i do you know and, and you paint all the different scenarios and there’s a million and everybody scenario is a little bit different or whatever, but there are times where it’s Completely out of your control, the person’s they’re leaving they’re and you’ve done everything you can you’re begging them to go to counseling, you’re begging them to get i’ve seen it man, i’ve seen it on both sides: men and women, begging them to go to counseling begging them To come to church begging them to do anything with them, begging them to stay, and they just won’t they’re. Just out now i will say this: when you have children, you are no longer the priority and and that’s the part, it’s hard for a lot of people to stomach like well, i don’t like this.

Well, i don’t care, you have kids and you’ve got to get over it and you’re no longer the center of attention. It’S no longer about you, it’s not about what you like or having a marriage that benefits you. It has to shift and your kids become the priority it’s what’s best for them. It’S what’s best now again going back a situation where there’s abuse, emotional or physical. That’S a different scenario at that point, but when you’re married with kids and you’re about to have a divorce, you got to get yourself out of it like.

Well, i don’t like what this person does. Well, it doesn’t matter you’re going to have to find a way to make it work fake. It till you feel it whatever you got to do, and it may not be enjoyable for you for a long time. There may be years where you don’t like it, but your kids. This is the best opportunity for them to get through this.

I think that’s. The first thing is is shifting those priorities understand. The kids have got to come first and – and i would say this is get off facebook. You know, don’t share your relationship with other people, um stop talking to other people and talk to a counselor. If you need to talk to somebody, but don’t go around looking for validation from other people in your relationship and in your divorce, so if you’re getting a divorce, you’re like well he’s leaving me and i’ve done everything i can you’re going to spill all that junk.

On facebook, you’re ruining your kids lives, you’re, ruining them you’re, ruining it you’re, ruining it. You will ruin their lives literally and so stop get off that stuff. Stop talking other people. If you’re doing the right thing, then you shouldn’t need validation. You just do the right thing and move on and i think that’s where for us, you know your kids are the priority.

Again, you don’t need to be validated. Your kids need to be the priority in every decision that you make and if you do that, if you show them as the priority, obviously honoring god first but showing your kids that they’re the priority, then ultimately they will be able to walk through this and go Hey okay, i was prioritized my mom cared about what i or my dad thought cared about. What i thought they cared about. What they asked me questions. They asked me if i was okay, they walked through this with me.

I think that’s a big deal to your kids and things like that. I know we kind of shifted away from you know the the individual relationship if you’re married without kids, i believe that’s a completely different divorce. I know it’s like sad to say, but the truth is that when you’re married with kids, it’s just a different ball game man, the kids are, are involved now and that that’s their mom or that’s their dad and no matter how much you know that they’re, a Terrible person or if they didn’t do what they’re supposed to do that’s still their mom or dad and if you’re getting a divorce, because you want less work, you’re making a mistake, because divorce is more work. I think a lot of what i hear is you know. I just want this over.

I just want this to be the end, and one of the things that i will say is it’s not ever over. It’S not that’s the the dad or the mom to your kids. You’Re gon na have to learn some way to have a relationship with them and yeah. Sometimes it’s really really broken. I get that uh, usually the first couple of years, research-wise, it’s very very hard for the family, but then everyone begins to acclimate, but they do that because everyone decides hey, we’re going to do what’s best yeah for for the kids and we’re going to do what’s Best in god’s eyes, you bet you bet well, and i think it’s so important that if you don’t you know, if you don’t put your kids in the middle, where they’re the the battle, you know sword if they’re they’re they’re the whatever you know, and i think The other part is, is turning their heart away from their their mom or dad.

You know you may have been hurt by them. You know, and that and that’s absolutely true – and i don’t think anybody wants to minimize that and that that that hurt make may be there and they may be continuing to injure you. You know, and that happens too there’s people that are just they just get. This mean bitterness, and they just do some mean bitter stuff, but the best thing you can do for your kids is show them how you can take someone treating you harshly and horribly, and you can put that in the hands of god, because your your security, your Future, your emotional, you know horsepower and everything is based on christ, redeeming and working in your life. You know, jesus is our example.

You know he’s he’s, betrayed he’s turned over he’s being crucified and all the while at every corner does not harbor. The bitterness does not receive that he turns it over turns it over turns it over, and by doing that, you know yes, vengeance. We want it, you know, but the issue with revenge is, is not it’s revenge, isn’t a discipline issue. Revenge is an issue. Can i trust god?

Oh absolutely, can i trust god to be the righteous yeah? Let him be the one to figure this out because god’s going to be the one that’s going to handle this, and and so i’m going to put it in his hands and as much as a divorce is horrible and god hates it. And it’s devastating during that dark time you can still teach your kids some incredible stuff. You can show them hey! You know what god’s still in control, i’m going to trust him!

We’Re not going to take this in our own hands! We’Re going to leave that up to the lord and we’re not going to return. You know bitterness for bitterness, hate for hate anger for anger, we’re just not going to do that and don’t put them in the middle of that. Don’T don’t let the kids be the middle of that and, and you know at the same time, talk positively yeah. You know, speak positive things into their lives and speak speak positive into the kids lives, even when your other counterpart doesn’t you know it’s like when they’re trying to, especially especially when they don’t, and i think that’s the thing is that you know and like we said, Even in the first podcast we’re talking about, you know ministering to your spouse, i think there’s a way to minister your spouse to divorce.

You know it’s like when they’re, when, when the best way to just rip the fuse right out of a stick of dynamite is to just be kind and when they’re just they’re just right, you know fuming and you’re, just like you’re, just kind and you’re kind to Them and you care about them, even when they honestly know that they’ve acted in such a way that they shouldn’t be cared about anymore and and i’ll caveat that i want to add to that real quick and it’s just from an experience. I’Ve had with a couple of different folks that i’ve counseled with that were going through something like this um kindness does not mean that you are not positioning yourself to have as much control as you possibly can over the lives of the kids um that you’re. You know that doesn’t mean that you’re rolling over and you’re saying hey do anything you want to me from now. No, no you’re, not putting your head back on the chopping block and saying hey. I want you to just go and cut my head off because i’m just trying to be an altruist right here.

You can be kind and firm. Well, you have good boundaries. You can have healthy boundaries, you do you. Do it’s very important well and i’ll give you an example. There was a good friend of mine, his wife just lost her mind and in that process she found a boyfriend she’s running off this guy or trying to he was underage it’s a long story and he was saying in my office.

He said i know what to do. I said right now. Your number one priority needs to be to get full control of your kids. You need to make sure that you’re not dealing the craziness that you’re seeing right now. You need to work on the custody side of your children right now, while this craziness is distracted and if later, if this thing turns around then you’re still in control of it, and you can release that as you want to.

But right now your clarity needs to be looking at the future and saying hey. I need to make sure my kids are in the best place and you are the one who probably would best be the one to navigate that and control that. So while we’ve got this turbulence going on and this distractions here and this craziness is happening, you get the kids, don’t respond to that other stuff, make sure you got control of the kids and then, if later on, you relinquish, you know you that things turn the Corner – and you know it’s not that you don’t want them to have a mother, their mother or involvement with their mother, but you being in control of how that relationship can look, makes a big difference later. When you think, if things don’t go well, yeah, i think it’s always the best interest of the child. You know it’s best if both mom and dad are in the picture.

Somehow, because that’s what’s stable to the kids, you know i know, there’s situations where there’s abuse and things like that, but sure i’m talking at a normal. All divorce is not normal, but uh. You know the the divorce where parents decide. We can’t be married anymore. For for various reasons, you still want to create that environment, where the kids feel safe, absolutely so they’re they’re not to be thrown uh from from parent to parent.

You know they’re they’re, not a bargaining chip. You know uh they’re, your children and you want them to grow in their relationship with god and they’re the other spouse. You know along the way, that’s right, healthy boundaries, uh lots of prayer and get help sit down and talk through some things with with a counselor. It’S really good, it’s really good! So, let’s move on.

Let’S move past that a little bit and and let’s okay, so divorce has happened. Um, i’m divorced uh, we’re past that um, you know we’re still. You know, there’s always going to be that lifelong handling and managing that. But when do i know when it’s right and what does it look like for me uh to move forward with another relationship dating after divorce relationship after divorce? Where do i go?

You kind of think i need to put a time a timeline on it too, because, like people are they’re like oh okay, when i’m ready well, i’m ready a month later, you’re like okay! Well, when are you really ready? What’S the number you give to karen when someone says man, when do you think i’m ready, which i mean i know we know that there’s sociologicals uh, not sociological, um, psychological, psychological, psychological um. I don’t know what just happened. Just then psychological issues and and there’s other issues that go along with that um, but but absolutely generally, to give somebody, because i think it’s good to give them a kind of a you know.

Hey. You need to think about this about where we’re talking about time. Yeah, absolutely i my advice is always at least a year. Yeah two is great yep, because most of the time, people need to learn how to be in a relationship with god for themselves. Sure you know shore up your identity, make sure that you understand what a relationship with god looks like before you jump into a relationship with man yeah, you know you, you want to have the things that are broken healed.

You want to be going in the right direction before you start dating, because, typically, what happens and research backs, this up is, if you’re divorced once and you jump into another relationship, typically you’re still attracted to the same brokenness, that’s good again and again, so you want To make sure that you understand what happened and, of course there are situations that are beyond your control, so we’re not generalizing, and every situation is like this correct, but at least walk through the steps. That’S good find out what happened why you were attracted to this type of person and if there were red flags you know. Why did i continue to move forward? What’S broken in my identity, to where i couldn’t set a few standards and say if this is going on, i’m not going to be in this relationship so learn from it take the time to learn from it at least a year. Two is even better it’s good.

It’S good yeah, because you know you do see a lot of people that go from one broken relationship to another to another to another and if you don’t interrupt whatever it is in that cycle, pattern yeah. If we don’t interrupt that and go okay. Evidently my picker’s broke, so i need i need somebody to adjust my picker because my picker’s not picking well, you know what i’m saying yeah. So you need that it’s a it’s a it’s a big deal, rebound relationships. Just don’t tend to do.

Well, you can rack them up racking up them, rebounds, absolutely two and it’s three and it’s five and it’s seven, it’s like whoa! It goes quick! Well, if you look at it like this too, i think that you have to think about the that. If, if i go forward and i’m not changing what i’m doing yeah, then the second relationship layer adds a whole another layer of destruction devastation, especially if you have kids so now your kids have a whole nother layer of scarring and everything else you know so so. Give us your timeline dad.

What’S your timeline after after you know, i used to tell people all the time a year and a half two years is what you need to really that’s realistic, um. I guarantee there’s somebody’s going to yeah, but we didn’t wait that long and we did great yeah. Okay, that’s true, always exceptions. There’S somebody that drove 150 mile an hour on the interstate didn’t die. You know.

Yes, all those things are true. You drove through a hail storm in an airplane and and the plane didn’t go down or whatever. Yes, those things they’re, not it’s like winning the lottery, it’s just not the norm, and so what you want to look at is is what’s the norm. Two things have to happen during that time before you start dating. In my opinion, one is is that you need to heal from the hurt from the relationship that you were in that’s good and then.

Secondly, you need to come accustomed to which may have been a root problem in the very beginning to what does singleness and my relationship to god and singleness look like because sometimes the marriage, the divorce and the marriage that was broken was just a symptom of a Deeper problem where you were trying to cover something with a relationship or maybe i had a conversation with one lady one time we were sitting there and talking and she had been through a divorce um and was in another relationship. I mean within weeks after the divorce was over with um, and we were, i said, i said, give me the longest period of time, your adult life that you’ve you’ve been without a man where you were just it was just you and god. She said the longest period of time i was like yeah longest she’s, like i don’t know, maybe a month, her whole life since she was 13 yeah. I said so. I want you to think about it since you were 13 and you definitely don’t have your identity at 13.

You know what i’m saying you should be riding the bicycle plant bars. You know what i’m saying be a kid for a second yeah. I know anytime right, listen, suddenly sure enough, yeah yeah. So so all that time you haven’t even figured out who you are. I said it’s no accident that you keep going from one relationship to other you’re, the serial relation person.

You know, so you got to figure out who you are, and so, when divorce has come into your life, discovering singleness and who am i before the lord? As an individual single person and not trying to replace what you felt like, we were missing this because you know he’s not there anymore, so i don’t have any. How am i going to get somebody to mow the grass who’s going to take care of this or for him who’s going to be there to help me do whatever those things are nominal tasks that you may have to learn to yourself? What’S the bigger lawn service for gosh, don’t get a boyfriend yeah the bigger the bigger the bigger perspective, and this takes time the bigger perspective is: who am i well? We have to understand that our culture around us is always sending messages to women.

Saying you know you, you need a man. Your your greatest step, you’ll ever take, is to get married and all these things, but from a biblical perspective, our first relationship when we come outside well, actually our parents should guide us towards it. It’S jesus and a relationship with jesus. That’S right, firm identity in him and then, if we choose to marry great, then both should have their own individual relationship with jesus and then together, you’re on mission, which is amazing, but when we get those things out of line and we seek validation from you know, Another human being to meet our basic needs. That’S never going to happen because those are created to be met by god, our relationship with god.

You mean to tell me that there’s an option in life where you could actually be single. Yes, there isn’t that amazing. What are you kidding me and not and not be single and not ready to mingle like okay, not ready like it’s, not a punishment? It’S a choice, like i tell people when we’re talking about. I’M, like you know, we’ve always said, like you know a year or two and and typically there’s some qualifiers in that, i’m like how long do you need to be single after how long was the relationship um, you know if you married somebody for 15 years yeah, You know you may want to take a longer time.

It may take you longer to peel back the layers of the depth of that relation, where, if you were married for nine months, it may not take as long to get to the bottom of kind of what was going on um. At the same time, that still means a year – at least i would say 12 months. I always tell people 12 months, dedicated to god, 12 months dedicate them. That means no dating no nothing dedicated to god directly you’re, not searching for mr right you’re, not looking like what, if he walks into my life, you shouldn’t see him because you’re not looking so it’s like you wouldn’t even know you won’t even know you missed him Because you’re not looking for it yeah well in part and part of of understanding that who it is that we’re supposed to be with that we have a sovereign god who’s in control of that, so you don’t have to panic. Are we going to run out of this of decent people or beautiful people before now god’s in control of that you know, so i’m going to trust him and – and you know, here’s the beauty of it when god, when we’re actively pursuing god and we become the Person number one: we need to become the person that we want to meet.

Absolutely you know we want to have the character that that person we desire. You know, if you want be faithful, you know be filled with the spirit, be loving people be serving the lord, be active in your mission in ministry. You become the person that you ultimately want to meet and then, when god, you know the other thing that god does is when we’re faithful, he’s faithful. You know and he’s faithfully we’re not, but let’s be faithful and let’s let let’s trust that god can bring. That person into your life he’s he’s, got that and he’ll know stuff.

You may only see the wavy blonde hair, but god goes no. No, you don’t understand. [ Laughter, ], don’t overwrite it by oh, but i really want to get married. Oh yeah! Oh, i really need someone, god is always leading and guiding us a lot of times.

We override the wisdom of god by our human desires, what we want and what we need, especially coming out of a long-term relationship, and if someone that you’re dating, if you have re-entered dating, if someone you’re dating, doesn’t understand that and you’ve been through a divorce. Just know it’s not going to work out like if they’re like, oh, we need it well, no, we just need to get to the next step. Listen, it’s not going to work out just just go ahead and end. It save yourself the divorce money and move on. Like it’s just it’s not worth it truth.

So the second thing that i want to point out is that, when we’re talking about a person that feels like they’re bit they’re ready to start dating or it’s after divorce, they want to think about. What does that timeline? Look like, and what do i need to do for dating you know. One of the things that i tell them is that they you’re not really ready to date until you’re willing to be single. That’S good.

You know because if i, if, if i’m at all costs trying to find somebody, i think dating out of desperation is a horrible thing anyway period. Yes, when you’re desperate, dating you’re you’re, putting so much power. I see this with young ladies and young men today and i’m what i’m talking about students you know brady, you can even talk to this. Students have such a level of desperation because i feel like as parents we have done such a terrible job with their identity. So the little girl and little boy is going into the world with such a need from somebody else, they’re putting so much power in somebody else’s untrustworthy hands to control their life.

You know they’re, probably dating the same way. Their parents do now probably they’re just modeling. What you do so when you go when your house is a revolving door for men, their house will be a revolving door, for that is other people. Truth. It’S unfortunate true true, so you need to set some standards.

Is another thing you know um when i go to the grocery store, i have a list, that’s just the grocery store. You know what i’m saying i mean we’re just talking about. You know cantaloupe and you know bread yeah. You know what i mean: we’re not even talking about we’re you know, but when we, when we begin to look for a person to date, we have no standard. What’S your standard yeah, what is your i’m not going to settle for because you’re going to get the spouse you settle for?

What am i? What will i not settle for, and i would make a long list you know and uh, but i would start off with a few things, i’m going to give you a few things that i’m thinking that they have to own their own, their own relationship with jesus Number one that’s great dating is not evangelism, no, no, no missionary dating. Ladies no missionary dating he’s, not a project. That’S exactly right! If he is, you don’t need a baby.

If he’s a project, he shouldn’t be a prospect. That’S right! That’S right! Yeah! That was kind of good, take responsibility for his own relationship.

That’S right with god and women as well. Take your responsibility through your own relationship with god, and don’t project that on to another person. What about god? What do you say to a girl when she says yeah, but he goes to church? I said without you texting him who texts?

First, that’s usually what i say you text first, i want you to stop texting today and see who initiates. I wonder how you know. I was just thinking back with our church how many people that think that uh that have started going to church here dating somebody and when the dating stopped they left yeah. You know what i’m saying all the time they’ll go to a different service yeah. I also suggest to women: don’t don’t reveal your heart, no yeah, you know if you’re dating someone, and you reveal your heart yeah as well.

You reveal your heart and all of a sudden he’s transformed into exactly what you wanted. That’S true, you know, that’s a that’s problematic yeah! You need people to have their own identity. The last thing you want is a chameleon yeah yeah. You know, because chameleon only only transforms to what it thinks is important, yeah, absolutely and later, when you’re married.

Yes, you may not be the most important thing so guys. I see that too. They come back around after they’re married and it’s it’s the problem. You know he’s no longer does what he did before and yeah so make sure that he has his own relationship with god. It’S so so important.

You have your own relationship, that’s good! 100! That’S good! 100! So um a relationship with christ.

I think the second thing is is that i i believe that, if you’re going to date, somebody they need to have, they need to have an understanding. What their mission is. What is it that they’re? Why are they on this planet? For for on mission, you know – and i know someone’s going to go away saying: oh my gosh man – we got ta yeah dude.

I can’t. I can’t tell you how many people, though no joke, and we have an incredible couple – i’m not gon na throw their name out there, because i’m gon na be nice, but i’ll say this, i’m complimenting them. So it’s not it’s like it’s a compliment, but you’re still not getting the credit, but i’ll say this is that man we have an incredible couple at that church cabinet who literally found each other through serving at that church cabinet i mean literally, they were they were They came into the church they’re, both single um at the time. In fact, one of them was walking through a divorce, um and then came in and was single and so they’re, both single they both took an extended period of time off from dating things that didn’t even know about each other um and then all of a sudden. They bump into each other literally through their serve team on their serve team.

They bump into each other learn about each other hear about each other’s stories, start praying for each other, all that stuff and all of a sudden they start dating and now they’re married, and they have a beautiful family. It’S absolutely incredible and that all happened because they understood their mission and mission, doesn’t have to be complicated like oh, he wants to minister to this. You know this little tribe over in africa, whatever it’s like. All these things, no, no listen. All it has to be is maybe he’s fired up about the two-year-old classroom at church and the dude wants to teach those little kids about.

You know. Jesus he’s telling them about you know bartholomew or whatever, and that’s that is mission like at its finger or they’re, fired up about being a front door greeter at the church or whatever. That’S all mission has to be, but they need to be on mission. They need to be doing it so go ahead. Did you have something you’re gon na throw in there?

No, i was just gon na say my husband and i connect through counseling. Hey it’s good everybody’s story’s different. I wonder what it’s like when you two go to argue, though we don’t argue when you know as many techniques as we do, it just becomes a joke. You know because there is no two professional counselors, we don’t argue – and i i’m honest about that it just it’s ridiculous. That’S good!

That’S good! Both of you know, it’d, be a mute point. Well when you counsel other couples and you’re telling them these techniques. We always just laugh because uh we’ll say: oh, i guess we need to practice that too, that’s good! It’S good keeps it real, it’s really good, so they need on their own relationship with christ and they need to be on some type of mission for christ.

Now you know, i’ve got a list of other things and i’ve run people through this before because i tell them. I said these are what’s important to you, because there are some things that that aren’t necessarily a necessarily have a biblical perspective. That’S going to be important to you, you need to think about what you want to settle for. We we’ve seen this when people are pursuing a divorce a lot of times the divorce didn’t come because of a spiritual reason, a lot of times the divorce came from something else. It came from how they didn’t control the money, spending yeah the divorce.

You know and the problems came in, you know when a person didn’t like accountability, how do they handle accountability when you’re dating you’re kicking the tires yeah? So if i got in a car – and i’m like i’m fixing to buy this car, i’m not sure if i want it or not, um. Oh it’s the perfect paint job. Oh my god! Look at the wheels you see the wheels on this thing.

It’S awesome and you get excited about it, you jump in it and you drive it’s going to. I don’t know that i like that that’ll stop once i buy it right yeah so once i purchase it, that’ll stop doing that right. But i think the point is is that you need to think about what is it that is going to be important in the relationship that just dissolved? Don’T make everything about being antithesis to what happened to this last relationship either it’s good, because what happens is we’ll. Take a we’ll take a broken relationship we had and then we project that in every other relationship, guys that drive red vehicles anymore, more so they’re, looking they’ll be like looking for you’ll be looking for like these issues that you saw in the first hint of it.

You go, let’s go yeah you’re doing it you’re doing the same thing to me that so-and-so used to do well and all of a sudden. Now your spouse has to begin, or your date has to begin to sort of tiptoe around and walk on eggshells in different areas of your life. That says your that says your identity and your healing wasn’t finished right. So you didn’t, you didn’t go a year and a half yeah you went like you know like a month and a half two more weeks, yeah. So, but you know what are things that are important to you: um, even bad habits.

Yeah, you know definitely do they smoke gamble, drink, simple things i mean simple. I mean i know for me like i wanted to marry someone who had a college degree. I don’t know why i just because i don’t have one. I guess so. It’S like and nicole.

I met her. I was like dang she’s got like a master’s degree and stuff she’s, smart, and so, but she was that’s what i wanted. So that’s the deal it’s good, so so having a list of what you won’t settle for will help you not settle for something yeah, that’s good, and then you got to kind of stick to it because i think the list as time goes on. Sometimes, what happens is our list begins to erode? We’Re like you know, we start off with.

We want somebody that has a relationship with jesus. That’S on mission. They have a good job, you know teeth whatever and then later you’re like okay, they got teeth. That’S good enough, you know so so you don’t want to do that. You want to stick to it and you just need to understand a bad marriage.

You know singleness is way better than a bad marriage, no matter what absolutely yeah, even tough singleness. Tough singleness is better than a bad marriage yeah. So one other thing that i want to say too um is that with your kids um, if you’re dating you can’t just date for what you want now you’re dating for you’re, not only looking for a partner prospect as a husband or wife, but you’re. Looking as a parent prospect yeah, how are they going to receive except yeah, you know discipline. How do we?

How do we divide? Let’S talk about this yeah? How do as a blended family? How are we going to discipline the kids and whatever, but i have this personal thing and and karen i’m going to run it at you and just see what you think. I’Ve always told couples that you do not even begin to introduce your date to your kids until you are like 90 sure this is something you’re going to marry.

That means you may have dated them for a really long time. They’Ve never met each other, but phase. One is you you they should get through your screening process. First yeah before you ever put them on the kids, yeah, absolutely yeah. So i definitely think that yeah yeah um, you know.

One of the reasons is. I have counseled adults who their parents divorced when they were kids but didn’t remarry until the kids were adults and they have difficult time processing it. Now these are adults yeah who so, when their parent decides to get married, it’s very hurtful sure to them. So imagine that as a child having to process through all of those emotions and introducing that too soon can cause abandonment issues, trust issues. It really shapes their ability to process relationships, sure for a lifetime yeah well and introducing them too early has no benefit.

It’S not going to benefit the relationship at all. In fact, the only thing it does is introduce complications to when you’re dating someone. You need to be able to at any point pull the plug and sex before marriage and while you’re dating it doesn’t have any benefit either. Then it feels good for a few minutes. After that, all it does is introduce more problems to where you can’t pull the plug, because your judgment’s clouded same thing when you introduce them to your kids now i can’t pull the plug easy, because what am i going to tell little timmy that you know now, He’S not coming around anymore or she’s, not coming around anymore.

You guys were friends, they played yahtzee in the floor, they know who they are whatever else, but they’re not going to be yeah they’re not going to be here anymore and that part gets complicated. Because now it’s like well, i can’t pull a plug now. That’S why you don’t introduce them. I mean literally, i said 90 earlier, but when i say 90 percent, you should be like sure that this is the person. This is the person that you’re going to marry.

Honestly, there’s been times where i’ve said, and i’ve told people this you better be talking, engagement like and seriously talk talking engagement before you introduce your kids to them, um, because man, at the end of the day, introduce them early, doesn’t help you anyway um, and until That person’s really committed, why expose your kids to something that could really hurt them? I think before knowing they’re committed, but i really think if you go back to those earlier things, we talked about their relationship to christ and their relationship to the lord and them on mission. Those elements make these other things easier to process through their heart, where their heart is yeah, where their integrity is, where the spirit of god is at work in them. All of that you know goes a long way in in being able to help you understand what they’ll be like in that environment. Now i mean i still think, there’s some questions that will be unanswered: yeah um, you can’t answer every single question um, but i know this.

I know that as you pray about it, god gives you discernment and that’s the beauty of of being in an intimate relationship with god. First is he will give you those red flags? If you want to ignore it, god will go hey bad idea. Yeah. You know he just will you, but you have to listen for that, still small voice.

You can’t be cloud in your judgment with all this other stuff yeah. You got to get all that. It can be clear, yeah, that’s exactly right so, but giving that time before the kids see them and then pre-marital counseling. How important is that yeah? It’S very important to pick back off what you just said.

I would like to remind uh the couples out there that when, when you are divorced, you’re still in some type of relationship, that’s right, yeah, so divorce is not final. Is in i’m never going to talk to you again. If you have children, that’s right, yeah. It can’t be, it can’t be so anytime. You start to introduce someone else into that family unit, because it’s still a family you’re just no longer living together.

It takes some time and if, if the person you’re wanting to introduce into the family gets offended by waiting is a huge red flag, that’s right because that’s about them not about the help of the family. So let that be an indicator. If you’re trying to introduce someone into that family unit, you know you’ve decided, hey i’ve dated i’ve done it right. I’M gon na get married now, so i’m gon na introduce them to my kids and you start to have problems red flags. Here.

That’S right! Red flags! Don’T be afraid and as kendall said, don’t take it so far that you you feel like you can’t end it. That’S right. So always make sure that you guard enough to where you can have those conversations and if you need to end in that relationship for the health of your family yeah and that physical intimacy, one of the things that sex does is sex bonds.

Is it’s it’s a an adhesive, that’s supposed to bond two people together for a lifetime. So if you enter into a sexual relationship you enter into that early on then what happens? Is you have this false sense of connectivity? That’S not there! It’S not held up by the foundation of a covenant, truth and promise, and so what happens is is that so you want to guard yourself from that throughout this process.

You need to have the freedom and the opportunity to say this. Ain’T working out yeah and i got to do something else it does in as much as you go well, i don’t hurt anybody else’s feelings. It’S going to be better to hurt somebody else’s feelings or have have this be a rough season than to enter into a relationship, that’s doomed from the beginning. So you make up your mind on the front end and and if you’ll keep these boundaries clearly communicated. I think that helps us a ton.

You look at them and say: hey look we’re dating. I want to be clear, we’re just dating well. Why haven’t you introduced me to your kids, because it’s not time for that yeah, you hadn’t gotten there. Yet, okay, we’re not sure that we want to do that. Yeah, you know yeah and uh.

If you keep it in that spot and and you ex you know, let this process work itself out and let god give discernment where it’s needed, then you have a much better chance, a much better chance of a relationship being successful for life yeah. I think i think that’s the thing is that your goal should not be to win in dating your goals to win in life, for it to be a long term, so there’s short-term sacrifices that you could make that will end in long-term success. There’S also short-term shortcuts. You can take that will kill your ability to have a long-term, long-lasting relationship. That actually is successful.

I think that’s the hard part and pre-marital yeah put in the hard work. Yeah counseling put it in go to some pre-marital counseling work through all of those relational struggles. That’S right because in a blended family there’s a lot more to it, there are and and in counseling the beauty of it is is that there will be things brought up that you didn’t even think about in premarital counseling, when you there’s no kids involved. This is the first marriage. There’S stuff brought up, you go hey, so what do you guys agree to spend without the other person’s permission?

What i have to ask permission this is my money. That’S usually what i fear so all of a sudden you’re like, but you know anymore, do you realize the number you realize the number of divorces that come out of couples that don’t have clear boundaries and understanding when it comes to finances and so taking out the Trash, that’s right. That’S a big deal. Yeah yeah amen, there’s a big huge deal so anyway as teenagers. So that’s why that’s why you have children so well, let me say this um.

I think our time’s winding down. I feel like that. We’Ve really had an opportunity to kind of unpack some things there’s more to this, and i and you know i think we wouldn’t mind it all and karen would be involved with this. If you want to drop some comments or questions individual questions about some of the stuff, we’ve talked about um, you know we. We only have a limited amount of time to cover as much as we can, but maybe you’ve got something unique.

Something that’s going on in your life. Leave us a comment share it with us um. Let us answer that. We don’t mind uh, we don’t mind hard questions, we don’t mind that at all, we enjoy the opportunity to be able to invest in your life and and so divorce is a big deal and it’s a it’s a part of our community um. It’S part of our society um, but god takes marriage very seriously and the implications are really big, so um when you walk into something that could affect this many facets of your life, it’s great to have a multitude of counselors and multiple voices speaking into it.

We would love to be some of those voices if we can um as always share this with other people. You know let people know what’s going on hit that bell, so that you’ll know when new content is coming out with. What’S going on and we’ve got some we’ve got some stuff coming up, we’re going to be uh, we’re going to be interviewing uh, some some pretty cool people here here shortly. I’M not going to tell you everything, but it’s going to be good, so so keep your eyes open to future. Podcasts um every tuesday live at 11 00 a.

. We go live on two platforms, facebook and youtube. You can join us there. The videos are also available on my youtube channel at any time for your consumption on demand and so um, there’s that so anyway, i appreciate you thank you for being here with us. We appreciate you taking the time out to hang out with us today.

If we can help you anyway, let us know until we see you next time. God bless you [ Music, ], foreign

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