DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I thought I’d be happy once my divorce went through, but I just can’t get over my anger and bitterness over the way my ex-husband treated me as our marriage fell apart. I know you’ll tell me to forgive him, but I just can’t. Will I ever get over this? — D.M.
DEAR D.M.: I certainly hope you will get over these feelings, because if you don’t they’ll be like a poison eating away at your mind and soul. The Bible warns us against any “bitter root (that) grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15).
I’ve often said that divorce is like a death, because it’s so final and painful, and it brings sorrow and grief in its wake. And like a death, the grief that often follows a divorce can take years to heal. In time, therefore, your feelings of anger and bitterness may fade.
But simply hoping your feelings will fade over time is not enough. Instead, I pray this will be a time when you turn to God for the encouragement and strength you need. God loves you, and even in the midst of life’s toughest experiences his love never changes.
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The proof is Jesus Christ, who gave his life to save us and make us part of his family forever. Incidentally, many churches today have special divorce recovery programs to help people facing the pain of a recent divorce, and I encourage you to find one.
No, you don’t have it within you to forgive your ex-spouse or deal with your bitterness. But with Christ in your heart you can.
Ask him to come into your life today. Then take heart from the Bible’s promise: “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand” (Psalm 10:14).
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