God did a great job on the 10 Commandments. And even though we as Christians today live our lives under grace and not under the law I have a suggestion for a relationship commandment. Simply, “Thou shalt not leave a mess!”
Man meets woman, woman meets man and they fall in love. Then for various reasons, including love, the two get married. A while later along comes the babies. In the process of day-to-day living with your typical life pressures along comes the gap between the husband and wife. There are a ton of reasons and excuses for D-I-V-O-R-C-E and we’ve heard them all! Really, it doesn’t matter the reason; maybe she is a shrew, maybe he just doesn’t care if his family is likely to ask him who he is when he shows up one night for dinner. Regardless of why divorce or breakup occurs, each partner needs to clean up their emotional messes before divorce is granted, especially if children are involved.
An adult child of divorce, a young man with their own marriage and a child on the way echoed something I’ve heard from a multitude of children, teens and adult children of divorced parents, “That’s their stuff and I am sick of carrying it.” Another adult child said, “They were grown up enough to have sex and make me, now they need to be grown up enough to clean up the mess they left!”
What mess? Bitterness. Hate. Loathing. Snipering. I won’t if he/she does. They have no right to_ _____________________. He did, she did, it’s his fault, her fault, blame, point fingers and blame some more.
Worse still are the marriages where a third party is involved, second families started, and resentment over adultery, child support payments, custody issues, and parenting are soon huge bones over which people who once loved one another fight. Enough already! Really enough!
Your kids have had enough. Your ex-spouse has had enough. Your new spouse and/or the new spouse of your ex-spouse has had enough. Thirty days or thirty years since you declared “I don’t anymore” and there’s still a tangled mess between you and your ex-spouse/partner? CLEAN IT UP!
Start with an apology, own your mistakes, CLEAN IT UP or at least knock down the pile some! If you were a shrew, a nag, a perfectionist, an unfaithful partner ADMIT it and say, “I’m sorry”! If you were a workaholic, a spender, an alcoholic, a” I promise…” and it never changed, ADMIT IT.
Every person in your life, including your current spouse/partner will benefit and probably even thank you for it.
I Corinthians 13 says love never gives up, leaving a mess is giving up, and if you loved enough to vow to love until death do you part, then see it through to the final end not just the divorce becoming final. And if you need to find out if you have a mess to clean up I suggest:
-If you’re asking, most likely so.
-Ask your children.
-Ask your current spouse/partner.
-Ask your ex.
-Can the two of you sit and discuss your children’s issues without snipe remarks or jagged reminders?
On behalf of divorced kids everywhere and every age,