Divorce Recovery (Part Three)
Facing New Relationships
- Relationships can bring the greatest joys or the greatest sorrows.
- Healthy and Satisfying Relationships are formed with great care and the enabling Power of God.
- Whether a divorced person should remarry or not is a decision that the individual must make based on God’s Word.
- The trick in starting new relationships is to recognize your pattern of relating and change it. In other words, do not enter new relationships with “old tools”.
- Some patterns that keep repeating are:
- Dependent / Rescuer – “Me Tarzan, You Jane”
- Master / Slave – Only Christ is the Lord and Master of the Universe
- Martyr / Nurturer – “I gave up everything for this relationship”
- Some “new tools” are:
- Be Authentic – It is easier to be real … there is no need to maintain an image.
- Realistic Expectations – Real purpose of Marriage is to help each other get to Heaven.
- All relationships are meaningful when built on Friendship. Friendships carry a responsibility of commitment to being there in time of need.
- Relationships work just like an “Apple Tree” … you have to take the risk and reach out toward the Fruit of Life (it does not come to you; you have to go & get it).
Establishing Trust and Love Again
- Lack of Trust can prevent happiness and love. It prevents Friendships or causes them to fail.
- There is a need to shift your trust from a person to God (Psalm 118:8). This gives you the strength to go on with life, even if another person disappoints you.
- When you put your trust in God, it becomes easier to trust another person.
- You act loving to others by learning to trust … and as you reflect a loving attitude, you attract loving people.
Handling Sexuality as a Single
- The physical desires do not die when the marriage ends. These desires need to be brought under control, otherwise mistakes might be made (Romans 7:19).
- A single-again person must find guidance in what God’s Word says. This will prevent the possible misuse of his/her sexuality., such as in the following activities:
- Recreation Sex – e.g. “If it feels good, do it”. Sex must not be used for personal fun without consideration for the other person. Nobody likes to be used and nobody feels good about himself/herself when he/she uses others.
- Ego Booster – Some people use sex as an ego booster, e.g. “This proves I am attractive”. This amounts to living for the moment with little thought to the consequences.
- Acting Out Anger – Anger and Frustration are strong emotions that tend to increase sexual desire. Some people put these strong emotions into sexual action with a new sexual partner.
- Revenge – e.g. “If he could only see me now, he would be sorry for what he did to me”. This will only hurt you because your ex-spouse will not feel the effects of your revenge.
- Misuse of sex can lead to the following consequences:
- Guilt – Guilt can cause you to lie awake at night condemning yourself, because you know what you did was wrong.
- Low Self Esteem – It is part of God’s Plan for people to feel good when they do right and feel bad when they do wrong.
- Depression – The knowledge that you are being promiscuous often causes depression … from the unfulfilling sexual relations.
- Death – e.g. Aids
- Sex is intended to be an expression of committed love and the desire to help the other person reach his/her fullest potential and happiness in life.
- A person must develop a happy and permanent commitment in a relationship before jumping to sex (Song of Solomon 2:7).
- Notwithstanding all this counsel, single-again sexuality can still be a problem. The solution is to turn the burden into a blessing, e.g. spend more time with God, develop close friendships etc.
- A dating situation is probably the most difficult time to deal with sexuality for a single-again person. The following suggestions can help:
- Set your limits
- Group Date (there is safety in numbers)
- Pace your dating (avoid too much time together too soon)
- Set a curfew for yourself
- Keep your guard up
- Mind what you read and watch (Philippians 4:8)
- Plan wholesome activities
- Measure Quality
- Study the Bible
- Being Single is not a state of pre-married or post-mortem. It is a life of freedom and choices in Christ.
- It is a productive life of love, hope, joy and service to God and Fellow Man!
Presented by: A. Ndlebe Date: 19 March 2011