Rejected

Weddings are wonderful cultural and social events. When our friends get married, some of us want to be on the line. We attend the wedding and dress as beautifully as we can, when we come to celebrate this union.

Then ENTER REATLITY!! Marriage can be that relationship which introduces pain, discomfort, insecurity, tears and many negative emotions. The truth is that a good marriage takes much from both the man and the woman. It only takes for one to turn away for the marriage to struggle.

Reasons for separation and/or divorce – childlessness, violence, negative influence from parents or friends, economic/professional independence of one spouse, money, infidelity. There are others which are complicated.

Complicated: There are other reasons that have been mentioned as well which don’t fit anywhere –Homosexuality. Cultural conflict. Cultural norms or status in society. Long engagement broken. Come we stay ended. One spouse traveled then never came back.

It was never meant to be that way, yet this is the reality we find ourselves in.

Each marriage that starts is meant to hold together until the end. That was what God intended in at the start. [See Matt 19].

Caveat: Yes, God never meant for couples united to be separated. In fact in Malachi we learn that God hates divorce. This is what the Bible teaches. However life happens and, like other things in life, what is ideal sometimes does not make it to reality.

What are some of the realities that people go through when this happens to them? Life can’t go on. Unwanted. Cold. Rejected. Embarrassed. Suicidal. Lonely. Worthless. Wasted. Disillusioned. Disposable. Vulnerable. Judged. Betrayed by God. Played. Taboo topic. Feel gagged by society.

Let us take our lesson from a story in scripture. It is the story of Leah. She was not a divorcee, nor was she officially separated. However she went through a harrowing story of rejection which many separated people and divorcees could identify with.

Genesis 29:33-35

Leah entered into a marriage as an unloved woman who had to do a lot to gain attention. The dowry had been paid and she could not leave. She was there, rejected, unwanted yet in the marriage. Leah’s situation with her husband was complicated. Many of her struggles and emotions are similar to those that a separated spouse goes through. I would like us to walk through Leah’s experience and see what we can learn about those who are divorced or separated amongst us.
Leah journalled her feelings and struggles through the names of her children. These feelings ended up forming the names of the tribes of Israel. At a personal level the names and emotions were very real for Leah and give us some insights into some of the things one goes through and needs to deal with.

1. Reuben – He sees my misery v.32
Leah was very miserable as an unloved woman. She was cast aside in favor of a more beautiful woman. Separation and even divorce exposes a spouse to rejection and lovelessness. It is difficult. One battles with many feelings that are painful and emotionally draining. These constitute misery.

There are many things that are the cause of misery in a divorce and separation situation. Raising children alone / Constant financial concerns / Choices about school / Relationships are filtered through this grid – will they accept me, can they live with my situation / The constant feeling of rejection – regardless of whether you are the one who initiated the separation or not

Leah recognized that in the face of her rejection, God saw her misery. God sees your misery and intends to act on it. Reuben – he sees my misery.

2. Simeon – He hears v.33
One of the feelings that one experiences is a feeling of aloneness. It feels like God is deaf, absent or disinterested in your situation. This feeling stems from, among other things, the fact that your spouse may be absent or disinterested in hearing you out. Communication is difficult and what we go through in the physical we attribute to God in the spiritual. This name reminds us that even though communication with my spouse is strained, God hears my cry of despair and he hears my prayer.
God’s ears are attentive to your cries. He is keen to hear you out.
Reuben – he sees my misery. Simeon – He hears.

3. Levi – He is attached v.34
Another real fear is that my spouse will leave me. Many of those I have talked to dread the physical detachment of their spouses. It does not matter who initiated the separation or divorce – the pain of detachment is real and acute.
While human relations can end and people become detached, God remains attached. God will never leave me. When one is rejected you wonder whether everyone else wants to leave you as well. There is a part of you that wonders whether your friends will walk off as well.

Another real fear is that my spouse will leave me. Many of those I have talked to dread the physical detachment of their spouses. It does not matter who initiated the separation or divorce – the pain of detachment is real and acute.
While human relations can end and people become detached, God remains attached. God will never leave me. When one is rejected you wonder whether everyone else wants to leave you as well. There is a part of you that wonders whether your friends will walk off as well.

4. Judah – Praise v.35
God chose to continue the line, the Savior, the Redeemer of the World – past present and future through Judah. Oh- so there is a happy ending after all.
Leah’s position of praise was prophetic and it spoke into the future. Is it possible that in spite of what you are going through, the divorce, separation, complicated situation, that God will choose to do a world changing thing with your family? I believe that in the most difficult of family circumstances there can be a ‘Judah’ moment. A moment of praise that God will use to turn around your world and positively impact others.

Reuben – he sees my misery. Simeon – He hears. Levi –  He is attached.  Judah – Praise!

What are we to do as a family when there is divorce / Seperation?
Community – come close to the single parent and surround.  This is what church is about. This is why we have life groups.
Active listening. We need to actively listen when a person is sharing their honest feelings.
Reason together – When they are ready and when they invite you, then you need to reason together and share possible solutions with them.
Engage in a constructive action – take one or two of your ideas that will build the person and walk with them as they move on.
Submit everything and everyone to God – In a gentle way point the person to God’s sovereignty over their circumstances. Do not try to explain away their circumstances. Remind them about God’s ability and willingness to enter into your situation.

Advertisements

13 Responses to “Rejected”

  1. When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let …her know what I was thinking.
    “I want a divorce.” I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “Why?” I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!”
    That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her! With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.
    The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
    The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
    In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
    I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd.
    “No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce.” she said scornfully.
    My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, “Daddy is holding mommy in his arms.”
    His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded, feeling somewhat upset.
    I put her down out side the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office. On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
    On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
    She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, “All my dresses have grown bigger.” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.
    On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.” I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, “Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.”
    She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. “Do you have a fever?” She said. I moved her hand off my head. “Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce.”
    My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
    At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.” That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead!
    My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.– At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….
    The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
    Share these, If you do, you just might save a marriage or a relationship. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.Mind your relationships starting with God, your parents… down words… To all believers, Work on your relationship with God in trembling and fear, for we all know Jesus went to prepare rooms for each one of us…happy relationship / marriages

    Author unknown…

    Like

    • I heard about this sermon from a friend who was at your service when it was delivered and was thrilled when it was finally available online. I enjoyed it but I was left wanting and here’s why.

      In May 2010 my divorce was finalised. I was JOYOUS to say the least. And yes, I am a Christian, baptised in the Holy Spirit; infact any litmus test that anyone would like to put me through to verify this will show that. I was married for 4 years. I never lived with him before we were married, I was a faithful wife and I never wanted to be divorced. So when I found myself facing the reality that divorce may be the only way out for me, I couldn’t make the decision. Why? Because of what I understood to be the way to handle a situation such as mine as a Christian; the same things discussed in this sermon that God hates divorce and no mention of any other views from God. I read the Bible and searched for almost 1 year what God had to say about divorce and that was when I discovered that there indeed is freedom in God.

      My husband was a reflection of Nabal, Abigail’s husband in the Bible. He was impossible to live with. He was angry, almost all the time. He was controlling, so much so that I got to a point where I didn’t spend time with my friends or family. Infact when I opted to work overtime, he would complain that I was always gone even though the money was going to benefit the entire family (including his children from previous relationships). So when the anger escalated to child abuse towards my then 6 year old son, I realised that something was wrong and something had to change. But I didn’t know what. My mother-in-law, a most wonderful Christian woman asked me why I stayed with him! Her own son! She had witnessed the incident and suddenly began to understand her son and the dymanics in our marriage. This was when my search started.

      I’d always told my husband that he was it for me. That I was never going to leave him, and I intended to remain married until death. And really, I was. I was completely financially, emotionally, physically invested in my marriage. Every decision I made centered around the question of how my family wouuld benefit. So when I began to realise that something had to change, I had to contend with my faith. What I realised is that God is the original human rights advocate. When He instructs spouses to be gentle and kind, considerate, protective and submissive, it is so that the other person’s rights can be protected. So when my husband began to direct his escalating anger towards me, I knew I had to leave. I began to make plans to leave. And on that fateful day when he tried to choke me while we lay in bed in the dark, and the fight for my life ensued (he can lift 250lbs without a problem), the fate of my marriage was sealed. This wasn’t a situation where seperation would have worked. This was about personal safety, and the chances of my coming out alive. During this time, we were undergoing marital counseling, and I told the Pastor who was counseling us at the time what happened after the fact.

      So what did I find wanting? The only view explored is that God hates divorce. But what about exceptions? What about the fine balance that can determine if a spouse lives? Do we wonder why women stay in marriages that are toxic and end up being murdered by their spouses? The very people who are meant to protect them? I think it’s important to discuss the terms under which divorce is an option. And physical abuse is one of them. It would be telling a fairytale if a spouse who is enduring physical abuse is asked to stay or consider seperation with the likelihood of reunification. The statistics WORLDWIDE have proven that in very few cases does it get better. In most cases where the spouse stays, a murder occurs. The wife kills the husband or the husband kills her.

      I would have loved to stay married. When times were good, we were unstoppable. God was pouring blessings upon us like floodwaters. And I have to say, that this is how I know God was in agreement with me: I live my dream life. I love to travel in this year I have been to 3 European countries, I returned to school in 2010 and I’m on track to graduate in May 2012, God has granted me such favor that I am meeting the key decision makers of the organizations that I would LOVE to work with when I’m done in school and on a first name basis with them (ni Mungu tu!) but most of all, I have peace of mind. That for me was the biggest test of all. If I didn’t have peace of mind that would have been another story. I am back to being a single Mum, and I LOVE it. I am on good terms with my ex-husband so much so that he text me a Bible verse of encouragement this morning and I take my son to see him on weekends (that’s not his biological father but he is Daddy).

      Finally, as the Bible says, that in the last days the young shall dream dreams and the youth shall prophesy. My 10 year old son said to me one day, “Mummy, you don’t have to marry someone that you don’t get along with”. If our children have the wisdom to grasp this, and considering that they suffer the most in abusive marriages (be it physical, verbal or emotional), why do we expect those who are going through it to stick it out? Why do we expect ourselves to stick it out knowing that we are slowly dying inside and so are our children? I disagree with Angie wholeheartedly… I BELIEVE in divorce, but only in certain conditions.

      Thanks.

      Mo

      Like

  2. Mama Trevor Says:

    Pastor Kyama, you have been talking to me this October, the 1st week, i had lost my job, the 2nd week, am a single mother and the third week, am separated. I have ended up crying during all these sermons n every Sunday I end up standing every Sunday when u are dedicating a blessing upon our lives. What would i have done without Mavuno? I hope this coming Sunday I wont have another of those when life happens moments then i stand. I think God has seen my cries and has said enough is enough but even if it happens, am reminded that HE HAS HIS HANDS ON ME!!!!!

    Like

  3. During this sermon, was the first time I stood up in church to be prayed for. Mine is a complicated relationship. We got married after I got pregnant. He never wanted to commit but he wanted his child. He had earlier put up this wall that made it hard for me to love him, and one that made it clear he did not want to be with me. Then tables turned. I got saved, changed my ways and decided to love him in spite. All over sudden dude was into me. Showering me with love and all…but because the pain for being rejected previously was too much for me, I just haven’t been able to love him back. I have tried but I still hurt from the pain he caused me previously for years, the affairs, the late drunk nights, the emotional cheating and abuse. I don’t know how to forgive him and even though he is a changed man I don’t know how to love him. I fake my love and commitment towards this marriage but inside I die slowly with each attempt and I’m afraid one day I’ll just disappear….and that would really break him because he is a really loving husband today…..he definitely is not the man he was before. How can I heal from past pain? How do I save my marriage?

    Like

  4. Pst. Kyamma,
    Thank you for a well thought out and researched sermon put across in your characteristic eloquence. You comforted the daughters of Eve and put balm on their wounds both physical and emotional. You also gave the sons of Adam an insight into the kind of pain, suffering and trauma they sometimes put their partners or spouses through. Hopefully this will make them more empathetic when making life altering decisions like separation and divorce. Having based your sermon on the tribulations of Leah, I could not help imagining/thinking that you had somehow unwittingly left out the concerns of the sons of Adam.Perhaps you intend to address this in the coming sermons but in case you dont I have some comments to make.

    Men, believe it or not have deep relationship feelings. Whilst they are mostly viewed as the instigators of separation and divorce they often get tossed out of relationships like an”old shoe!” As if to add salt to their wounds their spouses enter relationships or continue affairs that had remained concealed openly. This action has been described by psychologists to be “more traumatic than the death of a spouse!” When a spouse normally dies it is through illness, accident or old age and the remaining spouse in time comes to terms with it and is conmforted by the fact that they will be re-united in the resurrection. In the instant case one views a spouse in the arms of another as if the marriage,the time and money invested and the offspring dont count at all. It is supreme
    and ultimate rejection. It causes a man to die inside as by nature men are introverts when it comes to personal matters and lack the networks and/or safety nets that women naturally create to save fellow women in distress. It is therefore a major cause of depression,suicide and secondary impotence in men. Even the hope of resurrection is in a way deferred!

    Men believe it or not love their children. Society however believes that in a situation of separation or divorce all children under the age of eighteen should remain in the custody of the mother unless she is certified insane,of loose or doubtful morals et al. More often than not it is the man who is thrown out of the “nest” as the spouse continues to roost with the children. Court orders bar the man from visiting the nest and the children are dropped at designated places once maybe in a fortnight in what is considered visitation. Even if a man were to see his children every fortnight for one sleepout he would see them for 26days in a year! How is one expected to bond with the children in less than 1month per year?In 24 years they will have spent less than 2years together! How is a man expected to impart values whether family,cultural,intellectual and/or religious in so short a while. Society aided by the law conspires to take away a man’s children forever. Ocassionally the man is called back when there is trouble in paradise…the male child in teenage rebels and everyone traditionally believes that that the natural father can resolve the problem. False! He maybe the biological father but is now a stranger. The boy resents him for not teaching him to ride a bike, play soccer, to fish amongst a host of things.There is a disconnect and the father and son have become strangers which is a dreadful tragedy. His surrogate father becomes the school teacher, pastor or occassionally the mothers new boyfriend/husband.

    Men believe it or not suffer heartache and extreme loneliness! Women by nature bulid networks that act as safetynets in times of distress. Men walk alone. The pain and heartache though borne stoically eats deep into their souls. They are unable to enter other relationships immediately as (a)trust in the female species is broken,(b)the pain,heartache,anger&sadness are overwhelming (c)fear that the body may not respond or rise to the occassion leading to temporary impotence. As a result many take solace in alcohol and or dugs. In a nutshell men hurt really badly and have no one to share their pain.

    Men believe it or not suffer the stigma of divorce. The spouses of their married friends forbid them from imagining or even compassing that they can share their company. In one cruel stroke a man is ostracized like a leper. It is during such times that a man discovers that his friends hitherto considered as independent are actually “puppets on a string” and none dare defy their wives status in life notwithstanding. A man is cut out even by his family who believe there is great shame in divorce. He is cut out ahead, behind and sideways leaving him hemmed in a small bundle known as himself! Man’s capacity for bearing pain is very low. It is an open fact that the pain of childbirth is sufficient to kill a man. To add insult to injury loneliness has been categorized a disease equivalent to diabetes,high blood pressure all of which can be fatal. Yes, Pastor, it is complicated and no man comes out of divorce without incredible physical and psychological scars. Someone once wrote a book titled, The Man Died. The man dies in divorce and whatever is left is but a shadow of the old self. Be blessed.

    Like

    • Thank you Mwenda for highlighting the plight of men in separation and divorce. I also felt that the sermon seemed to focus mainly on women as the sufferers in separation and divorce.Otherwise kudos Pst. Kyama for being faithful in giving God’s word this month.

      Like

    • concerned Says:

      david now this is being real…i didnt not understand why i have stayed out of a relationship for so long now ido…pst kyama…how then do we as men heal….from this rejection?

      Like

    • this is really deep. i wish more men would let their better halves know that they actually have real and deep feelings. that they are human in every possible way. it is difficult for somebody to act on something they do not know. most women walk out on their marriages convinced that the man just doesn’t care. she knows he is not going to follow her or even hurt. she knows he is going to pick up another woman immediately after she goes out. she has seen him constantly display an aura of ‘i don’t get hurt’ . she has endured his complaints of her wanting him to play a bigger role in the relationship. she watched him climb mountains for things he loved, a sport, his job, his friends, yet he grumbled when it came to giving his best at home. . . when she walks out the door, she has no clue what she has done to her man, she thinks she is solo in the hurt… i do hope that men can be more honest with their better halves, maybe then divorce would not be such an easy solution for women,she will know they are in this together.
      it may not solve everything but i am sure a few pairs of feet will not leave if they knew the kind of damage they leave behind

      Like

  5. I loved the sermon… My friend has been thinking of separating from her husband for a while now. I did not quite know what to tell her because all her reasons were valid but after listening to the sermon, i knew exactly what to tell her. Thank you for being real. Many people don’t like facing the realities of life.

    Mavunite

    Like

  6. I am glad for this perspective, it brings a lot of healing to a reality that has been deemed taboo yet is now rather prevalent. A timely message and thank you for the tools. LindaM

    Like

  7. I cried throughtout the sermon. I am separated with a divorce looming over my head . I have lost 90% of my friends and the stigma is amazing. But in all this it has brought me closer to God and I have been praying for wisdom on what to do.

    Based on the sermon on Sunday God’s voice was loud and clear on what I need to do even if it is not what I expected. Thanks for the blessing said on Sunday and support accorded by my life group has made things much more bearable.

    Like

  8. Hi Pastor Kyama

    This series has been subtly powerful and deeply personal. I am a product of a single parent and a present dad though not living with my 12 year old son.

    On Sunday, I claimed the prayers while seated because I was not quite sure whether my life situation was ‘complicated’. I later figured that not knowing that DEFINITELY means complicated or messed up. My son’s mum and I parted before he was conceived.Pretty much similar circumstances I was born into. My mum and dad parted before I was born.

    Since then it has been a string of unhealthy messed up painful relationships and I am now a frequent flyer on guilt trips. I sometimes also dabble as a travel agent. This has been my inheritance.

    I didn’t realise that I could pray about this because I felt that I had gone into the unforgivable zone. It has been a looooong season of plea bargains to get reduced sentences; yet repeat offences has kept me remanded in the Condemned Block.

    Genuinely inviting God into this circumstance of my life was so freeing.It is still bizarre, because it is a process of trusting that I can indeed be freed man living guilt free. Pain, bondage, doom and gloom has been so normal that stepping into adapting to the sunlight is not all that simple or straight forward.

    Thank you for the affirmation that when life happens God still CARES in real space and time.

    Like

  9. what’s the venue of the marriage seminar starting today ?

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: