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About the Book

A Christian Divorce

I profess to be a Christian, and I have struggled for nearly twenty years with an uncertainty of whether I have chosen the right career path as an attorney specializing in family law, one specializing in divorce.

I divorce people … or as one friend half-jokingly mused, I help break up families.

My faith in Christ has framed not only how I have tried to live my life but also how I have tried to ply my trade. Yet the divorce world is an extremely adversarial area of the law. And as a result, I have found it challenging to live out my faith when every aspect of divorce litigation is geared toward a competitive, winner-take-all paradigm.

So as I have wondered why I gravitated toward divorce law, I recently experienced an epiphany of sorts. In 2013, I began to feel the first calling of my life, which is to try to draw attention to the painful observation and the painful reality that the worst divorce cases that I have experienced during my legal career—the most acrimonious and uncommonly bitter litigation experiences—have been those in which either one or both of the parties professed to be Christians.

Unfortunately, divorce is pervasive. Approximately two million Americans are involved in divorces each year, and it is estimated that nearly thirty million children are affected by a family breakup before they turn fifteen years old! And if those numbers do not get your attention, also consider the fact that Christians account for 74 percent of those divorcing in the United States.

That’s staggering.

Statistics aside, conduct your own unscientific poll and think of whether you know at least one individual who is either divorced or who has been affected by divorce.

We all know someone affected by divorce.

It is my belief that divorce presents individuals with one of life’s greatest adversities. When it occurs, it must be endured … and then overcome. Because of the prevalence of divorce in our society, I am convinced that how individuals who profess to be Christians live through divorce and how they respond to the adversity of divorce differently can be a beacon of light in a world of great darkness.

In other words, divorces affect so many lives it is one of the greatest opportunities that Christianity has to prove to a weary world that Jesus Christ sincerely, profoundly, and irreversibly transforms lives … even in the midst of one of life’s greatest hardships.

As it stands now, the majority of Christians in my office too often allow earthly instincts to drive their decisions. And after two decades of practicing law, I am profoundly convicted that our faith must compel individuals experiencing divorce and individuals influencing those affected by divorce to utilize the first aid kit and tool box that the gospel offers. It is easy to be a Christian in the absence of adversity. But I have witnessed time and again that the power of our faith is not just seen in the beautiful summer days of our lives but powerfully and profoundly in the trauma and adversity of the dark, cold winter moments of our lives—when we are laid off from work, when friendships end, when illness becomes life-threatening, when the passion of our marriages fade, and when divorce becomes inevitable.

Therefore, the premise for this book is radically simple—to be a Christian and to be a follower of Jesus Christ means that God has called us to lives of significance, not just on sunny days but on the days when we find ourselves caught in torrential downpour. And divorce is one of the most common downpours experienced in our country.

To be Christians means that we must accept that a fallen and weary world is watching to see whether Christ really transforms lives. Regardless of whether we want or invite the scrutiny, a searching world looks on to see

  • whether we prioritize our time differently;
  • whether we talk to our spouses differently;
  • whether we encourage our children differently;
  • whether we conduct our business differently;
  • whether we live-out our convictions differently; and
  • whether we approach adversity, disaster, and divorce

In other words, the weary world is watching our lives to see whether we are a cult, a group of well-meaning but hypocritical folks, or a people whose lives have been forever transformed.

If God can use the gruesome event of a crucifixion as a catalyst to faith, the same God can certainly turn any hardship, including divorce, into an inspirational force awakening nonbelievers to the idea that Jesus truly transforms lives. And our actions throughout it all may be the only sermon others may ever see and hear or the only invitation to faith they ever receive.

So while I hope the reader will ultimately find encouragement in the thoughts and words that follow, these ideas are meant to challenge. That is certainly how I read the New Testament—encouraging but challenging. While the promise of God’s unconditional love is reassuring, the lives we are expected to lead set a high bar that requires an intentional approach to all of life’s situations.

Consequently, whether you find yourself on the brink of divorce, in the midst of divorce, or in the wake of divorce’s aftermath or whether you possess influence in the lives of those affected by divorce, these thoughts and words are intended to help us remember to seek divine counsel just as aggressively as we seek legal counsel.

A Christian Divorce’s message is simple. God calls us to live out our faith in every circumstance … including divorce.