If you are a divorced woman, pretty much no matter what your marriage was like (meaning, if you left because of adultery, abuse, or addiction, or if you were left by a man that you thought loved you), you are walking through life with a low bar.
You may not think you are, but you are.
One of the areas that you need to have healed in you before you consider a new relationship is what you currently expect from your next partner. If you expect pain and arguing and sadness, sweet girl, it’s time to adjust that bar of yours.
I’ve talked a bit here about my realization and admission that my bar has been low. I have been so very hurt over the years that I had come to a place of either expecting only hurt in the future or that I would just emotionally close up shop and never try again.
But then I met that man that I talked about in a post or two or three or four. And though it seemed that we took a little break, we are definitely still friends. Still very good friends.
And he is such a good, good man. But hands down one of the best parts: he is a game-changer.
From now on, I will never look back, never lower my standards:
Ladies, here’s what I know. I have quite a bit of baggage. And I’ve been really hurt. And my self-confidence has taken a beating. And I thought there weren’t men out there who would be kind to me or who would simply like me for me. But I was wrong.
In the brief time we’ve been communicating, Jesus has used this man to help me rethink almost everything about what a partnership could look like and what I should not settle for.
So if you find yourself in this place… this place of looking back over your shoulder at the rubble that’s been left behind and wondering how in the world you will ever be able to trust another man, you can find healing and you can move forward.
Ask Jesus to heal the wounds that have been left behind.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Ask Jesus to speak into your heart how he sees you, who you truly are.
You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you. Isaiah 43:4
Ask Jesus to bring safe men into your life who will treat you kindly.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Ask Jesus to protect you from unsafe men who will treat you harshly.
A gentle response diverts anger, but a harsh statement incites fury. Proverbs 15:1
Ask Jesus to give you the discernment you need to decide who to let in and who to walk away from.
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16
Ask Jesus to give you hope for his good plan for you, man or not.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
I believe that God does not wish for you to live in constant relational strife. I believe that God does not wish for you to repeat your mistakes because you are so used to pain you think it’s all you deserve. I do not know if marriage is what’s up ahead for you, but I do believe that if it is, his desire is that it’s a relationship that mirrors the sweet and beautiful interplay between Christ and the Church. And girls, if you’re going to have that, you must raise your bar.
This article is part of our larger resource: The Christian Woman’s Guide to Starting Over after Divorce: 7 In-Depth Steps to Take Starting Today. If you’re going through a divorce or are already divorced and looking for more resources, be sure to visit our guide!
Elisabeth Klein is grateful wife to Richard, and mom and stepmom to five. She is the author of Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage and Dating after Divorce, among many other titles, that can all be found at Amazon.com. She moderates private Facebook groups and e-courses for women in difficult marriages and those walking through divorce. You can find her on Facebook.