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J.D. Greear: Removing the Stigma of Divorce

J.D. Greear calls divorce the “Scarlet D” that some Christians wear unwittingly. But Greear would like us—all of us—to think of divorce differently than we usually do in the church.

In Jeremiah 3:8, God essentially calls himself a divorcee. This should help those who struggle with the stigma of divorce. And while it’s true that the divorce wasn’t a result of God’s sin, but of Israel’s sin, Greear explains even if sin was a factor in your divorce, it doesn’t have to disqualify you from a hopeful future.

Greear says in the cross, Jesus puts away the sin done by you, and in the resurrection he overturns the sin done to you. We are told in Isaiah 53 that Jesus was wounded by our sin, but we are healed by those same wounds. The very thing that wounded Christ became the source of our healing. Greear reiterates: “In the cross, the sins done by you are forgiven; the sins done to you are healed.”

Greear uses the story of David and Bathsheba to illustrate how God can take a relationship that started steeped in so many forms of sin and use it for his glory. Despite the horrible start to their relationship, David and Bathsheba’s children ended up being in the lineage of Christ.

“What can that mean,” Greear asks, “but that God can take the worst and most devastating tragedy and overturn it for good?”

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Andrew Hess is a Sr. Communications Specialist at Compassion International. He previously served as the director of content at the White Horse Inn and editor of corechristianity.com. He formerly served as the editor of churchleaders.com. His writing has been featured on The Gospel Coalition and Focus on the Family. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife Jen and their energetic young son. Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWHess.