(Feature photo by Lindsay O’Neil and Photo of Patrick Dempsey and family is courtesy of People Magazine)
Patrick Dempsey and Our Redemption
By Emma Verschueren
I’ve never experienced divorce first hand. And to be honest, I’m not sure when or how or why a deep, unifying relationship ever comes to the end of its rope and concludes it’s time to give up, its not worth it anymore. However, there have been times in my spiritual walk- recent times- where I thought: this is it. Is it worth it any more? Should I just give up?
Patrick Dempsey, the actor who has starred in films like “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Made of Honor,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and much much more, recently went through a divorce. Actually, an almost divorce. While tabloids and magazines speculated as to what caused Dempsey’s marriage to fall apart, he was actually stepping out of the spotlight in order to repair his marriage and keep his family from falling apart. In an interview with People magazine, he stated, “[His] marriage was not something [he] was prepared to let go of…[He] didn’t feel like [he] had done all the work.” Furthermore, Dempsey expressed that by ending his marriage he would be shutting down a major aspect of his life and would tear apart his family. Ultimately, he concluded that his marriage was not about himself. It was about the edification of his spouse and about the completion and flourishing of his family.
There are many times in the Bible where God states that divorce is wrong. It’s pretty easy to see why he condemns it- it breaks apart families and it glorifies division and strife. However, I think there is a much deeper reason as to why God abhors divorce. Marriage itself is supposed to be a physical representation of Christ’s relationship to us. The sacrifice that Christ made on the cross is the ultimate act of unification. His purpose at Calvary was not just to free us from our sins but it was meant to tear down the wall of separation so that we may be joined together with Him on earth and for eternity. Calvary was the ultimate wedding union that is meant to set the tone for our lives, for our relationships and our walks with Jesus.
So this is why God condemns divorce: because He never divorces us. He never has and he never will.
We live in a world that celebrates self, where what is sacred is your will and your wants. Many people divorce because they, themselves, are unhappy. Too often in my life, and in the lives of those who have walked away from a relationship with Jesus Christ, we walk away because we feel unfulfilled, or unhappy, or dissatisfied with the person of Christ. As Patrick Dempsey said, we should not be prepared to let go of our spouse, and in our case, our relationship with the Lord.
God himself is what gives us our personhood, our being, and our purpose, and by separating ourselves from Him, we are utterly lost. Moreover, as we separate from God it also harms the body of Christ just like the way divorce tears families apart. It’s important to remember that our relationship with Christ is not necessarily about us. Yes, Christ works in us as we walk with Him and grow in Him, but the purpose of our union with Jesus is to make Him known. We are second. As Christ sacrificed himself on the cross, so must we put to death the desires of the flesh in order to make our relationship with Him grow.
In the midst of a culture that encourages selfishness, let us remember that the very thing that gives us life did the ultimate sacrificial deed in order to be united with us. He is never going to give up on us- even when we think “this is it” or when we wonder, “is it worth it anymore?” He is going to lavish grace upon us and patiently work with us to restore His bride.