I’m looking for help. This post is about to get real so feel free to check out if you need to. I’ve got a few friends (more than 1, less than 20) that are going through separation or divorce right now. A couple of those are the result of extramarital affairs. Here’s the deal though. While they are friends, some of them are people I haven’t really kept up with; just touched base with through Facebook or the annual phone call. I really don’t know how to handle these relationships while this is going on. If we were still close (I’m looking at you steadfast friendships) I would ABSOLUTELY CALL YOU OUT for mistreating your spouse and being an idiot. That isn’t the case here and I honestly don’t know how to act.
I get that divorce happens and I get that God’s grace can, and does, cover our mistakes and sins whatever they are. I also know that Scripture is pretty clear that God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16) I’m also in no way saying that no one should ever get divorced, but if you come to me as a pastor my first response will always be that God wants to heal your marriage and see it restored.I’ve had the blessing of sitting down with one of my friends and honestly talking through his separation and praying with him through the process. That marriage appears to be ending but I at least see a repentant man trying to atone for his mistakes and love his family well through it.
The thing is that I’m not the type of friend who feels like I need to be involved in your business but I am the “faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6) type of friend. I believe strongly that real, loving friendships are honest when it hurts and care more about the other person being right with God and their relationships than it does about being just on the surface and making sure no one’s feelings ever get hurt. So when these things start happening publicly I really don’t know how to react. I’ve sent messages to let people know I’m praying for their family. But what I really want to do is email some of the guys who’ve had affairs and ask them what the hell they were thinking.
So I need some help. How would you handle it if friends from your past starting doing things that destroyed their marriage and witness? Would you friend them on your social networks and pretend like nothing had or was happening? Would you call them out privately? Would you ignore them altogether? I’m wide open to hear your thoughts.