David Naugle starts his book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives, with this assumption: “I begin this book with the assumption of a broken heart. If my assumption is premature in your case, it’s just a matter of time before the inevitable occurs. The world fractures everyone’s heart sometime, somehow, some way, to one degree or another. No one is exempt. In the midst of our difficult circumstances, we feel the weight of our woes and long for some semblance of a happy life once again. Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”
Divorce delivers the sting of a broken heart; the death of a union that once had so much joy and promise. Wrapped in physical and emotional intimacy, we trusted and the betrayal of that trust has left us with a broken heart. We want to be happy once again.
After my divorce, I felt the sting of human rejection, but also felt rejected by God. “If He loved me, He would have saved our marriage,” or “If He loved me, I wouldn’t feel such loneliness and defeat.” I even felt embarrassed in front of God, unworthy because I couldn’t make the marriage work; I know how much God hates divorce.
It was easy for me to wallow in self-pity and to seek the excitement of a new romance to fill the void. Naugle helped me to realize that I had a jumbled up love: not loving a human being too much, but loving him too much in proportion to my love for God. In my case, my jumbled up love was my great desire to be married and be part of a family. I had made an idol out of the marriage/family tradition and I had been willing to give up my love for God for it.
Naugle is so clear in his book; he’s helped me to reorder my loves and my life, reconnecting to God first and putting Him above all other things. Here is an excerpt of Naugle’s portrait of a well-ordered life:
"Thanks to the grace of the gospel, my loves and my life have been transformed. I have turned from worshipping idols to the worship of the one, true, living God, and that has made all the difference in the world. I now have a virtually insatiable desire to grow in my faith intellectually, to seek a faithful understanding in all things. Now that I have a personal relationship with the Creator and Redeemer of the universe, I believe in the truth of his word, and I am learning how to trust God and walk by faith in every situation in life. My previous selfishness has given way to a growing love for God and a genuine care and concern for other people, just as I have learned to love myself. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I am cultivating the courage to obey God, serve others, and do what is right regardless of the risk or costs involved."
Reordering your life and loves takes patience and perseverance with inevitable setbacks and victories along the way. It has taken me three years to reorder my life and my loves and to surround myself with trusted Christian friends who love me enough to correct me when I start to slide back into disarray.
In the shadow of divorce, I had to reconnect with God first. Now I am able to connect with others in healthy relationships that honor God.
I pray that your broken heart will be healed when you reconnect with God by reordering your loves.
Blessings, my friend,