Comments on Forsaken

With Jane’s approval, I add to her moving article on marriage, divorce, and remarriage what she herself could not comfortably write.

When she was cruelly and wickedly abandoned and then divorced by her husband, she was assailed by especially two powerful temptations.  One was despair.  Using her distress, and for a woman, especially a young woman who naturally, strongly desires a husband, children, and a family of her own, the distress was severe, Satan tempted her to despair not only of the possibility of purpose and joy in earthly life, but also of God and his goodness.

The other powerful temptation was bitterness.  Yielded to, the bitterness would not have terminated on her painful circumstances or even on a faithless husband.  But ultimately, it would have been resentment against God and his dealings with her.  Bitterness would have consumed her spiritual life and shriveled up her earthly life.

By the almighty, amazing, never failing grace of God in Jesus Christ, Jane resisted both temptations.  She refused to plunge into the depression of despair.  She gave bitterness no place in her soul.

With trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God of her faith, she submitted to her adverse circumstances as the will of her heavenly Father for her life.  Rather than give up on life—Christian life—as would have been the easy way of response to her divorce and single life, she determined that she would study at college for four years to become a Christian school teacher.  This she accomplished.  For the past fifteen years, she has taught in our Heritage Christian School in Hudsonville, Michigan.  There God has given her a large and loving family, including many children.

In her obedience to the command of the Lord that the divorced woman, particularly the “innocent party” in the divorce, remain “unmarried” (1 Cor. 7:10–11), Jane is a visible, ringing testimony to the unbreakable marriage covenant between God and his bride, the church.

She is also a witness to the power of the grace of God that enables us to do hard, even naturally impossible things, and to do them willingly and gladly.  As she has written in her article, grace gives her not only obedience (to a very difficult command), but also the experience that “obedience is liberty.”