“I Don’t Love You…”
By M. B. Fields, Jr.
Copyright© 2007 by Grand Organ Productions, LLC
All Rights Reserved
Divorce is a very difficult speed bump in the journey of life, don’t you agree? The first time you even find this word worming its way into your mind, you resent it.
The first thoughts that usually come galloping onto the stage of the “Theatre of the Mind” are first remembrances of those days long past (or perhaps not so long ago) that made you desire no other than that special someone, that special car, that special career, that special bank account, or that special moment.
It is interesting to me that this is the first of the many thoughts that suddenly impact your thinking when divorce first makes a place for itself in your mind. It does not constrain itself by the joy of the first moment. Divorce, regardless of the anger or the pain, or the overwhelming sense of inevitability which gives it first rest, does not pay attention to those wondrous first moments. Yet it is those very first moments which cascade through our minds as the first thoughts of divorce enter and take up residence.
Divorce, as a concept, does not manifest itself into reality in one thought alone, does it? There is a cumulative effect of emotion, righteous indignation, hurt, pain, or perhaps even abuse which are the fertile seeds allowing this weed to find root. It is a sub-conscious, yet subtle (and persistently present) vermin, that will not give rest once it has found nutritious soil.
Divorce is also a weed well-watered. While we do actually realize that divorce is always an option to any given situation, we just do not like thinking about it. We sometimes plant it purposefully, even as those amazing first moments are being created. We feel within us the need for a “back door” for the momentous decisions of our lives. Only when we have successfully planted a route “out” do we then begin the journey into whatever situation, event or reality we now feel secure enough to realize.
While we are so carefully planting this infernal weed into the security of our minds, it is anathema to think that something or someone else would ever consider such a devious device—especially to be used against us! We do belong to the species of the belly buttons after all. Divorce is specifically a creation--of the belly button variety. Where does this infestation of the spirit, the soul, the heart, and the mind originate? How do we find ourselves at that precipitous moment when the idea of divorce suddenly makes the best sense?
It is incredibly important for us to tell that certain someone, or that certain passion that we do love them. We cannot sleep at night unless the words have been said and understood. Divorce is a term of relationship, and is always an option for any relationship in our lives. It does not merely apply to our mates, or our partners, or our children, or our parents. Divorce is always relationally based, and can find itself hiding within any relationship of our lives.
This may include our favorite food, our favorite job, or our favorite sports team. It is incredibly important for us "of the belly button" to understand and vocalize our fidelity, or our affection; our love, or our passion for someone, or something. It gives us what we feel or sense is definitional to our existence.
We shock and astound ourselves when we consider divorce in any relationship. We divorce paychecks, cars, and careers. We divorce pets, and homes, and lives. We divorce friendships that have been part of our being for all of our lives. We divorce family members, and even entire families.
Some things are easier to divorce than others. Some realities are more difficult to divorce than we think possible. Bad habits are, for instance, often difficult—if not impossible—for us to divorce. Bad ideas create root systems so pronounced and deep that we cannot eliminate them from our beings. Bad times have a nasty way of lingering as well. Unpleasant events, conversations, or other experiences can remain with us our entire lifetimes, refusing to either acknowledge or accept our Decrees of Divorce!
We do not see, nor do we often even remember the original intent of leaving them in our minds. We see only the hurt, the bitterness, and the unforgiveness which these times bring. Often years--or decades--after the fact we cannot even remember the originating cause. We focus on the feelings that have flowed ceaselessly from them.
Divorce is such a keen observer of ourselves we sometimes cannot even remember it. Our feelings of malice can become so entrenched in our beings, the fact of divorce has no effect on our feelings at all. “I divorced that so-and-so years ago, and I still hurt. I am still mad about the entire thing!”
Have you ever been there?
Do you look at the person who got the promotion instead of you, all those years ago? Do you still feel a deep-seeded malice towards them? Of all the things that just burn your toast, what, or who, is at the top of the list? Why? Can you specifically recall?
We truly desire to express our love for that passion, or that car, or that team, or that person. It is very difficult to actually say the words. As the belly button type, we do not have to say anything to let the emotions of our love become known to others. Our actions can tell much about how we feel. We may even feel “trapped” because our actions tend to speak louder than our words. This is especially true in relationships with people. People watch our actions as not only the defining of our intent or of our words, but the very proof of them—said or silent.
Like love, divorce is often felt long before the word is uttered for the first time. As we show how much we love, we sometimes show it too well. It can take us by surprise to see just how much we love someone. In the same manner, it can shake us to our core to see just how little we love someone.
Try as we might hope (because we have belly buttons) our actions speak volumes for our words. Without our consent, we can (and often do) tell someone how little we love them. We cease emotional involvement, or daily personal interaction without even realizing that we are “pulling away” emotionally. We find ourselves less willing to listen or even to talk to that one person, or passion, or job. We begin (silently) to divest ourselves of the significant investments we have made (or have believed ourselves to have made) in someone or something other than ourselves. Alas, beloved, it is true: we are a completely selfish bunch of belly buttons.
The reasons are as many as there are belly buttons. Many years after the actual fact, we still attempt to rationalize or justify the actions leading to our original decision. We find our own arguments sadly lacking. What seemed to be the right thing, or the most correct thing, or the safest thing--at the time--has turned out less so than we may have first believed. Grief, regret, and sadness all play important roles in divorce. Divorce necessarily involves the lives of those other than the direct participants. Children, pets, families, friends, and co-workers all feel the sting of divorce. Our sadness, or our anger, or our hurt, or our feelings of betrayal can cover a large network of other people, regardless of the nature of the divorce.
We may change jobs, or location, or even our identity for one reason or another. Our lives change perceptibly by divorce. Every time this decision is made either by us, or for us, divorce remains as a necessary part of the remainder of our lives--for a myriad of reasons. I must tell you that, at the core of whatever reason is sufficient for you, there are really only two reasons for divorce: Love, and obedience.
How do you tell someone, or something, that you just don’t love them any more? Is your desire rather to tell them that you don’t love them as much as you once believed? Perhaps you really just want them to know that you just don’t love them enough. Now, there is a common complaint—on both sides of the issue's equation. How do you, as a person who must hear this--or come to the inevitable truth of it--deal with it?
Is there a place for such pain? Regardless of the “why”, the reality of the “what” will have incredible impact on the remainder of your life. Your self-identification will forever change. The very way you interact with others will forever change. Multiple family situations will forever be a requirement to consider. Even as you no longer subscribe to the daily living of another, or even the sharing of your life, you and that which you divorce are forever inexorably linked. Schedules, payments, and attitudes will forever be dinged, dented, and sometimes even crushed.
There is nothing good about it. Divorce just plain stinks. How much?
There are a few words about it in the Bible. It is based upon three simple words. It became such a violent topic that God Himself had something to say about it.
We are told in the book of Malachi, Chapter 2, verse 16, from the very Creator God Himself: “I hate (despise) divorce!” (Mal. 2:16 a, NKJV)
He explains that He does not abide those who break their commitments to one another, or the vows they have made before Him. That is a pretty clear definition of an opinion.
Isn't it true that you speak this truth long before you say it? Are we really surprised when, in that moment, the words finally clear our lips? Do we really believe that the one hearing them has no idea of them?
Some people would swear they had no idea that they are in the active process of divorce, or of being divorced--even when it is clearly in front of them. Some people don’t have any idea. It comes as a total and utter shock to them. They would be no less surprised to discover (or be informed) that their mate was a serial axe murderer, caught on video—twice!
This is the very point I wish to discuss with you. I would rather make it, however, applicable to everyone with a belly button. I believe we all do it every day of our lives. We do not even realize it. I want us to realize it. It is not a passion, or an occupation, or even a person that we divorce daily.
It is God.
God asks us if we love Him, then quietly waits for an answer--from each of us. It sounds rather simple, really.
Have you ever known someone who really loves you, yet you do not, cannot, or will not return that love in equal measure? That is a pickle. When our courage, or our resolve, or our emotional unwillingness to hurt another impinges upon our best intent, how do we respond? It is in some form of the statement: “I love you as a friend.” You might try to gain a little more “space” for yourself by responding with: “I like you, but I don’t LOVE you!”
God asks us each one of us this one question. “Do you love Me?” How do we respond? Of all the moments of our lives this one is--without exception, exemption, or dispensation--the MOST important question we will answer for so long as we live—and forever after.
I hope you will consider all that is in this writing. Divorce is not found in those moments, times, events, or situations that you define, develop or control.
You did not ask to be born, did you? Who did? More importantly, why? What input do you have in the entire matter? If it is a situation that you find difficult, or even impossible to deal with, what can you do about it?
If your situation is in critical condition, is there anything that you (regardless of any other belly button) can do about it? Is it just hopeless?
I want to tell you that there is hope. There is something that you can do about it, regardless of what the situation may be. You can do something about it today! First you must answer that one imperative, eternal question. When God asks it, do you have an answer? Does it matter?
It matters more than you might suspect. I will talk about that when next we visit. Consider not your answer to the question, but the question itself. It may be the very key that unlocks your situation. It does not matter what your situation may be. Perhaps you do not hear the question being asked of you every moment of every day.
Perhaps you have no idea who God is, or even IF He is. You might be wondering why He should be interested in asking you this question, much less holding any regard for your answer. This one question is THE one question in life that every belly button is required to answer. The answer you give doesn’t have to be exotic, or passionate, or complicated—or even “Yes!” It does have to be honest.
If you have answered that question from God to your satisfaction, let me ask you this:
Have you answered it, today, to His satisfaction?
Are you, like so many of us "children with a belly button" in the process of divorce from God? That happens moment by moment, every day of our lives on Earth. Believe me when I tell you, it can take more than forever to get over.
Until next time, may you be richly blessed, indeed! Good luck on your journey.
In His Care,