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Divorced women are often placed in one of two categories.question mark

Category One: Condemnation and Shame. This is the category that says we must have done something terribly wrong to be divorced.

It’s the idea of the “Scarlet D” we wear on our chests and carries with it false guilt and self-righteous judgment.

This category keeps us separate from others. We aren’t invited to social gatherings because wives are afraid we’ll steal their husbands.

We feel ostracized in many situations and sometimes – we isolate ourselves because of the false guilt and shame.

We may feel emotionally violated and disrespected.

Category Two: Victimization. This is when others pity us and genuinely try to help us because they feel sorry for us. Particularly, if we are single moms – they feel sorry for our children.

They have been told that the children of single moms will fail, will end up in jail and will perpetuate another generation of broken homes.

While it is true that we sometimes need help, this category still places us in the box of distrust. We may feel stuck in a place we don’t deserve.

But there is another category that is often ignored and that is the area of respect and restoration.

We might even call it the Category of Hope.

This is when a woman decides that her life and the lives of her children are worth more than living in abuse.

This is when a woman sets boundaries and refuses to accept another person’s viewpoint of her because she respects herself.

Within this category, women go back to school and finish their education. They work two, sometimes three jobs, in order to make ends meet. They crawl out of debt and find a nice place to raise their children.

They take care of themselves physically and emotionally because they know they have value in the eyes of God.

Their children finish school, go on to complete higher education goals, marry well and guard their hearts.

These are the women and the families who experience God’s faithfulness with an abundance of new understanding.

These women know they have come out of bondage and moved into the promised land.

Instead of being placed into the boxes of Category One or Two – these women stand tall, succeed and move forward in life.

They should be encouraged instead of pitied. They should be applauded instead of shamed.

If you are living in the Category of Hope today, may I be the first to applaud you and encourage you. Because you are a woman of strength and integrity, you will make it.

And someday, your children will rise up to bless you.

©2015 Starting Over Single