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Why Rachel Hollis’ Divorce Disappoints So Many

Let me be clear: It’s not my business to be personally disappointed by Rachel Hollis’s divorce. It’s not my place to know the details of “why.” I’m not going to cast condemnation for their personal choices that I know nothing about.

And yet, Rachel Hollis’s divorce comes as a disappointment to so many. 

Not because her personal choices are our business, but because of what they’ve sold us through those personal choices.

Reading the comment sections of her announcement post, scores of people are saying things like, “I feel a little ripped off. A little lied to. I wish you well, but I feel bamboozled,” “I can’t believe in a brand that is based on a lie,” “Was this all for show and sales? Deeply disappointed. I’ll be selling my book. Want to watch people who I can trust. You always said you were transparent with your lives, but your words proved to be untrue.”

Her divorce proves that the entire foundation of her messaging is false. This announcement is making us finally realize that what we’ve been sold, bought into, and believed has been a lie.

Not the divorce itself. I fully respect that as someone’s personal decision, and although what they’ve said publically puts biblical divorce in question, that is not my job to determine. It’s what the divorce says about the message she has sold:

It says that you aren’t actually the hero of your story.

You actually can’t keep every promise you make to yourself.

You can’t believe in yourself enough to make the exact life you want.

You actually aren’t entirely in control of your life.

Sometimes people give up.

That maybe there are things in our lives that we didn’t allow to be there. We didn’t welcome them, and the unhappiness they bring, and yet there they are.

The gospel Rachel preaches would say that she has failed because she couldn’t keep a promise to herself–and her husband– to stay married. It would say she has failed because she (or they) actually couldn’t be the hero of the story to fix a marriage. It would say she has failed because she is not entirely in control of her life.

Her gospel is graceless.

It is works based.

When that “shame free plan” is suddenly up to us, the shame comes right back in.

We know those statements I listed above shouldn’t be true, yet according to the logic of her messaging, if you fail, then those things have to be true. 

And yet, we know there should be grace. That grace is not found in her ideology, messages, or gospel she has literally sold us.

It is found in the Gospel.

It’s found in admitting, yeah, I can’t keep every promise I make. I can’t believe in myself enough to make my life entirely how I wanted it. Sometimes I give up on things. I’m not entirely in control of my life.

Rachel’s ideology on life is determined by “self” and our own power. That will inevitably leave us disappointed and with feelings of shame when we can’t live up to our own expectations.

{Download my new book for FREE here. The Great Awokening– Understand the new political culture that shames, cancels, and finds its virtue in rejection}

True grace is found in admitting that there is only one place to find freedom, peace, and joy, and it’s not within ourselves. It’s within Christ and the confession that we aren’t all of those things. But that he is.

A commenter on Instagram, mama.planting.seeds said, “To those saying “but you are the model of what marriage is!” – NO. The Bible is. And “If you cant make it who can??” – STOP. Millions of old couples who have been/were married 50 plus years. Stop idolizing this woman. Humans are fallible and broken. Clearly transparency was an issue here. Things are not always as they seem. But please – do NOT hold Rachel or anyone else for that matter, up as an idol or someone to mirror after. Christ is our only example and hope.”

Let’s remember exactly what she said. We can be disappointed that what we’ve been sold wasn’t true. But let’s not idolize people who are human just like us. Let’s be more discerning about who we listen to admire, and take advice from–all while expecting them to struggle like us.

It would be really hard to announce a divorce to millions of people. I respect that. We shouldn’t expect anyone to have to be honest about their marriage struggles, but it gets hard when they’re selling us their authentic marriage.

{Download my free 5 day bible study that explores these types of messages that point women to themselves:

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We shouldn’t be disappointed with someone’s personal choice. But selling people an ideology with your life and then proving its wrong will bring some disappointment.

She has testified with her life that her gospel is works based. I hope she sees that, but realistically I hope we can see it as an example that drives us to the true gospel. One that is grace-based. The one that says that when we fail, there is grace for us, not subtly implied condemnation.

We’re not in control. We can’t keep every promise we make. We can’t believe in ourselves enough to make life entirely how we want it. But we can still have freedom from all of that and the shame it brings. Thanks not to ourselves, but to Christ.


I share a lot more about the “gospel” Rachel just happens to be preaching over on Instagram and how our true joy and freedom is found not in ourselves, but Christ.


Related Posts:

Self Love: What Its Message Gets Wrong

Girl, You’re Not Enough

The Self Esteem Gospel

June 9, 2020


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  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you for this! I was really disappointed for what happened and I was trying to find something to tell me why ? I found your article, I really needed to be reminded that Jesus is the only one that I can find joy and grace!

  2. I appreciate your thoughts on this! I don’t follow Rachel Hollis closely, but I’ve read a lot about her message and how faulty it is. Her focus on self and finding the strength within ourselves to do whatever we want is so representative of our culture, and also the main problem with our culture today!

  3. Jeremy says:

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Well said, Meagan. God is our only good and true source. I always knew her “stuff” smelled. The biggest red flag was when she said on stage about a song that came out to that it was by “Our Lord and Savior, Beyonce Knowles”… That was it. NEXT!

    Thanks for speaking the truth.

  4. Christina says:

    I can’t say that I was at all surprised over her announcement. I had to stop following her a while back. I discovered her when she was a quirky red head and I loved her videos and lifestyle blog. She seemed genuine and fun and then all of the sudden she sold herself out and nothing she did seemed genuine at all! It couldn’t have been more phony, those poses and fake smiles. Sadly so many people bought into it and made her very successful. I fell like she really let her fans down!

  5. graysusan says:

    I felt a phoniness in her first book. She seemed to put her kids and hubs aside continually, so that she could grow. Come on. She got what she wanted and grew but shredded her family. Love doesn’t do that. Appears disordered…

  6. Tanya says:

    I’m with you and many others. This is disappointing,, not that they are divorcing but that they always gave a rosy picture. If you are having problems say that in some way, not bandage it ALWAYS. I have been married 31 years, and after the first 10 years if I thought it would be easy I would have left, then an affair that opened my eyes. Through raising kids, illness, raising grandkids, taking care of aging parents, career highs and lows, climbing Mt. Everest and rolling down the other side and walking through shit most days, we keep coming out on the other side. Why? Because we committed ourself to us and our family

  7. Mel says:

    I realized her messages weren’t for me when in one of her books when she really belittled the bio mother of their foster child for being an addict and then tells us how SHE was drinking excessively herself. There were many other red flags in what she was selling that didn’t ring true. I do pray she and her husband can work it out, but we all need to be careful that every teacher we follow is truly representing the gospel – which none of us will do perfectly. However, we need to pay better attention to those little red flags… And you’re right. SO many older married couples we can learn from. My great grandparents were married 65 years! While they are no longer with us, I saw their love for each other and Christ lived out in their lives. They are my example that it CAN be done and done well. My husband and I will celebrate 25 years married this year!

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