Archive | October 2016

Divorce

Divorce is a cancer upon the world.  There is no good that can come of it because it always divides and subtracts from the people involved.  Children pay the heaviest price.  This subject is heavy on my heart this morning.

Having said that, God can make a mess into a message and a test into a testimony.  I have heard and read many stories affirming this truth and my own marriage is a testimony of it.  I have friends for whom this is also true.

Please take some time to look up these scriptures in the Bible.  I suggest the Message Bible as a very readable, understandable version.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

Let us make man after our own image in our likeness.  Genesis 1:26

From the dust of the ground God made man and breathed into him the breath of life. Genesis 2:6-7

No suitable helper was found. God put man into a deep sleep, making a woman for the man out of his side.  Genesis 2:18

For the hardness of your hearts man was allowed to divorce his wife.  Matthew 19:1-12  Romans 7:3

Jesus said, “From the beginning it was not so.”  Matthew 19:8  I Corinthians 7:2

Man was created first, then woman.  I Corinthians 11:3, 8-12     I Peter 3:17

Submit one to another in the fear of the Lord.  Ephesians 5: 21-33

Divorce happens because of self-centeredness.  Each person doing what is right in his or her own eyes.  Proverbs 30:12

Does that mean that there are no reasons for divorce.  Certainly not.

God allows divorce because of adultery.  Though not clearly spoken in scripture, God does not condone one person abusing another.  But, that does not mean that in every case of abuse or adultery God wants a woman or man to depart.  God treats every person as an individual.

Define abuse.  Abuse can be physical, mental or spiritual.  When would God have you stay, when depart?  If your life is in danger, depart.  If your children are in danger, depart.

A friend of mine has stayed with a husband who is verbally abusive and now she has been diagnosed as mentally ill.  She left once and went back, in my opinion she should have never gone back.  I believe it was fear that gripped her and this opened a door to the dark side.  Though she claimed to be a Christian her husband became her idol.

My sister has been with a verbally abusive man for over 50 years.  He has little education but an outgoing personality that has gotten him by in life.  His weakness is putting her down to lift himself up.  In spite of this she loves him and believes that God has told her to stay.  The words he uses have caused her to turn to the Lord for comfort and strength, and He gives it to her.  He also blesses her in many other ways for staying the course.                  I Corinthians 7:16

The Bible tells us that a wife may win her husband to the Lord by her godly respectful behavior.  Surely God puts up with irreverent, ungodly sinners, sometimes for many years before they are won over by His love.  Earth life is short compared to eternity.

At this moment one of my sons is involved in divorce proceedings.  I believe that God chose this woman for my son.  That being said, the Bible says this:   “Many are called but few are chosen.”  I know that is not talking specifically about marriage and divorce, but the principle is there.  God calls some to be married, they can choose to do so or not.  Once married they are called to stay married to their spouse.

God has given each person a will.  We make decisions every day that affect our destiny.  God will never superimpose His will upon anyone, though He has the power and authority to do so.  God is love, and true love thinks of what is best for the loved one.  God often allows what He does not condone.

Self-centeredness:  “It is all about what I want.  Others exist to do my will.  If you don’t do what I want, I have the right to throw you away.  Life is about me being happy.  If I am not happy then you won’t be either.”  Plainly put:  God is not in it, it is idolatry, you are sitting on the throne of your life, you are your own god.

God has a way for marriage that transcends the world’s way of doing and being.  Like the salvation of a soul, it requires a death, death to selfishness, for God’s way of doing is loving your mate, giving of yourself, your time, to be a blessing to him or her.  In so doing, you will receive the blessing of the Lord yourself.

Someone said that God puts people in marriage to kill them.  I agree, because if you don’t die to self-will, you cannot stay married long.

The world’s way of marriage looks like this:  Each person finds someone who will make them feel good, feel completed.  Some want their spouse to do what they do, like what they like or go where they go.  In other words, to be just like them.  God did not create Adam and Adama.  He created man and wom(b)man for the purpose of taking care of the earth, populating it, enjoying each other and enjoying being in His presence.

God, in His written word, specifically tells a believer not to marry someone who does not believe in Jesus as the way of salvation, the way to God, the way to Heaven at death.  Why?  Because they are two different operating systems.

Does this mean then that if two people are Christians and they marry that they will not have any problem.  Absolutely not!  There may, in fact, be more.  The reason is that we live in a fallen world, a world where every man does what is right in his own eyes, a world where God has been put on the shelf or shoved out of His rightful place, thus the adversary of God will target the true believer, he will attack anything of God that looks like it may be successful.

Divorce in the church today is nearly equal to that of the world.  It ought not to be.  The handbook for believers, the Bible, clearly spells out God’s will for marriage.  Then why is divorce accepted among Christians?  My simple answer is because the Bible is not relevant to them or their lives.

As I said, we have arrived at the time when Truth has become irrelevant because each man is doing what is right in his own eyes.  This opens the door for all manner of evil to prevail.  Wrong becomes right, light becomes dark and good becomes evil.

What then shall we say of these things?  God have mercy upon us, forgive us for our self-centered way of doing and being and lead us into your truth, your way of doing and being right!  Amen.

Friend, please know that I bring no condemnation to you or upon you.  It’s just that I am grieved over the hardness of heart that I see around me.  God forgives any who call upon the name of Jesus.  I have a personal knowledge of this.  If you have been divorced, put away, God loves you and there is healing in Him.  Run to Him, He will receive you and love you to life.

This spring my husband and I will have been married for 53 years.  My husband’s first wife divorced him, put him away, for another man, and I had never been married, nor had I ever had a relationship with a man.  We did not know how to be married; we were flawed people who wanted to be loved and accepted, but neither of us was equipped.  We lived together for 35 years walking on parallel paths. I rejoice to tell you that we learned that only in relationship with Jesus are we loved and accepted.  This has brought us contentment with and happiness with each other.

Marriage is mixing everything together so that you cannot find the separate entity anymore.  Somehow you become one and yet retain your individuality.  It is a mystery when it is done God’s way.  And, it is wonderful.  Is it a piece of cake?  No!  You have to work at it.

We “keep short accounts”.  We don’t let offenses go and allow them to fester, we don’t allow divisive thoughts to continue, we communicate and solve issues.  We don’t speak evil to each other or of each other to another person.  We don’t focus on each others shortcomings, we focus on those things that we do well, or for each other.  As I was taught in Lutheran confirmation regarding others:  “Put the best construction on all that he does.”

My prayer for you if you have experienced the pain of divorce is healing in Jesus.  I also hope this has provided some food for thought.

God bless you, Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trophy – looking for love in all the wrong places.

Born in 1948, he was Nin’s 5th child.  Her Mother was not happy.  Yet one more baby for her to worry about.

Kenny was a happy baby.  He gurgled and cooed, smiled with his eyes, and charmed everyone who met him.

Nothing much changed about Kenny as he got older.  He still smiled with his eyes; he was active, always moving, doing something, testing her patience.

Then she became pregnant again, this time another boy.  They were close together, these two sons of hers, so close that many people thought they were twins.  The little brother was a follower.  He mimicked everything his big brother did.  Together Kenny and Larrie made quite a team.

Baby number 7 was born when Nin was 42 years of age.  She was a Down’s syndrome child, at that time called Mongoloid.  The extended family was quick to blame J.B.’s alcoholism.  Nin didn’t care what they thought, she loved her little one.  She gave me the privilege of naming her, I called her Cynthia Kay.  I thought she was beautiful.

Cindy was about 18 months old when Kenny and Larrie took her for a ride in the baby stroller.  Some of the neighborhood children gathered around and made very hurtful remarks about her looks.  Coming home, they asked Nin what was wrong with her, why did the children make fun of her.  The innocence of childhood and the love of family; they didn’t know she was different, she was just Cindy and she was their sister.

People are people the world over, we judge and criticize what we do not understand.  We still do it when we become adults, we are just more covert about it than children are.  How often do we say things to others that if said to us would cut deeply?  We don’t even think about that.  We should.

Kenny and Larrie got into a lot of trouble.  Mostly Kenny leading the way.  They were so cute, it was hard to be angry with them, but Nin did not let things go by.  Sometimes, she made them go to the tree in the back yard and pick the switch that she would use to swat them; but Kenny was a runner and he would take off, laughing as he ran away from her.

One day  a policeman showed up at the door.  It seems someone had seen the boys deface public property and reported it to the police.  Kenny heard him talking to her, ran upstairs and crawled under the bed, getting as close to the wall as he could.  That didn’t phase Nin, she got a broom and went after him.  He had to face the music.  He spent time cleaning up the mess.

When the boys became teen-agers, the issues became problems and heartaches for Nin.  Fast cars, fast girls, drinking and smoking, seemingly following in their father’s  footsteps.  By now Kenny was a very handsome young man.  He had no problem having a girl friend. Close calls driving drunk could have taken Kenny’s life, but God had a plan.

Nin saw to it that the boys had a strong work ethic, so when they were old enough they had to get a job.  Of course, it took money to live the lifestyle they wanted, and with J.B.’s alcoholism getting worse so that he couldn’t work, it was up to them to get it themselves.

Kenny had drive.  He wanted the finer things of life as he got older.  He saw what others had and he wanted it for himself.  He pushed ahead.  Military service side-lined his plans temporarily, but once he was back home he began his pursuit of things.

God brought him a wife, the perfect mate.  Though the ensuing years brought struggle and turmoil, God had a plan.  He lived a double life for quite a few years.  On the surface, he was a happily married man with two daughters, but he was sinning really well in private.

Trophy:  The apostle Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because he had persecuted Christians, though he said that he was ignorant, and that is why God could apprehend him.  Paul was one of God’s trophies.

As I thought about Paul today, I began to think of my brother Ken and wanted to share a piece of his story with you; I believe that Ken is one of God’s trophies.  Oh by the way, when he got older we had to stop calling him Kenny, he was now Ken.  (smile)

These days, Ken serves God as well as he served the devil, the world and his own flesh.  He is in love with Jesus and brings the good news of salvation to any who will hear.  He ministers love with his smiling eyes and kind words.  He is a trophy of the love of God.

I have no doubt that if God has a trophy room, Ken’s smiling face is there.

Love you my brother!

Joy