Friday, February 17, 2012

Do you want a miracle?

For the last several months, I have had multiple conversations with friends and heard stories (all from Christians) about one thing in particular - Divorce.

I've decided I can no longer be silent.  I've written an article I'm hoping to have published, based on what I've learned in our first ten years of marriage (and here is to sixty more plus).  It is not a "to do list" that makes it possible to have a great marriage.  A great marriage takes a lot of work and the reality of a great marriage is knowing that it is not always great.  There are ups and downs but the long term perspective is more important than the day-to-day feelings. 

I understand what I'm about to say is not popular or a widely-held belief in our culture. But the reason why I am going to say it anyway, is that I believe it to be God's honest truth and perhaps it is something someone needs to hear to be encouraged.

Divorce is not an option.

Early in our marriage, I thought "This isn't going to work."  I had serious doubts, not in Dave but in my ability to be married.  I bought hook, line and sinker into the idea that I needed to find my soul-mate and he should fulfill my every need.  As most of you probably know, that was very naive of me and I soon figured out that soul-mates don't necessary exist.  They are made, not born.  So, what do you do?  Keep looking until you find the right one?

This is when my wise husband stepped in.  He told me divorce was not an option for him.  He was raised to be loyal and he wasn't leaving so don't try and make him.  That was in our first 6 months and despite all we have been through - I have clung to that.  Even after we both became walking Christians, we both still made tremendous mistakes - but now we had another level of commitment.

Our marriage was ratified under the covenant of God.

So, if I walked away, the anointing of the Spirit over my house would be gone.  It wouldn't be as strong in the lives of my children.  I would have not only broken faith with Dave, but also with The Lord.  And I could not do that, no matter what happened.  I did not think my happiness was worth more than my children growing up in a family that was whole.

Maybe you are wondering "Wait a minute!  Doesn't the Bible have provisions for divorce?"  Yes, it does.  From what I understand, there are two reasons divorce in a Christian marriage is acceptable - adultery and if one spouse is not a believer and wants to leave, you can let him/her go.  But my perspective on employing these options have changed.

(Formal note, I'm talking to walking Christians here!) 

Here is my two cents:
If there is a chance to let God restore and redeem your relationship, you should take it.  If there is any chance for a miracle, to have the kind of marriage you always dreamed of and more, do everything humanly and divinely possible to stay together.  You don't want to miss out on the blessing, because it will come.  It will take a lot of work, sacrifice, change, surrender and hardship - but it will come.  You DO NOT want to miss out on the freedom, grace and love The Lord will shower upon you for obeying His commands.  No other relationship you could find will be as good as that.

I realize I'm counseling you to do the hard thing; to dig deep.  We said it was for better and worse after all.  But it always ends up better (way better) than you can find out there on your own.

It is NEVER too late, even if you are divorced now.  When I went on my Walk to Emmaus six years ago, I met a woman who was recently re-married - to her first husband.  They were divorced for 6 years and The Lord worked them back together.  That is a miracle.  And they got it because they were open to it.

You have to be open to God's will.  You have to want His joy, not just happiness.  You have to chase after peace because there isn't a lot of that to be found in a marriage and life in general.  I know there are a lot of things we can do to our spouses that are unforgivable because I've done them. 

I ask you today - if you are a follower of Christ, is there anything He won't forgive you for?

So it should be in our marriages.  Grace reigns in our house because we are open to it and want it.  That doesn't mean we don't get mad or fight - we do.  But it is different because we forgive and ask for forgiveness, sometimes every day.  Our marriages are to be living, breathing examples of Christ's relationship to His Church.  That doesn't always mean chocolates and roses, it means thinking, saying and doing the hard things of grace.  Being long-suffering (or patient) and kind; abounding in love and joy.

Let's get one more thing straight: You can't do this by yourself.  You need Christ to do it in you and through you.  You have to want His timing more than your own.  He is already there, if you have a relationship with Him.  Perhaps He has been dormant for awhile because He is letting you come to the end of your tether.  So if you are there, and divorce seems like your only option - think again.  There is another way out.

(Divorce isn't pretty either, by the way.)

Give the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit a shot. Don't hold anything back from Him.  Surrender to His leading and be in communication with Him as often as possible.  Pray for change.....not for your spouse, but for you.  Pray FOR your spouse.  Pray for the change in your heart and your behavior.  Pray to know when to speak and when to be silent.  Start small with respect and love because if you can be faithful in the small things, you will learn how to be faithful in the big.  Besides, grace and mercy in small ways make the most difference.

You will only find real, abundant life in surrender.  That is where miracles can happen.  That is where God can work.  I pray you will let Him!


Janice and James said...

Amen and Amen, dear Sister!!!!!

Gindi said...

finally got to read the devotionals and post, wonderful reminders to Christians of how they are called to not only stick to their marriage but to make it work so that it's happy years not endured years :) love you.