Fairly young in her faith walk, she didn’t know that God specifically tells us in Malachi that He hates divorce.
She also didn’t know that while Moses originally allowed divorce, Jesus clearly told us not to do so.
But she didn’t know what to do.
Her heart ached for connection with her husband.
Exhausted from fighting all the time, she wanted a break.
Maybe even permanently.
She’s not alone. I can’t even count any more the number of women who have contacted me wanting change in their marriages.
I consider it a great privilege to pray with them, answer their questions, and share God’s Word with them.
And since I used to be one of these ladies, just wanting to stop the pain, I can relate.
Their tears are precious to God, and I consider myself honored to have been trusted with and invited into their pain for a short while.
This week, God shared with me what I believe is a powerful analogy that most of them can relate to involving motherhood.
What most of us (and for years, me too) fail to understand is that this life is not about us.
For centuries, from Adam and Eve to the Israelites and Egyptians, to the current age, it’s been the same question for every individual: Will you choose to submit to God’s will for your life, or will you go your own way?
God sent a living example of His Grace in His Son Jesus to show us how to live. What this means on a daily basis is that choice between “God’s will” or “our own way” gets played out in the little decisions we make moment to moment.
We get married, and that’s a context through which we grow.
We have children, and there’s another context.
I know, I know, the analogy…
Okay, so when a mother gives birth, it’s clear that the baby is helpless. No other animal on earth takes as long to become independent as a human. From birth, they are dependent upon us or they die. Many of us choose to breast feed – most nursing moms have been bitten by our babies at some point. While we might yelp and pull away when that occurs, we do not then hold a grudge or feel upset at the child. There’s no, “He must not love me because he bit me,” or “He’s so selfish, thinking only of himself so much that he’s now hurt me,” or, “I’m just not going to feed him ever again because he’s so mean.” We don’t verbally or physically slap the baby for biting. Instead, we have an understanding of the mental, emotional, and physical capabilities of the baby, which results in a healthy thought pattern of understanding and grace – “He must be teething,” or “No, he cannot do that, so I’m going to pop him off when he starts getting distracted, or bites again,” or “Ouch! That hurt! I need to learn how to deal with this.”
We don’t judge the baby.
Instead, we demonstrate grace.
We are able to see him the way God does, not taking the biting personally, but looking at it as a behavior to be dealt with in a healthy way that results in a win for mom and baby.
The problem is that we don’t do this with adults – even though they might still emotionally and spiritually be infants.
Jesus hung on a cross – for all of us – and said, for you and me, btw, “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”
I know some of you are so wounded that your goal after reading this is will be to prove me wrong. And I’ve been there, too, aching for the pain to stop, angry at someone sharing God’s Truth with me…but God was using it to change my perspectives, which were unhealthy, unforgiving, non-grace-based and selfish. Isn’t the goal to become more like Christ?
I had to come to terms with whether or not I really believed what I said I believed. This meant that if I really believed God was all powerful, that just like Job, just like Saul, just like the man born blind that Jesus healed, I was suffering and struggling for His glory to be revealed – that He allowed my circumstances and had a purpose for them. The choice of whether or not to fight them was mine alone, but again, it all came down to the timeless decision every person must make: God’s will or my own way?
I choose God’s will. I prayed then and still pray that He would help me “get it.”
I’m still learning.
But now, after a decade of doing faith this way, I can see growth. And I have peace. And I want that for you, too.
Because it changes everything.
So if you have ever, like me, blamed those around you for causing you pain, instead of having Jesus’s cross-hanging perspective of “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do,” recognize that those feelings are cues to pray for a “will alignment.”
Dare you to go to God and ASK Him to help you “get it,” too. J
Double-dog dare you to “subscribe” to the blog, share it with a friend, or comment! J
I’m so thankful we are on this journey together!
Love to you,