Friday, April 9, 2010

Update and Quick Marriage Section Wrap-Up

Sorry folks! I have not been very good about keeping these posts going. Lots on my plate lately and really feeling the strain of pregnancy, plus nursing, plus all the other Patrick-related things, plus life, plus some worrisome bouts of depression (please keep me in your prayers!). I am blessed with an incredibly sensitive and attentive husband, as well as wonderful family and friends that are helping me get through this new stage of my life. God is so good, and I am daily reminding myself that my feelings are never a reliable indication of the work God is doing in my life or the perfect plan He has for me. If we listened to our feelings instead of God's word, we would all be in serious trouble. (Hmmm, maybe this is what's wrong with the world... just a thought.)

Anyways, I just wanted to wrap up this marriage section. There are two more lies in this chapter of the book that I am not going to spend a lot of time on, but I did want to just mention them here. Lie number 25 says, "If my husband is passive, I've got to take the initiative, or nothing will get done." This one really goes hand in hand with the last lie we covered about submission. The point again, is that we as wives need to be submissive to our husband's will, sharing our thoughts and opinions about life decisions, but ultimately following his lead. What if that leads us into bankruptcy because of my husband's inability to handle money? What if the kids are unruly because my husband doesn't know how to discipline?... Well, what if? Will it be the end of the world? Maybe that's what God will use to grow your husband. Maybe you will have to walk through the valley for several years before you can walk up on the mountain. God never said that our husbands would be perfect or that they would even make the right decisions. He simply said that we need to submit to and respect our husbands unconditionally.

Lie number 26 says, "Sometimes divorce is a better option than staying in a bad marriage." I feel like this one is rather obvious, at least for the audience reading this blog, so I'm not going to expound on it much. Divorce is not an option. Work it out. Despite popular opinion, love is not a feeling; it is a choice. Choose to love your husband no matter what.

A little side note: I really felt like God was laying it on my heart to express something to whoever is reading this blog. Though it is painfully obvious to me, it may not be so evident in the way that I write, that I have by no means perfected even one of these biblical principles. When I write about these lies in such a strongly-worded and direct way, it is often out of anger at myself for being so foolish and selfish in missing the point. I feel as the disciples must have felt when Jesus asked them, "Don't you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 'You have eyes- can't you see? You have ears- can't you hear?' Don't you remember anything at all?" Mark 8:17-18. Harsh words from this man that we love to paint as gentle Jesus, meek and mild.

If I come across as harsh or uncompromising or even narrow-minded, it is because I see the sin and error in my own life, and can pretty safely bet that I'm not alone in my blunder. And if you read through the new testament, look at the words and actions that Jesus took in response to people who were so ignorantly walking in their own selfish sin, particularly the ones who were claiming to be followers of God, his words were anything but pretty. Somehow we have mistaken grace for a blind eye. Grace comes into the equation when we are offered heaven instead of hell. Grace doesn't say that it's ok to continue in our sin, even if we don't yet understand that what we're doing IS sin. You and I may not even be aware that a particular area of our lives can be construed as sin, but we should be ever striving to dig up every area of our lives, examining it closely, holding it up in the light of God's Word and asking Him to evaluate it and reevaluate it and convict us of any spot or blemish that we may be missing. And trust me, all of our lives, including my own, are chalk full of filthy rotten blemishes. Never accept that as just being human. You will never be perfect this side of heaven, but you should never, absolutely never, cease to say, "What now God?" There is always something else. You just have to be willing to get dirty and ask.

We are not all at the same place in our spiritual walk. There are many many things that I am still trying to figure out, and there are some things that have become clear (or at least clearER) to me in recent months and years, which I hope to share with all of you through these posts. I pray that we would be edified together and that we would be open to one another picking up shovels and digging into each other's lives together. I pray that we would hunger for the growth that comes when we lay aside our pride and dignity and humbly ask one another, "What sin do you see in my life? What have I missed that may be obvious to you?" Let us HELP one another! The sooner we all accept that we are filthy and depraved, and stop allowing hurt feelings and bruised egos to hinder our growth, the sooner we can stand together and get busy doing God's work on the earth. So get to digging!

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