A hidden idol in the church...
by, Apr 26th 2012 at 11:40 PM (1296 Views)
For a very long time there has been a hidden idol in the church. We sacrifice women, children, homes, a person's sanity, and maybe even their faith on it. It's called marriage. I know, I know, God hates divorce!!!!! How many times have people heard this when they come to the church or other christians for counsel regarding their marriage? Can I let you in on a secret? It's not the first thing people want to hear when contemplating divorce. Most christians already know this. What I'd like to know is why do we leave the second part out? "And He hates a man who covers themselves with violence." Do counselors and pastors not share this part for fear of tearing down the idol of marriage? Would they have to decide which is worse?
I have seen people struggle with spouses who were in adultery, caught up in addiction, abusive (physically and emotionally) and when going in for counsel, they are asked, well, what are YOU doing wrong? Could they also be in the wrong? Maybe, but if a woman comes in saying she's being abused by her husband, her safety should come first, and the rest sorted out later. We tell her to quietly submit to whatever wrong behavior is going on, to just love them and show them Jesus, and all will be well. Really? If my Lord, the God of Love, was standing in a room with a husband who was berating or beating his wife what do you think Jesus would say? "Sorry daughter, if you love me you'll have to endure beatings by your spouse." Or "Yes, I know social services are threatening to take your children because of your spouses drug use/anger/violence, but there's nothing you can do, you have to stay with them and be a witness!" That, my friends, is not the Jesus I know. Jesus, when He came across sinners, did love on them first, and then told them "Go and sin no more". Loving people doesn't mean we continually put up with bad behavior, thinking they will change if we love them enough. That's called enabling, and most people don't change without consequences for their actions. In my bible, there are quite a few scriptures about causing another to stumble. But we don't talk about that because we have to save marriages at all costs!
Now before I get inundated with private messages or comments, let me clarify some things. Yes, we as christians should try everything we are capable of doing to make our marriage work. Prayer, fasting, counseling by pastors, etc. But there has to come a time, whether married to an unbeliever or a christian who is not showing the fruits of a godly spouse where we leave the Land Of Nod and set boundaries. Many in the church don't think boundaries are scriptural. Yes, they are. How many times in the Word do we see "If, then"? But we only seem to think that the scriptures in Ephesians matter when it comes to marriage. "Submit, and you're marriage will be wonderful" we tell women. "Love her like Christ and she'll stop cheating on you". Sorry folks, but that's not reality.
There are many scripture we choose to ignore regarding marriage.-1 Tim 5:8 says But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Do we expect a woman who has a husband who has for years refused to care for his family properly to just sit by while her and her children go without? Shhhhhh...we don't share that scripture....she may have a just cause. I also know that according to the bible, adultery is considered by some the only reason for divorce. If we refer back to the scripture above, do we expect God to condemn her for a divorce, when the scripture call the man worse than an unbeliever?
Lastly, in 1 Corinthians 7:16 it says For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? Too many times we put the spouses salvation in the hands of the believer...if you just pray more, submit more, have more sex, etc. Salvation is God's job. Not a spouse's. By doing so, we heap guilt and condemnation and they think they are doing something wrong, when they have been the innocent ones.
This idol needs to be torn down...