It was the eve of the new year and most were celebrating. To some, it may have involved getting all dressed up to attend a party containing an abundance of confetti and noisemakers. To others it may have been a quiet night at home with family, watching the television as the traditional ball-drop in Times Square. My past "celebrations" were the latter of the two. With an incomplete family and an uncertain future, for the past 5 years, my New Year's Eve has taken neither form.
I pray for resolution, trusting God's will for our life. I have no doubts about whether I made the right decisions or not. There's peace about them. Whatever it is that other people feel about me and my decisions to not walk away from my marriage, it has never robbed me of that peace God has given me.
I disagree with those who would argue that I am not a strong woman because I want my husband in my life. That I am foolish to choose to forgive, weak and manipulated - or even brainwashed. The problem with the assumptions made by that share this opinion is that they don't understand (or choose to reject) the concept of "oneness" in marriage.
Matthew 5-6: It says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.’ 6 So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together. (NLV)
Self-fulfillment and enlightenment, and the "empowerment" of women undermine God's perfect plan for marriage and family.
Marriage symbolizes Christ's relationship with "the Church." Consequently, we are to follow His example in marriage. Our issues arise from the fact that we are imperfect people trying to carry out His perfect plan without His perfection in us. Rather than elevate the concept of selfless love as John 15:13 defines, we champion self-interest and our own "right" to be "happy."
There is no question that we, the creatures made in God's image have misused and yes, even abused His perfect model of marriage. This does not, however, make His plan imperfect and cannot justify abandoning it. God hates divorce. But for the hardness of our hearts, He has permitted it.
Matthew 19:8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. (NLT)
Imperfect people sometimes hurt, neglect, abandon and betray those to whom they've pledged their hearts. As the world drifts further away from God and His principles, we continue to see more hurt people hurting more people. As we give more credence to the message of the culture rather than the message of God's redemptive love, we will see fewer people forgiving and less reconciliation and healing.
Sometimes it is difficult but with God, all things are possible according to His will and purpose for our lives. - Not some things but ALL things.
The Father's will is revealed in John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (HCSB)
Jesus gave His life to fulfill the will of His Father in Heaven.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I could not have married a man who did not. I, an imperfect follower of Christ, married a believer in Christ, though not a follower of Christ.Two imperfect people joined together before God in Holy Matrimony.
The Bible warns against being unequally yoked. It is a warning to protect us from the heartache that can accompany such a union. But what about when one spouse accepts salvation after they marry or when one spouse grows deeper in faith while the other drifts - or worse yet, turns away in rebellion.
A once equally yoked union will feel that heartache and experience first-hand, the reason for the strong warning. Again, God has allowed divorce. But it is never His desire. The Bible tells us a believing spouse should not abandon a marriage. God can work through the life of the believer to reach the unbelieving (or rebellious) spouse. God has allowed them to be joined. He does not want to see their union fail.
This biblical principle has been twisted and misunderstood to imply that a believing spouse must be a doormat and that "anything goes." That they must take abuse in whatever form it is served. This is a lie and a deception satan uses to destroy marriages.
Forgiveness and patience with a struggling spouse demonstrate the love God has shown toward us. He forgives us... continually, as we seek after Him. When we repeatedly fail and return He is quick to forgive. He does not expect perfection in our humanness. He offers it through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, who died to make us perfect in Him. The love, forgiveness and patience, we show toward a less-than-perfect spouse should reflect that which God has shown toward us.
Seeking godly counsel is wise. Ultimately, however, the peace God places in one's own heart is what confirms His will. At times, His inner peace must reveal itself in the midst of outward turmoil. Unless one experiences it, it may be a difficult concept to grasp. Peace in the midst of turmoil. Joy in the midst of heartache. Loving the "unlovable," and forgiving the unforgivable.
So another year has passed. Another ball has dropped in Times Square. Another New Year's Eve has come and gone without the blessing of my husband's kiss at the stroke of midnight. What I did have was the company of our little doggie and a peace and joy that contradicted my heartache and loneliness.
BANG... BANG... BANG-BANG-BANG! At 12:00 the neighbors broke the silence in the house with their 2016 proclamation with fireworks (or multiple rounds of gunfire.)
Baby-Dog barked. He remembers that sound and it is unsettling to him. He calmed down when I petted him.
...They have no affect on me. I have the undeniable peace of God in my heart.