Chilly's sermon had me thinking more as I slept and woke today. I hinted at the hatchet in my hand yesterday. I do have some hard things to forgive. Sometimes this not involve personal forgiveness. I can gloss over these, because they are not offenses at me, face to face.
One is divorce. I endure relational problems, like we all do from time to time. I try not to do so with gritted teeth, but as my husband shouts out, "Ouch," I know now he is biting his tongue. I, too, refrain from many killing remarks. When I am confronted with ladies in the first bloom of new love, I think of their children's hearts being torn apart. But a part of me, too, wants that renewal.
I pray for renewal in my marriage. I try not to put on the survivor stiff upper lip. I look to older couples that have been through many trials, as my inspiration. That is not a popular idea today. We are to be happy. Especially in the Church, the infantile thought is God wants me to be happy, as they leave an unpleasant marriage. Yet, both parties remain in church, choosing different services to avoid seeing each other. This happened years ago at my old church, part of their divorce agreement was the wife got the early service and the husband could only go to second service when his parents, grandparents and uncle attended.
That first divorce cut through my heart that day. By the time these decisions are announced to the extended family, the hearts are so hardened that they don't realize how much the friends have to grieve a death of a marriage and that somehow it could infect us. Especially, those many years ago, when my husband didn't attend church with me, any where, and seemed so distant from God. I hung on.
Many times, I admit, I wanted out. Being single seemed like it would be so much more less painful than what I was going through at those times. I would hear on the radio, "Marriage is to make you holy, not happy," or I would read about the importance of testimony. One in a book seemed written especially for me. The woman, wanted out of her marriage. The husband had done hideous acts, that you could say she would have been justified. She taught a class of sixth grade girls and thought how this would affect them. Through much work, her marriage was resurrected. I also mentioned Evelyn Ryan a few days ago. That movie encouraged me and David was never a drunk, thank You, Jesus.
I walk down my halls at work, gazing in at the couples we have. A man holds his wife's hand, while she is lost in some nether land of the mind, laying in her geri chair. She has been gone from him about six years, yet, he loves her. They are allowed to share a room. Occasionally, she responds to his love; he continues to love her every day.
I don't want to lose that blessing, when I get older. I praise God, I have some days endured unpleasantness. I praise God for all His ways of encouraging me to stay in this marriage, with the vows David and I made before God and four hundred people, almost thirty one years ago. Our relationship has grown sweeter as we, too, have grown from selfish, youngest children, to really learning to cherish each other, more than just words in a song. Sweaty sex is not love, although, it can be a great part of love in marriage. (Sorry, Katie, no immaculate conceptions in this marriage.)
I guess it is a mixture of envy and sorrow, when I see the broken couples in our congregation alone. Marriage helps us understand God's relationship with the Church, with us. He never gives up on His Bride. Divorce is a severing of a living thing. Maybe it is the spirit of divorce that I can't forgive. I know the challenges of marriage. I see the rewards that bring glory to God as well.
I agree with all the teaching, though, if you are in an abusive relationship, you must get out. Keep yourself and your children safe. I guess that is where non-judgmental attitudes are needed. We don't know the whole story. I pray and pray though for reconciliation, redemption and resurrection. I bury my hatchet on divorcees gleaming on their new relationships. The falling in love feeling is addictive. I recommend staying steady and falling in love again with your spouse.
Tomorrow, I post about another hatchet to bury.