April 08, 2008

4:46 PM: joy kill

What do you think about divorce and remarriage?

We're getting some resistance from the church about this marriage, and it's beyond what the word frustrating can portray. I'm still in some state of shock at the events that have occurred in the last 24 hours. It was just yesterday around 5pm when I talked to the pastor and he said there are some issues regarding the marriage because of Josh's divorce. In one rotation of the earth, I have been angry, frustrated, defeated, sad, depressed, and resolute. I finished with a more positive word, but that doesn't mean the negative ones aren't still hanging around.

I happen to be in love with a man who isn't all that resolute. He is a good, godly man, but his struggle with grace makes him a lousy decision maker. He is sure of something one minute, and the next he is all at sea. What? Being a bit of a control freak (yep, I have my own issues, I guess), this is not easy for me to handle. I just want to take every little thing and fix it, but that isn't my job. I can't repair every injustice in his life no matter how hard I try.

I am at a loss to understand how the church I have attended and loved for the last five years is suddenly letting me down. I've never claimed to agree with everything the Southern Baptists believe, but I thought they were more interested in grace and forgiveness than they were about the legalistic side of things. I am not saying that we should discard the law, but Jesus came to fulfill it and that is what he did. The law now is Love.

Clearly, God hates divorce. Every Christian knows this. I had to wrestle with it regarding my own divorce. But what God told me during that time was this: Shannon, I hate divorce. But I love you. And that's the same for any kind of sin. Sin is just sin... it doesn't come in levels of evil, specific ones don't have certain requirements for removal, and God doesn't see one differently than another. It's all just distance from him, and it all disappears under the blood of Christ. And at that point, none carries conditions.

Let me look at a few things here. Divorce and remarriage is called adultery under the law. And how did Christ deal with an adulterer? Consider the woman in John 8 who was caught in adultery. Jesus told her accusers that they had no right to punish her. He said "Neither do I condemn you... go and sin no more." (John 8:11)

There is a promise from the Lord that Christ is faithful and just to forgive us, including the sin of adultery, if there is genuine repentance. Jesus didn't condone the woman's sin, but he forgave her. He didn't put any conditions on her freedom--he just released her from her sin.

Hebrews 10:17 says "And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." If the Lord has forgotten the sin, how can there be conditions attached to it? We have a new start in Christ. "Old things have passed away; all things are made new!"

I'm not sure what kind of point I am attempting to make. I guess I'm just frustrated and needed to vent.

Pray for us. Pray for me as I meet with the pastor tomorrow. Pray for Josh as he deals with feelings of defeat and wanting to quit. Pray that God would speak to him in a way that is undeniable and full of grace. Pray for us that we can make it through the first of a lifetime of crises together.


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7 Responses to “joy kill”

  1. # Blogger LynnyLaur

    You are wise beyond your years! I love you.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    I am SO praying for you. There are so many things about this situation that are difficult and frustrating.

    I'm praying for your time with PF tonight. That God will help both of you to stand firmly in his grace, resting on the hope that you have from Him--hope that heals the past and promises good things for the future. I hope PF can focus on the hopeful things too, but even if he doesn't, I'm praying that you and Josh can.

    It really, really sucks to feel let down and betrayed by your spiritual leaders. I know exactly what that feels like, and it's heartbreakingly disappointing. But even through such experiences, God has given me peace and hope and taught me personally that He is enough and that He will give me what I need. He'll be faithful to you too.  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Boy, Erin hit the nail right on the head.

    I, too, have gone through some episodes, in my life, of church leadership letting me down. I just know that the church is made up of imperfect people. The ONLY one and thing that you can count on is Jesus and His Word. Period!

    Just keep praying for peace, beyond understand, and the love between you two to get through this and still follow after God's plan for your lives.

    Love you!! Patty  

  4. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hey Shannon, I am one of the church leaders that you may feel has "let you down". Please know, I hurt in this too. There is no "us against them". There is only loving each other and desiring God's wisdom to guide us, both in ways we want to go and in ways where we are obedient to Him.

    Please know I love you very much.
    ~Pastor Chris  

  5. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Shannon, I'm heartbroken to hear about this roadblock, this frustration and disappointment. I don't know the situation very well, nor do I know Josh, but I know your heart and intentions seek to be upright and in alignment with God, grace, and truth. I myself have many questions regarding this topic as it relates to the life of one in my family.

    I pray that the meeting went well. Please keep me updated. Love you.


  6. # Blogger moosh in indy.

    While I don't know a whole lot about your faith and the situation you're in, I do know God wants you to be happy and that it will happen in His own time and in His own way.
    It's obnoxious, but I love Him anyway.
    I'll say my own little prayers for you.  

  7. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Church - Getting in the way of happiness since that one dude was nailed to the wood. Divorce happens. Marriage happens. For all the talk about not judging, Christians and their leaders are usually the first ones in line to shake a finger. Be happy because happiness is right; be together because being together is right. Don't let other people make your decisions for you. Congrats, Shannon!  

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    Name: Shannon
    Age: 29
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    Identity: Child of God
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