Far Country Forgiveness

There is a hidden argument in a member only marriage ministry group. Essentially it is this, G0d doesn’t forget our sins because He is ALL powerful and to forget means He isn’t omnipotent. Yet it is also true that an eternal ALL powerful G0d could decide He will NOT revisit, nor re-accuse, nor pull up from memory sins HE has wiped clean. He makes our sin as if they no longer exist (Isa 43:25; Heb 10:17). I am in awe of that because that is what He did FOR me when His Ruach HaKo’desh (Holy Spirit) helped me say, “I forgive you” to the woman who accidentally ran me down as I rode my motorcycle to work.

And by the way… the motorcycle I was on was one HE asked me to purchase. As I drove passed Legends Motorcycles I heard G0d say “buy a motorcycle” when I already had a motorcycle. He repeated the command with the same quiet intensity and, braking quickly, I turned into the cycle shop.

Several hours and two motorcycles later I conducted an online search for a motorcycle group that was also a ministry because I could think of no other reason to buy a motorcycle when I already had one. I literally had no other idea why G0d would tell me to buy that motorcycle.

G0d prepared me in advance of that day. I was there for that woman to tell her “I forgive you” as she knelt over me crying and to quote scripture to answer her plaintive, mournful cry, “Why did this happen?” She died one month later. It’s sobering to think I may have been G0d’s last effort to reach her, the last person to show her the power of G0d’s forgiveness and love.

So, don’t think that standing for your marriage is without reason, without a plan. Only G0d knows the plans He has for us, and if He decides to share that plan before the main event… you are doubly blessed.

The Three I’s of Marriage

by Dr. Alma Elizabeth de Torres y Sandoval

The foundation of a great marriage is to love G0d more than you love your spouse and he or she do the same. According to Mark Twain we should heed this statement, “When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” With G0d first in your heart, He will lead you to your soulmate.  The three I’s of marriage are individuality, interdependence, and intimacy

Individuality

Individuality is vital to a marriage because you must love yourself to know how to love your spouse. Another quote from Mark Twain reads as follows. “Men and women — even man and wife are foreigners. Each has reserves that the other cannot enter into, nor understand. These have the effect of frontiers.”  As is well known, men and women are different. I once heard it said that marriage can be viewed as 70% -30%.  Seventy per cent of what I know and understand about my husband, I cherish.  Thirty per cent I am still figuring out or have accepted as his ways.  This also works in reverse.

My husband may find 70% of my characteristics are acceptable and 30% are still in process in his brain. For example: my husband’s 70% to me is touch and words of affirmation, and his 30% includes leaving the cabinet doors open. Additionally, as the wife I perceive that my 70% to my husband includes words of affirmation, touch and acts of kindness, and my 30% involves times when I ask questions to his questions for clarity.  (He sometimes prefers that I just answer the question.)

Interdependence

Conversely, interdependence can and should coexist with individuality. Franz Schubert once wrote “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife (spouse).”  Friendship is a great part of the marriage relationship. Think of your spouse as your best friend and treat him or her accordingly.

Intimacy

When there are times of feeling disconnected in the marriage, intimacy may be the root cause. Physical and recreational intimacy are important aspects of marriage. Intimacy may be seen from various perspectives: Spiritual, intellectual, and emotional. Touch is vital in my marriage.  Holding hands and showing other forms of affection brings me closer to my husband.  Spending time together recreationally (ex. riding bikes) brings out another aspect of who we are in a different setting.  Growing spiritually intimate requires reading the Bible and praying together habitually. Knowing that when you learn something new and you can share it with your spouse, you can both show validation and interest in each other’s ideas. Emotional intimacy requires sensitivity and loving responses.  “… (caring for) our spouse (in the areas noted), even when we ourselves feel out of touch, is the key to feeling this sort of genuine, robust connection. This type of connection does more than give us warm and fuzzy feelings for a moment. It helps ground us in the intimate love of the one in whom our connection is eternal and unfailing: G0d himself (Josh Squire).”

Unity

Mark Twain pointed out that “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” Love is shared and brings about unity to the marriage.  As stated above the three I’s of marriage include individuality, interdependence, and intimacy.  Marriage is a work in progress and requires incessant vigilance.

Dr. Alma Elizabeth de Torres y Sandoval

Resources

Quotes from the literature written by Mark Twain were retrieved from https://www.azquotes.com/author/14883-Mark_Twain/tag/marriage

The quote from Franz Schubert was retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/franz_schubert_325151

The article written by Josh Squires was retrieved from https://www.desiringG0d.org/articles/marital-intimacy-is-more-than-sex

On Submission: Respect and Love

Too often one hears “wives submit” without the responsibility of the husband to love their wives. Women are command to respect their husbands and husbands are commanded to love and cherish, to care for and love their wives just as BOTH are to  commanded to submit to Messiah G0d! Women are not lesser than men, and both are commanded to submit to the L0rd, so why are we commanded in this manner?

21 Submit to one another in fear of the Messiah. 22 Wives should submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord; 23 because the husband is head of the wife, just as the Messiah, as head of the Messianic Community, is himself the one who keeps the body safe. 24 Just as the Messianic Community submits to the Messiah, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

32 There is profound truth hidden here, which I say concerns the Messiah and the Messianic Community. 33 However, the text also applies to each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:21-24 and 5:32-33

Men so easily understand respect from the perspective of understanding authority. For example; when I was active duty Navy, I found myself in a situation wherein my commander was wrong and I said so. He commanded me to stand at attention and proceeded to yell at me just inches from my face. Was he wrong? Yes, he was but his authority was greater and I submitted to a dressing down without a qualm.

Men understand this type of authority and respect. Women do as well, however women intuitively, intimately understand love. Women are able to live in love more so than men; they don’t have to be commanded to love or cherish their husbands. Men don’t have to be commanded to give respect. G0d, having created our being and nature knows that we have to be commanded as if in a reminder seemingly counter to what we understand intuitively.

So, G0d’s commands are issued where we exist in the areas of greatest need in marriage! Men are told to love, women are told to respect; both from G0d’s Holy perspective.

 

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

 

On Marriage and Faith

 

When Lazarus died, Yeshua was deliberately late arriving. The women were not upset with the L-rd (though they were grieving), but said that Lazarus would rise in the resurrection. And when Yeshua said he would live, they misunderstood. What good would that sort of resurrection be in the olam habba when it was to show G-d’s glory in the present life? In much the same way marriage restoration is about showing G-d’s glory.

Marriage has to be restored in the present life, as Lazarus was restored to his present life, or it is not a miracle. Yes, if one remains faithful to a prodigal spouse, there will be a reward in the hereafter, but there is no marriage in heaven.  So if when Yeshua called Lazarus out and he remained dead, it would not have glorified G-d, nor been resurrection in a way that the weeping women said he would be restored (raised to life) in heaven. So marriage has to be restored in the land of the living.

But if a spouse in persistent disobedience refuses to listen to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit of G-d) what then? Lazarus could not resist the call of G-d, but wayward spouses do so persistently and find excuses in all manner to justify disobedience.

Yeshua G-d said, “if you love me obey my commands.” Does one love Him and yet not obey?

15 If you love me, you will keep my commands; 16 and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. 17 The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him. You know him, because he is staying with you and will be united with you. 18 I will not leave you orphans — I am coming to you. 19 In just a little while, the world will no longer see me; but you will see me. Because I live, you too will live. 20 When that day comes, you will know that I am united with my Father, and you with me, and I with you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Yochanan14: 15-21 (Emphasis added)

 

His law. His mitzvot. The commands or words of G-d. Obedience. We obey because we love Him. What is the corollary? To not obey demonstrates that we do NOT love. If we do not love then are we children of G-d? It does not appear to be so. Even the prodigal son came to his senses and returned to his Father in repentance. To persistently live in the lifestyle of disobedience is to demonstrate that we do not love G-d, nor are we children of the Most High.

Some commands are conditional, that is, they depend on the condition in which one finds their life. In marriage humans are commanded to remain married for life, though we do not have to marry, thus that is the condition. It is in Beresheit (Genesis) 2:24-25 that Yeshua [Mattityahu (Matt) 19:4-6] tells us that the only end to marriage is through death. Therefore the command is to remain married for a lifetime.

Though Rav Shaul (Paul) writes that divorced believers must remain single or reconcile, many take this as permission to divorce, willfully ignoring the greater command in the meaning of the Word – DO NOT DIVORCE. Those who do so respond (as if saying in their actions), “I separated from my spouse, but I remain single.”

In Mattityahu (Matt) 19, Yeshua continued to confound the P’rushim (Pharisees) when He explained that divorce for any other reason than adultery becomes adultery. So, abandoning a spouse who has not committed adultery makes one an adulterer.

Other verses that speak to the permanence of marriage;

Beresheit 2:18

Mishlei (Proverbs) 5:18-19 18:22

Ephesians 4:31-32-25

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 4:9-11

Kehilla in Rome (Romans) 7:2

Kehilla in Corinth Alef (1 Corinthians) 7:39

Another explanation is found on the Antidowry website;

Society and civil law may then grant them a “divorce” (not for fornication) and they may “marry” again. Society and civil law then views them as free from their first marriage and entered into a second one, and the Bible calls this “divorced” (“put away”) and “married” again. But though God uses these terms as society does, He does not recognize the divorce as making a valid end to the covenant commitment that He recognized in the first marriage. God still considers them “bound” or “joined” or held accountable for the commitment of the first marriage.

This explains why, if a woman divorces her husband, she still has no right to remarry. She may get divorced in the eyes of civil law, and God calls it “divorce” and says she is now “unmarried.” But that does not free her from her bond or covenant obligation to her first husband. Since she is still bound to her first marriage covenant, her only choice then is to be reconciled to her husband (the one God recognizes) or else remain unmarried (all italics added).

Though the emphasis here is on divorce from a first husband (which is incorrect) the primary issue is separation from a believing husband. Thus the above quote paints the image of one divorced ‘in the eyes of society’ in which individuals are considered by that social structure as free to remarry, something not in the Word.

The world and compromised believers take this to be true – that one is free to remarry after an un-scriptural divorce, when G-d’s word says the opposite. And if one were to live persistently in disobedience, to refuse to reconcile to a lawful spouse, what is that?

Though one may understand that no fault divorce (NFD) is so well accepted by the pagan world, it is difficult to understand how those who say they are of the fellowship of light would also accept divorce so easily. In fact, the Catholic faith has so many rules about marriage and impediments to marriage that their stand on the indissoluble nature of marriage is rendered false, in much the same manner as those who believe Rav Shaul taught it’s okay to divorce ‘as long as I don’t remarry.’

What rule is this that is so bent? Any rule or law written by human beings no matter who they are, or for which purpose (being other than that which G-d condones). 1 Yochanan (John) writes of this spirit and calls it anti-Messiah saying they went out from us because they were not of us (2:19). So I ask; would those who live in persistent disobedience to the mitzvot of G-d be children of G-d? It would appear not. Rav Shaul writes;

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

Yet, Rav Shaul says this is his command, not the L-rds. The L-rd himself said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,” (Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 29:13). And in Mattityahu 15:9, Yeshua G-d says, “It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!”

Thus this is clear, when two believers marry there is no permission nor allowance for divorce. Yet, if they do, they must remain unmarried. Yet, what of a believer to an unbeliever? Rav Shaul says the unbeliever is sanctified (not saved) by the marriage to a believer. If he/she leaves the marriage the believer is not bound, hence free.  Yet, many would choose to stay unmarried and seek through prayer and a changed life.

What is clear in all this is that marriage is a covenant and one must not seek to dissolve that covenant. Though many would disagree, second marriages become a covenant as well. Luck holds that Rav Shaul (Paul), “…tells them that to divorce without grounds is improper, and that if they have done so they are not to strike a second covenant but to seek reconciliation with their (former) spouse.”

In other words, a second covenant is recognized. Why else would G-d command “4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his isha, after that she is hutamma’ah (defiled); for that is to’evah (abomination) before Hashem; and thou shalt not cause ha’aretz to sin, which Hashem Eloheicha giveth thee for a nachalah.” Devarim (Deut) 24:4 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB).

Remarriage after being divorced by an unbeliever is not prohibited in the word. Those who argue that it is are simply distorting scripture for their own agenda.

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres Sandoval

 

  1. https://bible.org/seriespage/9-teachings-paul-divorce-part-1

 

On Marriage Norms

Norms

This is a reposting of a previous post.

1. Remember that we love each other.20161005_125917

Ephesians 4:2-3 — Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.

2. Listen respectfully when the other is speaking.

Luke 11:28 — But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

3. Provide opportunity for the other person to speak.

Proverbs 15:23 — People take pleasure in anything they say; but a word at the right time, is very good

4. Choose to be solution oriented.

Proverbs 3:6 — In all your ways acknowledge him; then He will level your paths.

5. Acknowledge that Adonai is the ruler of the Universe and also our home.

If it seems bad to you to serve Adonai, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household we will serve Adonai!

5A. Acknowledge the plain meaning of scripture –  II Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is God-breathed and is  valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.

6. Take time to relax together, unwind, date night.

Ecclesiastes 11:10 — Therefore, remove anger from your heart; and keep from harming your body; for neither adolescence nor youth has any lasting value.

6A. Sex – I Corinthians 7:5 — Do not deprive each other, except for a limited time, by mutual agreement, and then only so as to have extra time for prayer; but afterwards, come together again. Otherwise, because of your lack of self-control, you may succumb to the Adversary’s temptation.

6B. Personal time – Matthew 6:6 — But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your (heavenly) Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

7. Honor your vows, do not make rash promises.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 — Better not to make a vow than to make a vow and not discharge it.

 Barriers and ConcernsIMG_0031

8. Scheduled time for each other – body clock, needs to take into consideration for work.

Ecclesiastes 3: 7– a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak

9. At times the articulation of situations is difficult because it may be stated in a way that is not received well by the other person.

Jeremiah 33:3 — Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. ‘

10. Express needs in a timely manner; seek to clarify not confront

Ephesians 4:26 — Be angry, but don ‘t sin – don ‘t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger;

11. Take time for personal health – hormone levels & allergies, family, social relationships, personal choices with time usage, and husband – work and other.

1 Peter 5: 7 — Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.

12. Learn to focus and listen for meaning in the moments of silence.

James 1:26 — Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 — a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak,

Potential Solutions20170624_222419

13. Prioritize/Honor scheduled times, whenever possible. If not then reschedule next opportunity.

Colossians 4:5 — Behave wisely toward outsiders, making full use of every opportunity

14. Articulate the feeling in difficult situations in a way that is received well by the other person.

Ephesians 4:29 — Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.

15. Never assume understanding, ask for clarification before action.

Proverbs 4:7 — The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Goals and Opportunities

16. Honor commitments.

2 Timothy 2:15 — Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.

17. Articulate feelings/needs in a kind and timely manner.

Proverbs 16:24 — Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healing for the body.

On His Love for Us

There is a difference between knowing G0d can and G0d will, and there is a difference between praying for restoration and letting your only faith be in G0d, such that your prayers reflect what He desires of you; and that is, to be His alone!

When you understand the difference, when G0d is your only source of Joy, then is when miracles happen, because He knows you are His and His alone. All you can do, all that Father Adonai wants of you is to make Him first in your life. Let go of everything else and walk in faith.

Human being, you have already been told
what is good, what Adonai demands of you —
no more than to act justly, love grace
and walk in purity with your God.
Micah 6:8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

His love is greater than our human love, better, stronger, deeper. His love was enough that Yeshua endured the torment of crucifixion. Let this love consume you, and when it does you will pray after His will!

The Importance of Things

 

While I was alone in my cluttered office my wife came in with a pair of my jeans. I’d been working in the yard building a sidewalk of crushed rock for her under the clothesline I’d designed and hand-built last summer. I’d forgotten to clean out the cuff of my jeans, which typically fill with rocks and rock dust after an afternoon smashing the rock by hand (I like doing work by hand). She’d come in to tell me she’d found a collection of about a dozen and a half BBs I’d had in the coin pocket.

She said, “I was shaking your jeans out in the garage and these fell out. I picked up as many as I could.”

“Thank you,” I replied. “I appreciate your dedication in taking care of me!”

A smile lit her face and she bent over kissing me deeply.

The two cents worth of insignificantly small BB’s could have been left on the dusty garage floor. My wife cared enough about me to carefully pick them up one by one, for which I was grateful. Grateful for her, for her love and concern for me. Yet they were just BBs, so what if I hadn’t been? What difference would a few BBs mean? There weren’t enough to fill a tea spoon, yet…

I remember reading a similar story years ago about a man and his wife’s love of kitsch tchotchkes (small and inexpensive decorative items, usually considered in poor taste). She enjoyed finding them at out of the way shops and online and proudly displayed them on the window ledge of the immense bay window facing the street.

Yet, because these were thrift shop finds no more than a dollar of so in cost, whenever she was out of the room, he’d move them to the entertainment cabinet out of sight of the street. She immediately returns them to the window when she noticed, and he complained, whereas she quietly said, “I like them.” He couldn’t understand her fascination and love of collecting and displaying them, and he let them become an irritant to him.

His wife, who’d been in ill health for some time, eventually succumbed to her illness and passed away. Though he disparaged her collection, the collection which brought her great satisfaction and joy, he genuinely loved his wife and mourned her loss from that day onward. After time had passed his children began to insist it was time to move on. Either pass on her things or store them away, they said. Move on.

So, one day, while he began sorting through her belongings and noticed the dusty tchotchkes on the cabinet (where he last moved them). In a crushing moment of realization, he understood what they’d meant to her. He realized he made her hobby into a point of division, not union in their lives. He realized that he’d been wrong and instead of encouraging and supporting her, he’d been discouraging and resentful toward his wife.

In tears he gently dusted off the small ceramic figurines and proudly moved them to the window ledge for all to see. As far as I know the cute figurines are still on the window ledge to this day.

On Making Lists

Edited Sabbath July 7th, 2018

My wife loves to make lists, me not so much, but I can get into it when it is important (such as when she wants to make one). I have to post them conspicuously so I reread them to remember them. She’s better at it than am I (both the making and remembering, but I do try). Well, here’s one of the lists we made together. She crafted the categories, numbered subheadings, etc., all I did was minor editorial work and added the verses. To G0d be the glory!

 

Norms

1. Remember that we love each other.

Ephesians 4:2-3 — Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.

2. Listen respectfully when the other is speaking.

Luke 11:28 — But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

3. Provide opportunity for the other person to speak.

            Proverbs 15:23 — People take pleasure in anything they say; but a word at the right time, is very good.

4. Choose to be solution oriented.

            Proverbs 3:6 — In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths.

5. Acknowledge that Adonai is the ruler of the Universe and also our home.

If it seems bad to you to serve Adonai, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household, we will serve Adonai!
5A. Acknowledge the plain meaning of scripture.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.

6. Take time to relax together, unwind, date night.

Ecclesiastes 11:10 — Therefore, remove anger from your heart; and keep from harming your body; for neither adolescence nor youth has any lasting value.
6A. Sex

1 Corinthians 7:5 — Do not deprive each other, except for a limited time, by mutual agreement, and then only so as to have extra time for prayer; but afterwards, come together again. Otherwise, because of your lack of self-control, you may succumb to the Adversary’s temptation.

6B. Personal time

Matthew 6:6 — But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your (heavenly) Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

7. Honor your vows, do not make rash promises.

            Ecclesiastes 5:4 — Better not to make a vow than to make a vow and not discharge it.

 

Barriers and Concerns:

1. Scheduled time for each other – body clock, needs to take into consideration for staying late at work.1

Ecclesiastes 3:7– a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak

2. At times the articulation of situations is difficult because it may be stated in a way that is not received well by the other person.

Jeremiah 33:3 — Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

3. Express needs e.g. feeling in a timely manner; ask “What do you mean by that?”

            Ephesians 4:26 — Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger;

4. Betty is feeling pressures regarding personal health – hormone levels & allergies, family – son – social
relationships, daughter – personal choices with time usage, and husband – work and other
.

            1 Peter 5:7 — Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.

5. Ramon needs to focus and listen for meaning in silence. James 1:26, Ecclesiastes 3:7

 

Potential Solutions:

1. Prioritize/Honor scheduled times, whenever possible. If not then reschedule next opportunity.
            Colossians 4:5 – Behave wisely toward outsiders, making full use of every opportunity

2. Articulate the feeling in difficult situations in a way that is received well by the other person.
            Ephesians 4:29 — Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.

3. Never assume understanding, ask for clarification before action.

Proverbs 4:7 — The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

 

Goals and Opportunities:

1. Honor scheduled times.

2 Timothy 2:15 — Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.

2. Articulate feelings in a kind and timely manner.

Proverbs 16:24 — Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healing for the body.

Ruminations on Scripture and Marriage

As I sit here thinking, the word of G0d came to me like water to a thirsty man. I wondered, wounded soul and all, what it is that G0d thinks about marriage. Without looking in the bible I remember that G0d divorced Israel, but He did so when they were utterly corrupt, going after foreign gods like an animal in heat. Yet, he kept His word, kept His promise to His beloved Israel. He brought them back and they became a nation again. No other nation once lost to history has ever come back from the grave, yet Israel did. And if the comparison holds, that is room for rejoicing for our marriages.

If you believe as I believe that obedience to G0d is the plumb line of your life, a line you will not, cannot cross because obedience is tied to your very salvation (not in the sense that obedience earns salvation), but you obey because He saved you, then scripture is like water to a thirty man. Water is a necessity for we cannot live without it and I know for those who obey, obedience is a necessity we cannot live without. Why then do we allow so many things to over rule good sense and walk not in obedience?

G0d’s word clearly states that we (believers) must…

Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Yet, many people allow their marriage to disintegrate even while one of the partners desperately wants it to work. He, or she brings home marriage books and suggest book studies, or finds a counselor only to be rebuffed, or if they go, to quit after one or a few sessions. We are asked by G0d, our creator to…

Colossians 3:14: “…over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

This is a way that we should live, in love unafraid, in love without guilt or remorse for past events we had no control over, but which we did not submit to. We do, however, have a choice in who we obey and how we express that obedience.

Ephesians 5:33 However, the text also applies to each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.

These commands are not choices we would naturally make, why else would G0d command that a man loves his wife, while she respects him? From a man’s perspective honor, duty, devotion, and respect come as naturally as breathing, but love is a choice. For women love is as natural as breathing. Women are more relationally driven than men, even if men form relationships it is more in line with a duty we perform; like jobs or clubs or organizations we join.

Men must love.

Women must respect.

Both at odds with our natural inclination so G0d had to make sure we understood both ends of the spectrum; love AND respect.  Yet there are other commands regarding marriage that are equally as important, especially regading disposition of marriage.  God commands we do not divorce.

1 Corinthians 7:10 To those who are married I have a command, and it is not from me but from the Lord: a woman is not to separate herself from her husband

Yet, this is exactly what is happening. Obedience is sacrificed on the alter of self. Please understand, I am not referring to the worse cases one can imagine, but to seemingly good marriages because one partner decides to walk away.

What is the answer to this perplexing conundrum wrought of marriage in the modern era? I once suggested a group or grass roots rebellion against too easy divorce and argued for a return to fault based divorce. This may not decrease the epidemic divorce rates, but it would give pause to those who genuinely desire to obey the L0rd and another fence to hurdle before destroying what G0d designed for the family; marriage, one man, one woman, for life.

 

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval