In the past 3 months a post that I (Lindsey) wrote over a year ago has received so much traffic that it demanded a follow up. My heart aches as I read the comments from women who are watching their families fall apart and women who are fighting with all they have to save their world.
I'm not sure what part of this recurring attack on marriage bothers me most. The sanctity of marriage, which Christians are so willing to die over when picketing a gay pride parade, is often neglected when it comes to calling out men and women who are choosing infidelity, career advancement, or personal gain (to name just a few) over honoring their marriage oaths. There is the not-yet-seen impact that these divorces are having on the children involved. Little boys and girls grow up not knowing what security is because their primary example chose the world over the narrow road. Young men and women are being directed toward difficulty in all future relationships because some of the most important people in their lives choose not to teach them about unconditional love. I have also seen, even just within the comments to the first post, how women are drowning so completely in the emotion and struggle divorce always brings that it's next to impossible to see past their own crumbling world. For this reason ministries that desperately need their spiritual giftings are left without people to run them. These women are missing blessings that God wishes to bestow on them. Our own lives are becoming so complicated by the consequences of this world’s sin nature that the weight of the spiritual battles all around us are overlooked and neglected.
Why are so many pastors and their ministerial staff so quick to focus on the laws this world is putting in place and so quick to be angered by a Supreme Court ruling, yet so silent when they see husbands and wives abandoning their families; daddies and mommies not doing what they are called to do? Where are the signs? Where is the very much-needed intervention? Quite honestly, where are the kicks in the rear, and the loud “What in the world are you doing right now" questions? Why are many of us so scared to call out the people of the church? Why are we so disconnected from people of the church that we are not even in a position to call them out?
In order to address the issue of divorce and the many other worldly wounds the people of God are allowing to enter in and steal their joy, we must begin building relationships that allow for accountability. Often, our churches are too big--and not necessarily in volume of people, but in modern day practice. Too few are taking the time to build relationships like Jesus had with his disciples.
Proverbs 27:5-10 and 17 tell us this regarding the rebuking of a friend, “An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry. A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest. The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away...As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
We need to feed our hungry. We need to sincerely approach our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to offer heartfelt counsel that is sweet as perfume and incense. We need to be the iron that sharpens iron. We cannot do any of this if we neglect the relationship building that Christ taught us was the only way to a person’s heart. Join me in praying for our Church, our fellow believers, and the relationships of accountability that absolutely must be built if we are to see any change in the frequency and devastation of divorce.
Father God, We come to ask You to place a yearning on our hearts for drastic change. Give us each a desire to seek out real, deep, emotional contact with one another. Lord, give us the wisdom to see these same desires in those around us. Draw us together as a body of and for Christ. Help us to build relationships that foster emotional attachments that lead to accountability partners, Lord. From there, give us Your words to speak and Your wisdom to share. Help us to become the iron that is needed to sharpen those with whom we develop these relationships. We know, Lord, that unless we move back to the kind of relationships You modeled for us and called us to that we will continue to see the erosion of the church and its people. Today, Lord, I intercede on behalf of all those who are sensing this same need and desire for Your aid and rescue in our time of need. Rise up an army of believers who are committed to these relationships and to drastic change in the church. Jesus, I ask all of this in Your precious name, Amen.