For those of you who had been following this blog and perhaps were wondering what has transpired over the past several months, here’s an update.

I was served with divorce papers and had 30 days to file an “Answer” with the Court.  There is an interwoven story that I will not attempt to share at this writing, for sake of brevity.  I traveled to the county where the papers were filed, to submit my legal response to my wife’s petition of dissolution.  After many sleepless hours, I realized I could not, would not file an Answer.  I emailed my reasoning to Beth, telling her I still love her, do not want a divorce and would not be appearing in court.  I let her know I am aware that my actions mean that she will get what she is asking for by default.

The main thing I want to share here is what I have learned, in part through this ordeal.  Three months ago I read an excellent book, “Destined to Reign” by Joseph Prince.  Prior to reading this book, I was still laboring under an oppressive mix of The Old Covenant and The New Covenant.   Read the book to find out what that means, you won’t regret it!

I have, by the grace of God been clean and sober for 19 ½ years.  It took me 19 ¼ years to come to a better understanding and peace with God.  I attend 5 meetings a week and correspond heavily online.  I say this to convey that what I am finding are people who have been wounded in their lives by religious minded believers.  I listen to atheists, agnostics, self-righteous Christians, those who are angry at God and those who feel God is angry with them.  In the past several days my discussions with atheists and agnostics has worn me out.  I feel surly and scattered in my thinking from hearing their reasoning.

I have been doing a programmed Bible reading plan since the beginning of the year.  It has readings from the Old and New Testaments daily.  I regain my equilibrium through these readings and through the prayers, love and fellowship with mature Christians.

I do not, cannot blame Beth for her actions.  I can see where there are faulty conclusions and misunderstandings that have had a terrible outcome.  Beth thought I had expectations of her that really were her way of seeing me and not what I actually thought.  I have had uncharitable and wrong minded thoughts towards her that do not line up with the message of grace that is at the heart of the Good News.  I am just now aware of the wrong I committed due to this lack of grace.  This all sounds complicated because it is and that in itself is contrary to the message of grace!  The Good News is so simple and grace so effortless, it is amazing.

Beth held that many Christians (and for good reason), judged fellow believers and held those judged in contempt.  Beth vocalized an understanding of the love of God being greater than all our sin and greater than the love shown by other Christians.  This ties in with the people I hear talk of the rejection and judgments they feel from Christians and the failure of Christians to walk in love as Jesus commands believers to do.  What I, Beth and others have chosen to do with this travesty is where the rub is.

At some point, believers reject God totally, in part because of the “hypocrisy” or lack of love from Christians.  Some think there are enlightened Christians who know the damage self-righteous Christians do to their own and condemn those self-righteous Christians.  These so called enlightened ones are lacking in the truth of the message of grace also, fomenting division, hatred and superiority.

I have and probably will sin again in the area of self-righteousness.  I have a heightened sense of the grace message, because I need it so much.  The love of God that is shed abroad in the believer’s heart is how and why we can love the seemingly un-loveable.   The grace of God and His forgiveness of our sins is what allows us to forgive others their sins against us.  God making us the righteousness (right standing) of God through Jesus is what allows us to go directly to Him and not be ashamed.

I sincerely love Beth with all my heart and more importantly, with the love God has placed in my heart towards her.  The tragedy here is she believes that I do not know what love is and that I am like the believers who act as Pharisees and “don’t get it”.  The fact is, Beth is not acting out of love towards me, or with the love God has for me, nor forgiving me and recognizing “there is now therefore, no condemnation to those who love the Lord”.  You cannot reject, eject and disrespect a spouse or anyone and claim you have a superior or correct knowledge of what God’s love is.  We are to love as God loves us and rejoice that our sins and other’s sins are forgiven, erased even.  The beauty of this is that God gives us the ability to do and be all that we should be!  Grace requires nothing but belief, accepting what God says is true and receiving what He has done for us.

I am okay.  I am glad for God’s love and the love of many towards me.  It is sad and a terrible witness to have Beth’s and my marriage end.  It is not an end for me or her individually, we continue like all God’s children, to be His workmanship and all we need to do is let God be God and thank Him for all He does for us all.

The irony in this is the rejection, the judgment, the discarding what God has redeemed and Beth believing she is right in doing what she is doing.  I would rather have the end of the marriage than to be in a marriage with someone like myself, who has been blind to what grace truly is.  If we are going to rail against the “hypocrites”, shouldn’t we quit acting like them?

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