Wednesday, December 18, 2013
"On Fire": The Problem with an 'Almost Man' or an 'Almost Relationship'
A couple of days ago...
I was having a conversation with a wife. A wife who loves her husband dearly but their marriage tends to be more than challenging, largely due to her mother-in-law. Let's just say that the mother-in-law needs some therapy (literally) so that she can understand the role of a mother vs. a girlfriend and that her son is not to treat her like "his woman" and when he took my friend as his bride, *his wife* became to first woman in his life. Praise the Lord (again literally) that he was thorough enough to mention it:
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence."---Genesis 2:24-25(NKJV)
The thing is, her husband is *spiritual* but not (yet) a *disciple* (John 8:31-32) and so he finds ways to rationalize being at his mother's, especially financial, beck and call. A big part of this is due the fact that the Bible is not something that he reveres as a way of life.
He's siritual but not a disciple. He's *almost* there. But not quite.
I'll give you another example.
There's a couple that I'm working with and the wife has no respect for money. Growing up, her father(s) gave her everything that she wanted and so now, she misspends left and right. When her husband was dating/courting her, he saw some red flags but ignored them because he was so enthralled with her in other ways. Yet the fascinating thing about being enthralled is that one definition is "captivated" but another is "charmed" and we know what the Word says about *charm* (Proverbs 31:30). Now they are six-figures in debt and she doesn't yet see how poorly her spending habits are. Even though her husband remains frustrated and distrusting as a direct result.
She's a good woman in many ways, but she doesn't respect her husband's authority. When it comes to being a biblical wife (Ephesians 5), she's *almost* there. But not quite.
Let's try one more.
There's a woman I know who wrote me not too long ago to tell me that she met "the one". As I was asking her to share some of the qualities that made her feel that way (especially since she had broken off an engagement to someone else a few years ago), one of the things that she mentioned was he was divorced. If y'all have been following these posts long enough, you know that I find that to be some shaky territory, mostly because of this verse: "And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:4-6-NKJV); this verse "'For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,' says the Lord of hosts. 'Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously'" (Malachi 2:16-NKJV) and also this verse: "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife." (I Corinthians 7:10-11-NKJV) *Paul didn't say that. GOD DID.*
Unfortunately, the Church has done a *horrific* and *very irresponsible* job of not teaching that divorced couples should not be considered "single" (even on their taxes, they are not single) and that divorced couples who should strive towards reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:12-21) rather than marrying someone else.
A lot of folks "miss the memo" and one-half of the divorced couple gets married to someone else anyway which makes it pretty hard for the other person to reconcile when that happens. So while personally, a divorced man is not an option for me (because "love is patient" and it's not my call on when or how God can impress two people to come back together-I Corinthians 13:4, Ecclesiastes 3:11), when divorced people ask me about marrying someone else (based on the Word), if their ex is already remarried, I have more peace about the situation then if their ex is not.
This particular woman's "guy" is divorced, however his ex is still single. Nothing in the Word speaks to that being someone she should continue to build with. (Yes, when the Word says that the right road is "narrow" and "difficult", it was being *quite literal*-Matthew 7:13-14). He might be the greatest guy in the world (although his ex might provide another side of the story-LOL) but he's not really "free" to marry someone else.
*Almost*. But not quite.
You know, there are a lot of people who find themselves settling (SETTLING) for "almost". They see flags but they so want to be in a relationship or married that they overlook some blaring warnings and/or sound biblical instruction. When you compromise what you know is best for you for what is "OK" or another definition "little short of being", like the wife and husband that I mentioned, sometimes you end up going through some really difficult things, things that could have been avoided, if you didn't strive for "almost" but *complete* (James 1:4).
Now, I'm not saying that you should look for perfection in a person. That's totally unrealistic (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message). What I am saying though is that one, God was specific about what would make a healthy marriage and what wouldn't, if you're not adhering to those standards, that's an "almost" situation that you're putting yourself in. Also, if you don't have total peace in your mind, body and spirit about someone and you decide to "push forward" anyway, that is also an "almost" set of circumstances.
Y'all know I'm big on signs (Daniel 4:2-3). As I was thinking about pieces of this, earlier this morning, guess what video came on VH-1 Soul? Yes, yes. And I'll end this blog with it.
Even God is not big on "lukewarm" (Revelation 3:16). Why?
Because it's just another form of...
ALMOST. And in the wise words of Brandy...