Friday, May 2, 2014

"On Fire": 'UGLY PEACE'

"On the other hand, if the unbelieving spouse walks out, you’ve got to let him or her go. You don’t have to hold on desperately. God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can. You never know, wife: The way you handle this might bring your husband not only back to you but to God. You never know, husband: The way you handle this might bring your wife not only back to you but to God."---I Corinthians 7:15-16(Message)


I was talking to one of my spiritual brothers who's getting married in a couple of months. Being that he and I both deal with relationships, we pretty much always have fascinating conversations. As we got to the portion of the program about a lot of women having a mouth that seems to almost emasculate the men they are involved with, there was something that came back to my remembrance that a relative once said to me:

"Shellie, have you ever noticed that there are some really attractive men with wives who look like they came out of the movie 'Jurassic Park'? Do you know why those men are with them? It's because most of us will take 'peace over pretty' any day. Even if it means living with 'ugly peace'."

UGLY PEACE (LOL). This person conveyed that to me years ago but it's still hilarious (to me and was also to my friend) even now. And you know what? As I continue to speak with more and more men---some single and some married---I have discovered that many of them share this exact same sentiment.

For example, of my close male friends told me that he struggles with the thought of getting married because his home is where he seeks peace and tranquility and even in most of his dating situations, he has been unable to find it. If the woman is not nagging, she is demanding. If she is not demanding, she is hurling ultimatums. Yep. I am learning more and more that a woman who is not at peace with herself is a woman who becomes more and more unappealing to a man with every passing minute.

I think that's a part of the reason why the Spirit (John 4:24) led me to the Message Version of the verses that speak to how to deal with an unbelieving spouse. Now, let me put something on record about even being in that predicament in the first place. Being that we are told to not unequally yoke ourselves with unbelievers (and being that a wife is to submit to her husband, we as women really need to take that warning seriously!-Colossians 3:18, 2 Corinthians 6:11-18), it has pretty much always been my understanding that what Paul was speaking of is when two people get married *as unbelievers* and one of them comes to the Lord, if the unbelieving spouse wants to leave, the believer should not take an *non-peaceful approach*.

Now this doesn't mean that the believer has a license to marry someone else (remember that I Corinthians 7:15-16 is what *Paul* said. I Corinthians 7:10-11 about a divorced person remaining single or being reconciled to their spouse is what *God* said). I mean, peep what else Paul stated: How a believing spouse handles the matter may actually bring their spouse back to them as well as back to the Lord. By handling things as *peacefully* as possible.

So, if peace can be that powerful in a broken state how much more can it do in a healthy and whole marriage when both people are "not argumentative, quarrelsome, or hostile"? When both people are "free from disorder"? When both people are in "a state of mutual harmony"? When both people are *at peace*: "untroubled; tranquil; content"?

And really...

How can we as women learn how to be peaceful in marriage if we can't even be peaceful while we're single? Especially since the Word tells us (TELLS US) to be content with our current state (Hebrews 13:5). More times than not, if you can't be "at peace" without being married, you are well on your way to being the kind of woman who will not be a peaceful helper (Genesis 2:18). Because really, do you think that Satan tap dances at covenant? Ask any married unit who is committed to serving the Lord and they will tell you that marriage is not an ultimate goal in life; it is simply a chapter in a journey towards spiritual growth, development and purpose manifestation. And with that comes the need to know how to have peace. The best "spiritual warfare warriors" (Ephesians 6:10-20) know how to be at peace and in peace. (You fight better that way.)

So yes, I totally get where my loved one was coming from.

I mean, Queen Vashti is a great example, right (Esther 1)? All of that beauty and still demoted. She wasn't a source of peace. She was source of drama.

Being physically beautiful is cool.

But take it from the fellas...being peaceful? That is truly what's divine.



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