My initial reactions are rage and disappointment. My first responses are deep grief and sadness, even anger. What are you thinking? What have you done? What happened?
Yet, I tread carefully. I start to judge you, lash out and condemn you in my mind, but I must not. Judge not that ye be not judged...It is not my place. And truthfully, any temptation to judge causes me to see my own sin and failure so vividly, I dare not go there. But what is this I feel, this nauseousness, this suffocating ache?
I grieve for the One who has blessed you with every good and spiritual gift, the One who made sure there was a way out of temptation, though you didn’t appropriate it…I grieve for the one who has walked beside you these many years and made you a better man and brought you honor in the city gates, covering you with her love and grace…I grieve for the three for whom, you having given the devil a foothold, will battle the enemy’s territorial claim on their souls and hearts. I grieve that you have removed the covering of covenant from your family and the wife of your youth and pitched your tent in enemy territory. I grieve for the pain of the ripped one-flesh.
When did sin take such a hold it made sense to you? Has there been unfinished adolescent business? Is there a wound you are trying to salve?
How have you justified this in your mind and heart? How have you calculated the cost, the sadness and the pain on your family, the church, your friends and sphere of influence, and reconciled it as being worth it?
What are you doing, man who has received the full grace of God for so long and in so many ways, son of a holy man, to repair the heart-wrenching, seemingly endless agony you have caused?
And I mourn.
I mourn for the anguish you are bearing, though it is of your own doing. Sometimes we hurt ourselves more than we do anyone else. I mourn for the distance you must be feeling right now from Father, though God promised to never leave us or forsake us, we find it hard to look at Him when we have taken an unholy path. I mourn for the damage this will do to your relationships with the ‘arrows of your quiver’ – your true heritage from God. I lament over the loss of holy love and weep over the consequences you’ll endure for your choices, however beautifully graced this may become, there will be a bitter fruit you must taste. There will be lasting evidence that effects all goings-forward.
On that sunny day in May, so many years ago, The Message, in Malachi, tells us:
â€¦God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within youâ€¦God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat.
God is the witness to the union, just as He is the witness on your behalf against the enemy. He is the One who formed you and created you with His intent in mind. He created and chose you – do you comprehend the miracle of this?
And so, because I have needed grace so desperately so much in my life, because Jesus has shown us that only he who is without sin may cast the first stone and that is not me, I am praying for you. I am praying that you will get wisdom and go after it with all your might! I am praying you will flee from the enemy and run to the Hiding Place. I am crying out to God to save you from that enemy, and from yourself (when you are own worst enemy). I pray you will repent fully and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. I pray that you will experience a brokenness that knocks the wind from your body, a crushing that will release the power and presence of God into this situation. I pray you will let the Truth set you free, no matter how much that hurts or embarrasses you.
I pray that soon, you will be the free-est man I know, whole and restored, in spite of yourself.
I have you in my heart forever. You’ll always be the one who refreshed and welcomed me when I needed it so much. It is not forgotten and I want to offer you the same, with love…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Isn’t exposing sin and holding each other accountable to God’s grace (even if some one doesn’t want us to) more important than letting the enemy wreak havoc? Try to figure this out…