Stealing Joy

DSCF7223Depression is slowly creeping over my spirit like a thundercloud stealing sunshine and it is stealing my joy.  I hate that old feeling, don’t you?  I mean we all go through times in our lives that we feel blue, down, or plain old-fashioned depressed!  For a divorced person I believe it can be a little worse and we may never find out the cause of the depressed feelings.  Why do I say that?  Because people who were married and then lose a spouse through divorce have a few extra spiritual battles to deal with than a spouse lost through death.  To better understand this we need to look at marriage as God intended it to be.

The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.  Genesis 2:22-25, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.  And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”  They said, “Moses permitted a man TO WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY.”  But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE.  “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”  In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again.  And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”  Mark 10:2-12, (NASB).

 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.  FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.  Ephesians 5:22-33, (NASB).

Notice something significant in these passages on marriage.  When a man and woman are united in marriage and have sex to consummate the marriage they become one flesh, and operate as one spiritual identity.  God intended this to be a marriage of unity and there is a great mystery attached to the sexual act between man and woman that makes them one.  Paul uses the marriage of man and woman as an example of the church and states that there is a great mystery in how we humans relate to each other as the church, the body of Christ, and with Christ as husband of the church, like the mystery of sexual union.  A husband is told to love his wife just as Christ loves the church.  The wife is told to respect her husband as well.  Many books have been written about this passage so I won’t add to the discussion except to point out that when a divorce happens there is a breaking of the legal bonds of marriage but what about the spiritual bond that unites husband to wife and wife to husband?

Fall 011As these passages point out Moses allowed husbands to give a certificate of divorce to the wife.  Jesus points out that this was not the intent of marriage by God from the beginning.  Rather God intended marriage to be until the death of one spouse.  That means it was intended to be a lifelong relationship.  Paul explains the relationship of the church as a lifelong relationship with Christ as well in his letter to the Ephesians.  Sin, however, entered the world and causes havoc in the hearts of men and the result was a hardened heart which led Moses to allow a certificate of divorce.  I can see why, can’t you?  I mean why should a wife have to bear the brunt of a husband’s hardened heart!  Even those who a person has sex with outside of the bonds of marriage are in a “one flesh” spiritual relationship!  The passage in 1 Corinthians says that sexual acts committed with those outside of marriage make a union of one so the spiritual mystery is a strong bond.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.  Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.  Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!  Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”   But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, (NASB).

Wow!  That is something to really give us pause to think.  Every person you have ever had sexual contact with you are now one flesh with them.  Does that mean that every person they have had sexual relations with is also one with you?  This gets pretty complicated.  God did not intend for sex to be used as a form of recreational entertainment.  Sex is meant to be used as a bond of union between one man and one woman for marriage and for life.

DSCF7254When the divorce certificate is issued that is in the physical world and it is a legal and binding legal document that says the marriage is dissolved for whatever reasons.  Today those reasons can be as silly as they were at any other time in history.  Today’s no-fault divorce is probably quite similar to the certificate of divorce handed to wives by husbands in Jesus time on earth.  But I still ask, what about the spiritual union, the mystery?     I believe that what Jesus said about divorce gives us a clue in finding the answer to this question.

“But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE.  “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”  Mark 10:7-9, (NASB).

God put the man and the woman together in the marriage and man.  The courts, judges, or divorce process is not going to separate the union in the spiritual realm.  Every person you have had sexual intercourse with is going to be a part of your union.  Now that is something to really think about!

October Sky 011So let’s put this in terms we can all understand.  I am divorced.  That means that the man who divorced me and I are still in spiritual union, right?  He is the only man I have ever had sex with and I believe that the spiritual bond that still exists can sometimes cause me to feel depressed.  Maybe something isn’t going well in his life, something that I know absolutely nothing about, but because we are still one flesh my emotions are somehow entangled with his and I feel the cloud of depression as an effect of his problems.  I know this sounds complicated, but I really think the logic is there for this theory of mine.

DSCF7233This cloud of depression is stealing my joy in my own life and I can find no cause from my own actions for this depression that sometimes comes over me for no apparent reason.  So how do I handle this?  I pray for my ex-husband that he will reach out to God and deal with whatever is causing conflict in his life.  I will never know what that conflict may be, but I can pray for him to turn to God.  I can also pray to ask God to release me from the consequences of my ex and whatever he is going through.  God is merciful and always hears and answers my prayers.  Then my joy is restored.  Like the clouds depart and the sunshine floods into my heart!  I love that!  I hope this helps you as much as it has me.

Until next time…KatherineMore October Sky 006

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