I am divorced, not by choice but because my husband wanted out of our marriage and the life we had built together. I think most of you know this already. I didn’t want the divorce but I have accepted it because it is the reality of my life. As most of you know I have a child who lives a transgender lifestyle and in fact has a life-partner who is also gay. You can read about our journey in a couple of the previous postings on this blog. I am also a strong conservative Christian woman and I believe that the Bible is truth and that it is to be taken seriously and what it says in the New Testament is to be applied daily to my life. The Old Testament is also full of good advice for Christians and much can be learned by reading it and understanding it. So where am I going with all of this in this post? I want you all to know that I believe that love as taught in 1 John and other places in the New Testament is the best approach to life struggles.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3, (New International Version or NIV).
Recently we had a wonderful family time in which all my children were home for a few days. This happens rarely for me and so I was a little apprehensive concerning all the political, moral, sexual, and religious viewpoints that might come into play. I am obviously a conservative traditional Christian and so in preparation for this family time I began to pray. I asked God to bring our family time into a time of peace and a time of healing. It is the first time in ten years when my children were all together in my own home. We have been together at other times and in other places but not in my home. I know from personal experience that going home can be difficult especially if parents don’t recognize that their children are individuals as well as adults. I wanted good memories for all of us and God delivered in a big way! I am giving all the praise to Him!
I have seen in my lifetime adult children who are plagued with deep emotional scars when their parents’ divorce after the children are on their own and developing their own identity as adults. I know the pain that divorce brings to a family and to the extended family members as well. I felt that since it was nine years ago that my children’s father began to exit the family and develop his own separate household and lifestyle that much healing had already taken place within my adult children. The last time all my children were together in one of my homes was when their father was still living with me in marriage. A lot of losses have been grieved during that time, the loss of two grandfathers, one grandmother, as well as one aunt, and grieving the loss of our family unit. But I knew that the moment they all walked into my home there would be the emotional element to contend with that had not really been dealt with in the past nine years…the fact that their family home unit was entirely and forever altered. I also prayed about this emotional side of their coming home, that God would heal us all and that we would begin to build new family memories in my new place of residence as their single Mom. God never disappointed me in this area either as my prayers were completely and fully answered. We did have a wonderful time as a family. We laughed, we played games, we talked into the night, we cooked together and ate good food, we went places together…in other words we built some good memories together!
I know that some of you are dealing with similar consequences from choices that may not be in line with your wishes when it comes to how your life and the life of those you love have turned out. I want to encourage you with some of my favorite verses when dealing with my own emotions and desires. I want to encourage you that love really does cover a multitude of sins and that continuing to do good for others is more than a command; it is a process of getting to a place of goodness in your own life. And that when we pray for our “enemies” and ask blessings to be poured down upon them that God sees us through and helps us to realize that we cannot live our life alone but must lean upon Him for strength and guidance. The Holy Spirit will comfort us and will convict us and will lead us to where God wants us to go if we submit our broken dreams to God. Jesus will be our advocate with God and will stand by us and never leave us during our travels through this life. Here’s my list of scriptures.
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:11-18, (NIV).
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:7-21, (NIV).
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11, (NIV).
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48, (NIV).
I am very thankful to God that we as a family can come together regardless of our personal beliefs and still love each other. I am thankful that all of my children are hardworking and productive members of our American society. I am thankful that they took time out of their busy schedules to spend with me this summer. I am thankful that even though we don’t agree on who should become the next president or whether the Bible is true, or whether transgender issues should be given equal footing in our society, that we can be the opposite of hate, be the opposite of contention, and show each other love, respect, and tolerance. Nothing tears families and nations apart like hatred and disrespect. I am thankful that down deep where we each live, we still love each other very much. God has been good to me and certainly answered all my prayers in this family time. He can answer your prayers too but you need to have that conversation with your Creator in order for Him to work peace and love into your family.