| Re: |
Dear brothers Savannah and Marvin (or others), in your personal experience and counsel, can you share practical examples about what it has meant in your own marriages, or real-life counsel you’ve given to men to “leave” their wife (or young children) specifically?
| 2018/11/30 16:06||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi Caleb: I do not counsel for divorcing ones wife or hubby simply because that spouse is walking after the flesh. I counsel them that they must follow Christ where he leads them and do what he tells them. I counsel them to follow the admonitions of Peter to win their husbands with godliness and sobriety, a winsome attitude, heart and demeanor. I counsel men/women to be a good students of the word, make time for constant prayer, make time to witness their faith, make time to fellowship.
As described in Pilgrims progress, one leaves his wife to follow Christ, not because his wife has become odious and hateful to him, but because following Christ has become the all consuming imperative in his life. So, the marriage is intact but the division that Jesus brings by way of conversion is not to be looked upon as a reproach upon the new believer, but instead a spiritual reality that God has called that spouse to follow Jesus first and lead by example.
Real life example? My own son...I gave this exact counsel to him, he labored for about 5-6 years before she would do much more than begrudgingly attend Church. Now, she is a coach at an all Christian high school.
In the midst of it all, my own son found how important prayer was, how important studying the word and being in fellowship with others...and the prayers of others for him and his wife. He grew exponentially during that time.
As to young children, my son didn't give in to the worldly mindset of his wife, his children ( my grandchildren) were to be raised under the knowledge of God, his word, praying and attending Church) So, as leader of his home he taught them at home and took them to be taught. God has blessed all of them in excellent grades, intelligence, favor and most of all a worshipful and devoted mind/heart toward Jesus Christ.
To God's praise I have received this, my son and my beloved daughter-in-law and my grandchildren are in their own household of faith and all attend the household of faith with others.
This counsel I have given to numerous others over the years and God is faithful in every circumstance to bless those who 'leave' their mates behind and follow him. A few cases ended in divorce...and not as I had expected the one I gave counsel to (a wife) turned away from her husband, yet her husband became wonderfully converted while she entered into lesbianism. Obviously there is much much more that can be shared, but my point is, all I sought to do was be faithful to give the message of Jesus no matter how it may have fallen out.
Even in my own life, my wife was like dragging a boat anchor around...but by God's goodness he gave her grace and understanding in Jesus...now I have a mate that is certifiably a better Christian than myself.
God is faithful brother I want you to know that.
| 2018/11/30 16:30||Profile|
| Re: |
The discussion is great. I think though, that the original post and follow up question was really a question about Jesus and His bride the church and her implied failure to serve with her husband. I may be wrong about that but that is my reading between the lines.
As to the thread that evolved from this, dealing with families and the call of God is an emotionally charged subject. Questions arise of:
1) submission of the wife to her husband which is crucial for the wife and incredibly hard to address in today's western cultures, of
2) the husband actually having a walk with Jesus that is so close that the husband can be confident he has heard from God,
3) of being careful to hear the admonishment of Paul that husbands need not to be concerned about pleasing their wife but in pleasing the Lord with 100% devotion ( 1 Cor. 7 ), and vice versa. The Bible has some very clear intended examples where the husband heard one thing from God and another from the wife and he did what pleased her instead of remaining faithful to God. ( Adam, Abraham, Samson ). Their are other stories of Satan using wives to try to turn the heart of the man of God away from God ( Job's wife and David's wife ) And there is a huge story of men not answering God's call to go into the promised land because of a misapplied desire to protect their families. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the women were intending to do evil towards their husbands, except Samson's wife.
4) of whether both spouses need to hear from the Lord before the call is confirmed ( not a Biblically supportable requirement but popular nonetheless )
5) of exposing children to dangerous situations and of friendly family fire thinking that one of the spouses is hurting the family with a radical and "risky" response to God.
I have personally experienced all of these issues in responding to the call of God for me to take my family into a risky ministry. This is not theoretical, but I hope and trust my response is and was Biblical.
Please know that I am not against women. They are my sisters in Christ and I love them with all my heart.
However, because the man is chosen by God to be the authority in the home (at least the Bible says that), then the forces of evil will recognize that a strong way to upset the work of God is to get the wife to have the husband please her rather than God. He wants to in the flesh and this can be the beginning of a problem.
This does not in anyway excuse men from loving their wives as their own bodies and even more importantly as spiritual sisters in Christ deserving all honor, esteem and respect.
Yes, we are to love our wives in great and sacrificial ways. Our children as well. Sometimes the best way we can love them is to show them our sacrificial 100% devotion to the Lord and following Him no matter what. Pilgrim's progress being the ultimate example of that as a metaphor. Pilgrim's pursuit of God ultimately became an example for his family to follow even though things were tough in the beginning. Of course, that metaphor was a counsel for us and it actually is based on 1 Corinthians 7 but it was real for the writer of the story. He languished for many years in jail with a wife and many children at home, one a young blind girl because he would stop being a pastor preaching the gospel. All he had to do was cease what God called him to do and he could go home, love his family in a way he wanted to and provide for and protect them. He knew though that it would mean unfaithfulness to God and in the end, his desertion of God's calling would be the most unloving thing he could do to his family.
| 2018/12/1 8:19||Profile|
| Re: personal experience and counsel|
I'd be happy to answer your question re: "...personal experience and counsel...", if you'd first address Jesus' words which I quoted in my previous post.
What application do they have, if any, to the questions in the OP?
| 2018/12/2 6:34||Profile|
| Re:J Kruger|
By calling, I meant the specific purpose that can only be achieved by a combination of 2 souls and their unique attributes, for the purpose of God's Kingdom.
I've been askikg myself the same question... If I rightly understand you it goes down to this: The purpose of marriage is the glory of God. But does God bind two people together so that they can serve Him better?
Example: God wants Steve to be a minister and preach the gospel to nations that have never heard of it. But God knows the heart of Steve and knows that He could not go alone. He needs a wife that would pray with him, would support him, would perhaps also speak to the women and children in this foreign nations. He needs a 'help meet' in order to fulfill his ministry. Vice versa for the women etc.*
Is that your question? And what happens when a marriage that has begun in a godly church, in a godly manner after 20 years changes and one of the spouses does not want to remain in ministry?
*I know the story is oversimplified but I do not know how to describe it otherwise...
| 2018/12/2 7:53||Profile|
| Re: |
Brother Savannah! Great question! I am really glad you pointed me back to the words of Christ Jesus Himself!
Again, perspective means EVERYTHING, and the Holy Spirit’s at that!
As I meditated on your second post, and then your first, I saw the words of Christ Jesus, as it relates to the original post, in a new light!
1. I realized that Jesus was not telling his disciples (or us) that everyone (anyone) HAS to leave home, wife, brothers, parents, children. No, no, no...His emphasis is on the encouragement of the reward and great hope for those who do or have “LEFT” all behind (like the disciples had)!!! And of course each specific living stone that he calls out of darkness into light will have a unique testimony of all they have “left” behind!!
2. I believe the practical application for us today is “no matter how painful it is to leave relationships, hobbies, jobs, material possessions, really anything, for the sake of the Kingdom, IT IS WORTH IT”!!!
3. I confess that when I read your first post Savannah, I (surely wrongly?) inferred you were counseling Kruger (or anyone) along the lines of “if your wife is not in unity with your obedience to God’s calling, then leave her”....(it’s crazy what my mind can do in the moment when quickly reading a post....yikes, slow down Caleb).
4. I appreciated brother Robert’s perspective on the whole thread pertaining to the church and Christ Jesus! Surely that relationship, and our marriages, should be (are) linked, for better or for worse! Maybe brother Kruger will clarify with more context?
5. I praise God for Marvin’s testimony, especially how his wife is a better Christian than he is now! Hah! She must be an awesome woman of God!! Glory!!
Love all you saints so much!!!
| 2018/12/2 9:33||Profile|
| Re: |
Jesus didn't ask anyone to leave their family situations without a direct command to do so or absent family persecution that drives us out of our family situations as happened to the early believing Jews and still happens in some cultures today.
The essential answer to the question is a question: "Has God called me/family to go somewhere or to do something."
If so, then we must obey even if the family situation is upset. This was Christ's admonition even to those who would follow Him from the beginning.
I am convinced by Scripture that God will make clear any call on a man's life that would upset an otherwise good gift from God like family. But, and this happens alot, many people fail to ask God about a call that would put them in difficult situations by falsely falling back on family obligations
| 2018/12/2 9:44||Profile|
| Re: |
Ok is there any scriptural examples (after the cross/Pentecost) of a man loving his wife as Christ did the church- selflessly, sacrificially, steadfastly- where God called him out of that or where the wife wasn’t sanctified/won ?
| 2018/12/2 13:37||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi Fletcher. Just curious why you make the limitation to post cross?
To answer your question though, Paul mentions in an epistle that other apostles had believing wives. The apostles or sent ones went on very long dangerous journeys without family many were martyred and killed leaving families without husbands and fathers.
Many evangelist and missionaries have been called by God to go to remote places without their families for years at a time. I presume many faithfully lioved their wives. Jim Elliot at the call of God left a young family permanently. God often has called saintly men to dangerous places knowing full well it was a “permanent” call.
Maybe I was missing your point.
| 2018/12/2 15:30||Profile|
| Re: Brother Robert|
Quote;” Just curious why you make the limitation to post cross?”
Well isn’t that when the new covenant was initiated?
Aren’t we invited into this one ...
As an individual who has served the public for almost 3 decades, I’ve noticed there are both those who “put off” the calling on their life as well as those whom have used “their calling” as an excuse to leave an unpleasant situation at home,... both of which are devastating tho in my experience the latter has far worse consequences for both God/kingdom advancement as well as fatherless/stewardless children.
In my understanding a man is the priest of his home and as such that is his initial mission field or calling.
My point was/is... there doesn’t seem to be hard and fast scriptural examples of a godly new covenant man who’s family wasn’t ultimately won to Christ. So IF a man uses his “calling” as an excuse to “justifiably” leave his wife or kids (because it’s unpleasant) without first having won them to Christ the souls won in the field are offset by the ones lost at home-
1 Peter 3 clearly outlines how a believing woman should respond to her unbelieving husband to win him to Christ,... would that not also apply to the man?
| 2018/12/2 20:13||Profile|