When I saw at the table with Jesus today, at home, as I contemplated the cup, I thought of Jesus in terms of the cost of the covenant to make. Jesus chose to pay that price, for which I will forever be grateful.
But, He had been working in my heart in another area. One where I knew that I needed to remember His covenant to have the courage to invite Him in to address. My marriage. I have been divorced about 20 years. Twenty, hurting, lonely, confused years. I have one friend who is in love with his wife. They have 6 beautiful children. He is an example, and a lay leader in his church. And he posts encouraging things from marriage ministries on his Facebook.
I have recently read a book on men and women, and how our hormone patterns basically give testimony to God’s design. It is a recent book. It is Wyveta Kirk’s book “Women talk, Men walk”. From a medical, hormonal, and psychological perspective, it explains God’s designs for men and women. It came a long time after my divorce. What came sooner after the divorce was Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn’s books “For Women Only” and “For Men Only”. I heard about her research befor the “For Men Only” book was published, and I read “For Women Only” I could have cried, in fact, I did some. Because, my ex-wife wasn’t mean as much as ignorant. So was I.
I overheard a woman talking to a friend of hers who couldn’t leave her husband yet, and so she was just “coasting”. I wanted to scream “You are not coasting, you are poisoning your marriage, you are starving your husband to death, you are using him.
The wanting to scream took me back into my own marriage and its breakup. I felt used. I felt starved. It was hard to continue to love a self-absorbed wife. I so many times wanted to divorce her. I questioned God as to why He allowed me to marry her, encouraged me to marry her. I felt betrayed by God. I stayed because I had made a promise. I stayed because I knew that God was good, and although I felt so unwanted, so rejected, so used, He was with me, and with her. I knew the pain involved with keeping a covenant, at least in a small part.
That came back to me this morning. In a couple of weeks, we will celebrate the cross and the resurrection.. We will celebrate (may celebrate, if we don’t get too wrapped up in tradition) the covenant that The Father, representing the Godhead, made with Jesus to love me, in fact all of humanity, that Jesus represented, just the way that He loves Jesus. And Jesus’ side of the covenant was to bring all who He represented, us, to love The Father, the way that He does. What I have always missed celebrating is the cost to Jesus and Holy Spirit in keeping the covenant that He made with The Father.