Friday, November 28, 2014

A blessed weekend

The most memorable moments of my life is witnessing the faith of others. It is encouraging and truly a blessing to see others living in the hope, faith and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was most evident in my recent trip to my first ever permanence of marriage retreat. It is a blessing and encouraging to see how He works in the lives of others who have experienced the painful and awful realities of divorce. Though these people have experienced pain and rejection, they truly have a foundation that cannot be broken. It is evident in their testimonies of putting complete faith and trust in the Lord even in the midst of a world, and a church, that embraces divorce and remarriage. 

I was looking forward to this trip because I wanted to see for the first time those individuals who have given me courage, strength and hope to carry on the truth for the permanence of marriage. I wanted to see them face to face and hear their testimonies of how the Lord has comforted them. It was through social websites like Facebook where I first met others who stand for marriage as a one flesh covenant that does not end in divorce. My own convictions of God’s word concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage led me to seek others who see the truth. 

It is perceived by some that these meetings are nothing more than pity parties for those who believe in the permanence of marriage. Yet, I would encourage every believer to attend one of these meetings. I am confident that anyone who witnesses these meetings will come away with a deeper respect for the people who go through divorce and remarriage. They will also come away with a deeper respect for the covenant of marriage. This is not just about testimonies in faith to restore marriages, it is testimonies of individuals who love the Lord Jesus Christ. 

If I could put this meeting into perspective, I would narrow it down that the purpose of this meeting is to glorify God. There are certain words that describe this meeting, yet I could clearly say that this was true worship because it was in both spirit and in truth. The Lord Jesus Christ said that true worshipers would worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) From the moment this meeting began, it was about worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth.   

What I witnessed was a body of believers who viewed marriage as something that is special and that in every way was a representation of the Gospel. These men and woman have a deep love for Christ that includes a deep love for all people, including a wayward spouse. They truly love their wayward spouses and they are not afraid to speak the truth that marriage restoration is more about salvation than anything else. They recognize the truth of the Gospel in their own lives. They know that while they were yet sinners, Christ died for them.

This is the foundation of every believer. Imperfect people saved by a perfect God. It is this faith that makes sense to stand and wait in the Lord to restore a prodigal spouse because this is exactly what Christ did for them. They have the heart and mind of Christ. This was evident in the story of the Samaritan woman. (John 4) Christ loved this woman enough to expose her sin problem, yet He offered Living Water and a way to eternal life in Him. This exemplifies all the standers who cling to the hope they have in Christ. 

Then there are the testimonies of restoration. These stories were not so much about a restoration of a marriage then they were a restoration of a lost soul. The couples of restored marriages share one thing in common. They will acknowledge that it was faith in God in restoring the marriage than it was believing they could do anything of their own accord.  The standing spouse remained in the covenant allowing the Lord to chastise and discipline the wayward spouse. These standing spouses did not believe that God’s word provides loopholes to divorce and remarry, these spouses believed that God can do the impossible for those who remain obedient in faith.

God requires that we believe in Him by faith. If we enter into marriage without ever believing that God is very much a part of the covenant, then we really do not understand marriage. Since marriage is God’s design, it imperative every individual understands the purpose of marriage. Marriage is a representation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the world will not believe this, then it is with urgency that the church must represent marriage as one man and one woman for life. There is no question that marriage was fully represented by the individuals and couples of this marriage retreat. They will tell you that it is not easy at times, but the faith they have in Christ keeps them centered on Him. This is applicable to both the restored couples and the single standers who wait in the Lord. 

I pray that the church would see the desperate need for speaking the truth on the permanence of marriage. The lives of many hang in the balance. Marriage is very much a matter of salvation and the deception is for those who believe that divorce and remarriage is an option. The key is to remain in faith with a God who will never leave of forsake you. Let God fight the battles that need to be fought. God hates divorce and calls all remarriages adultery. We must believe that those who remain in sin will not inherit the kingdom. (1 Cor 6:9,10) At the same time, we must believe that God will not despise those who repent of sin and live by faith in the glory of Christ. (1 Cor 6:11) 
In conclusion, I would like to extend a thank you to all those who made it to the retreat. Thank you so much for your testimony of God’s provision in your life. Thank you for being salt and light in standing for the truth of marriage. Thank you for the fellowship, compassion and love. Thank you for the great food, the warm bed, and gracious hospitality. Thank you for your faith in Christ. Thank you for worshiping in spirit and truth. And thank you for being living examples of the restoration of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless each and every one of you as you remain in Him. 

1 Cor 6:9-11 now ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

In Christ's love,


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