Some of the Facebook groups that I see crack me up, but one that has been seen just about every day for the past week has been "it is better to have loved and lost than to have stayed with an idiot." Oh, it is funny on the surface, but if you really think about it, that humor is only masking the fact that we can relate - on some level - to an enormous amount of pain lurking underneath.
This year, I've either watched personally or from afar, the unraveling of marriages, relationships and friendships. It is like watching a bullfight without the shouts of "Ole!" and the sport of it all. The bottom line...is that someone is going down in the end.
There are people who are victims of someone else's stupidity, selfishness or lust, just as there are people who have finally given up on being happy in their present circumstances and are out amid the thistles looking for a greener pasture. The truth is...Satan is looking to devour families and the people who comprise those families. And as difficult as it is, you either have to choose to hold on, or you have to step out of their way. Either way, you have to follow what God has to say about it.
Pain can make people become either very vocal or very withdrawn. Those that are vocal have to ensure that they are not breaking biblical mandates no matter how they are wronged. Two wrongs don't make a right as we all know. While the whole "eye for an eye" thing is very attractive...we are basically taught to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord. We rebel against submitting to an idiot...but God brought him to us and we stood in front of Him or at least a justice of the peace and we agreed to this arrangement. So, submission even in a ridiculous circumstance is what God will honor. Even if the other party broke every promise he made and stomped on a couple of the commandments in the process.
On the other hand, husbands are supposed to love their wives as they love themselves. So, if the tables are turned, he is called to love her even if she is the one who is "out to pasture" so to speak. As long as we are doing what we are called to do - as difficult as that sometimes is - God will straighten it out in His way...in His time. Plus, leaving the vengeance in His hands is really healthier for everyone involved. Except, of course, the person who is unrepentant and started the whole mess in the first place. In that case...you might want to clear the area.
I know that this is a touchy subject, but I also know that there is not a single person who really knows what to do to help someone who is hurting - short of praying for them, helping them move, or handing them Kleenex. I mean, we want to go rip someone a new one but the truth is...we honestly don't know what is going on in someone's life...much less their heart. Even those that are closest to us.
I hope that my sweet friends that are going through difficulties of the heart right now will find peace. It is a pretty tall order considering that most of the time they find themselves shaken to the core by the ordeal. But sometimes it is just necessary to trust that eventually the clouds will lift, the sun will shine, and that there are better days ahead. The real choice that one has in these circumstances is whether to walk with God through it, or to walk alone. In our strength, we will lash out, attempt to win, and will - in the process - make life much harder than it already is. That's a painful realization...but it is what it is.
We can't change people's hearts - only God can do that. We may be the catalyst to turn someone's heart back toward Him if He chooses to use us in that way, or we might hold someone's hand through a valley. What we have to do - when our trust is already on life support - is to trust that God has allowed it and will bring comfort to get through it. Trust built on His promises and knowing that eventually we might understand how everything went awry - or not.
So, for those of you who are walking through some mighty tough times today...know that someone is praying for you. Know that someone feels your heart writhing in pain and is hurting along with you. Believe that God allows some things into our lives because His ultimate goal is to give all of us the opportunity to get to heaven. Even those that we'd really like to see headed south for the long winter. A LONG winter.
Anyway, for those of you who are going through these types of painful situations right now...know that it will get better. He is right there with you if you will just hand Him your pain and will do what He expects of you. It pains all of us who care about you to see you going through this, but hope that you also know that we have you in our thoughts and prayers. If you need us...let us know. We're rooting for you to come out stronger and closer to Him on the other side. Hang in there.