Have you ever looked at the faces of people in Walmart on a weekday evening? I have. I can’t stop noticing them lately. There are so many men, walking listlessly behind their families, clearly in misery. Their look says, “I would rather be anywhere but here”. It takes a lot of self-control on my part not to get in their face. I want to grab them by the shoulders and say, “Cherish this, you fool! Cherish every moment you can love and serve your spouse and family!” Since I do not want to be hauled out of the store by Southern Regional, I contain myself and pray for them, trying desperately not to cry.
My colleagues are small-talkers. They make clever quips because they perhaps feel the need to provide something more than, “hello”. They see me in the morning and make off hand comments. “Are we out of here yet?” “Only eight more hours…” “Are we having fun yet?” I don’t think they even think about what they’re saying. I want to say, “You know I love what I do. Further, God has called me here to do it to his glory. Don’t wish your life away. It could all fall to pieces tomorrow.”
I began doing Martial Arts a few years ago for health, fitness, and, believe it or not, its calming effect. One of the concepts reinforced constantly at my dojo is “situational awareness“. How perceptive are you of dangers in your surroundings? How do you react to said dangers appropriately? What is the best way to diffuse a potentially harmful situation?
As Christ followers we are called to have situational awareness. We are called to see dangers (posed to ourselves and others) and to know how to deal with them. The more we’re in the Word and in prayer the more spiritual and situational awareness we have, and the more we understand how to face them.
I spent most of 2014 in a spiritual coma. I was not practicing awareness. I was practicing distraction. It was not until mid-March that I even began sensing danger in my life and feeling the need to work on my relationship with Christ. On the second of April, my beautiful wife of 10 years told me, “I don’t love you any more.” Wow. I had been so distracted that I did not see that coming at all.
I was not aware of my situation. Things seemed fine. My wife and I were even sharing physical intimacy. We were not, however enjoying the little things in life together as we once had. Also, while we were praying together each night, it had become a trite list of requests. We were doing nothing to grow together spiritually. My wife had even expressed dissatisfaction with our church and her lack of connectedness there.
Now that she is in the arms of another, I do not miss the deeply passionate moments that I had been preoccupied with one bit. I miss working together in our yard (something I rarely enjoyed). I miss taking walks together (something I took for granted at best). I miss hearing about her day. I miss the way we parented together. I miss serving her in every little way. I miss going shopping together, even to Walmart.
Where I am & where I am heading…
My wife is with another and her heart is fully hardened. I have decided to stay. I have decide to stand in the gap for my wife and our marriage. I will not sign divorce papers. Our home will remain open to my wife. This will be very difficult for me. This is a full-on spiritual war. I know that:
- My wife has filed for divorce.
- She wants me to sign quickly so she can “move on with her life”.
- She is moving from part time to full time with the job where her affair is taking place.
- She is threatening and pressuring me to move forward “for the sake of the kids”.
- She is acting like a completely different person (cold, dark, & distant).
- This is going to cost me a lot and cause pain and suffering.
I also know that:
- If God is for us, who can be against us?
- God hates divorce.
- I am called to love sacrificially.
- We have been given the power to demolish strongholds.
- I have not been called by any stretch of the imagination to avoid suffering.
I am praying like I’ve never prayed before and not just for my marriage. I’m asking Him to use this fire to refine me. I am not beyond reproach. I am praying for others in my same situation, for healing and restoration for their homes. I have rediscovered my spiritual sword. Knowing Kenjutsu has done precious little for my real life. So many people have been throwing scriptures at me, out of context, as a license to “move on” and “escape the pain” with a quick divorce. I have had to get back into the word to know what God says. I am currently in James 1:5-8, seeking wisdom; Mark 4:33-41, seeking to trust my savior in this storm; and 1 John 5:14-18, interceding for my wife.
I have also been listening to podcasts by Charlyne Steinkamp. They are Biblical and profound, and they avoid crossing into the realm of “name it and claim it charismatic Bible-sorcery”. The Bible is filled with God’s promises, but it is not a book of incantations.
If anyone is lead to share any other verses at this time, I’ll take them. Prayers and comments are welcome.