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It’s Beyond Comprehension!

When you look at the statistics on divorce in America and then think about all the pain generated from these broken relationships, it is almost beyond comprehension. There is One who can take that pain. He is in the business of healing and restoration.

 

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by Greg Brezina

 

Recently, I met the Chairman of the Clayton County Commissioners. Clayton County is part of the greater Atlanta suburbia. After talking football, our conversation turned to the state of marriage. He said that 42% of households in his county are single parent households. Immediately I grieved.

 

I tried to comprehend the pain generated from these broken family relationships and could not. Then I thought, “This is only one county in Georgia, and there are 3,141 counties in the United States.” Imagining that pain was beyond my comprehension.

 

The National Marriage Project, sponsored by Rutgers University, publishes an annual report on the health of marriage in the United States. In their “State of the Marriage Union 2005” report, they admitted that they could not comprehend the immense pain either. The report stated that “…children from non-intact families—compared to those from intact families—have two to three times the number of serious problems in life. We can only speculate about the extent of psychological damage that future generations will suffer owing to today’s family trends.” (p10)

 

This pain is nothing new. Since man’s leap into sin, every person has been a member of a dysfunctional family to some degree. No perfect family exists; however, members of fragmented families suffer more. I know this pain personally as my dad died when I was seven. I have a godly mother for whom I am thankful, but that didn’t shield me from the added problems and pains of a single parent family.

 

How can hurts from dysfunctional and fragmented families be healed and their pains relieved? We know that government and its educational system do not have the answer. Religion, man’s best efforts to gain God’s acceptance, does not have the answer either. Spending more money on the problem is not the answer. As a nation, we have spent trillions on government, education and religion, but the hurt and pain of dysfunctional family relationships continues and is increasing.

 

There is Hope!

A solution to the emotional pains from past and present dysfunctional family relationships does exist! The answer lies in knowing and believing a Person. Isaiah pointed us in the right direction when he said, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; …the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

 

What is His name? It is He who has gathered the wind in His fists and wrapped the waters in His garment. It is He who established all the ends of the earth. It is He who has justified us by forgiving our sins. It is He who has gifted us with His righteousness and everything pertaining to life and godliness. In addition to all these gifts, He has given us victory over the law of sin in our members so that we are no longer slaves to sin!

 

You know His name! He is the most affectionate, beautiful, caring, kindhearted, and loving Person in the universe. His name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. His name is Jesus.

 

Knowing, Believing, and Healing

Knowing and believing Jesus is essential to experiencing healing of past hurts and pains. John confirms this truth when he says, “And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” Jesus said, “…he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

 

By knowing and believing that God is love and passionately loves us with all His heart through Christ, all the time, we will experience loving Him with all our heart. Then we will love ourselves and our neighbor (spouse) as He commands.

 

By not only knowing but also believing God’s heart is always good towards us even when bad (evil) things have happened or are happening to us, we will experience His healing because He is causing all things to work together for our good. We will then choose to forgive those who have sinned against us and ask forgiveness of those whom we have sinned against.

 

What is the Difference?

In 2005, The Barna Group’s research showed that marriages between Christians are dissolving as fast as non-Christians. Why is there no difference in the number of Christian and non-Christian marriages divorcing?

 

The answer can be found in one of two reasons. First, the couples who claimed to be Christians were not. I John 4:29 states, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” Or secondly, the Christian husband or wife knew about God’s great love for them in Christ but did not believe it. The spouse, who doesn’t believe God loves him/her completely, will choose to walk after his/her flesh (Romans 8), not forgive and divorce.

 

It is impossible for a Christian couple who are abiding in Christ to divorce. When abiding in Christ, they know and believe how God’s love has gifted them in Christ. As they choose to live out of the Spirit who lives within them, they will never divorce because the Spirit will never argue with or divorce Himself.

 

When asked, many Christian couples in the middle of divorce will say that God loves them. Sometimes they quote John 3:16 and say “I couldn’t make it through all the suffering I’m going through with this divorce unless I knew God loved me.”

 

However, when asked to forgive their spouse and experience Christ’s healing in their marriage, they say, “No way, there has been too much water under the bridge.” From their response, it is apparent that they know and believe God’s love for salvation, but do not believe God’s love can heal them or their marriage.

 

Joseph’s Choice

In Genesis, Joseph was a member of a dysfunctional family and had every right to divorce himself from his brothers. He was unmercifully abused, mocked, ridiculed, sold into slavery, falsely accused, punished unjustly, and forgotten in prison for years. His brothers and others grossly sinned against him. Yet, Joseph forgave them. He said to them, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” Joseph’s life is a testimony of forgiveness because he believed in a correct concept of God’s love.

 

When we believe like Joseph believed that we are completely loved by God and that He is working all things together for our good, we will experience the healing Christ gifted us with when we became Christians. The apostle Peter agrees for he says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you (we) were healed.” When a Christian couple believes they have been healed in Christ, then their marriage will image Christ to their families, others and the world. What a testimony!