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14th of June

Shipwrecks


Some write what others want to hear.  Some write to help others feel good.  And some write words so offensive to popular culture that they are either ignored or persecuted.  Times haven’t changed because people haven’t changed.

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The prophets of old won no popularity contests.  They probably didn’t love their job assignments because what they had to say wasn’t welcomed by people who had no taste for God when it came to following His ways.

Same is true today.  We the people can say we believe in God, that we pray, that we go to church sometimes, that we do good, that we even love God—but then again, we can be content to rewrite Scripture to suit our desires and rationalize away what God clearly says because the voice of culture becomes easier and more desirable to follow than the voice of God.

So here I go on the topic of sexual immorality.  Because someone has to say it.  Someone has to say it in 2013 what God has already said, repeatedly, throughout His word, in plain black and white and red to be found easily in any back-of-the-Bible concordance search.  This may be the last blog post you choose to read because you might be spitting mad if you make it to the end.  So be it.  My heart is sick and my soul is tired of watching the ships of peoples’ lives be wrecked because we’ve swallowed the Kool-Aid of cultural acceptance.  I’m sick and tired of sifting through rotted wood, trying to salvage something, anything, from which to help people rebuild because they’ve been stranded on sandbars and battered till they’re broken apart and sunk. I’m not mad at people.  I’m mad at the lie that we can live any way we want and that it’s alright because some people suffer no negative consequences.  Really?

I heard it again from a dear friend yesterday.  Her son was hit broadside by a wave he didn’t see coming. He came home and found his house practically empty.  He shared his home with his girlfriend, their two-year old daughter, and his girlfriend’s five-year-old son of a former boyfriend.

So much for shacking up.

She’s gone.  Moved on.  Showed up last Saturday with all her family and a moving truck and cleared out the place with no notice.  Found out after three years of living with this guy that she wants something different, something more, something less, something she’s not sure but sure she’ll find somewhere else besides with him.

I know these folks.  They’re nice enough people.  Hardworking, twenty-something people with two adorable kids, they’re generous with their time in helping others, and it’s fun to watch how they dote on the little ones.  But the girlfriend mom is ready to move on because she decided she doesn’t like the guy’s parenting style.  She’s laid back.  He’s a disciplinarian.  She’s concerned that, because her son isn’t his, that he won’t treat him as fairly as their daughter as time goes by.

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I’ve heard it all before.  I’ve sat in therapy rooms and heard all this before.  Same story, different faces.  Over and over.  Broken pieces of heart and soul strewn about.

Really?  Is this the way we’re supposed to start relationships and families?  Is this the way we’re supposed to start what’s supposed to be permanent?  Do we try on people like we try on clothes, assessing  from all angles once we’ve already got it on—once we’ve already moved into bodies and souls and body and soul live together and play house and have babies and then time goes by and we decide that, no, this just doesn’t fit the way I like?  Not what I want. Return to whence it came for a full refund?

There are no full refunds for relationships ruined.  Souls are ripped and they aren’t so easily sewn back together without scars.  And hearts bleed hurt and it’s not just the two who hurt.  It’s children who had no say and parents and grandparents.  And it’s society.  Private choices have public consequences, sooner or later.  And when churches bless unions that start in the bedroom, they just bless and hope for the best?

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Statistics aren’t so hopeful.  Statistics show that those who sleep together and cohabitate before marriage have a much higher rate of divorce and it has nothing to do with religiosity.  Google it.  The stats are all over the Internet.  Could it be that God’s mandates are for ALL people, not just those who believe?  Could it be that God really does know a thing or two about the way we’re made to function best—the way we are meant to live together?

So I’m sitting here typing fast and wondering if this will be the last post some will ever read.  Too preachy?  Too judgmental?  Too stinging?  Too confrontational?  Too passé?

I’ve nearly pressed the delete button on all the above a dozen or more times in the past hour.  Why?

Because I’m as scared as the next person of being slammed or ignored.  I like to say NICE things, PRETTY things.  And there’s plenty of pretty that’s true so why not just stick to the safe?  I guess because that’s not me.  I guess because I write what I feel led to write, come what may.  So, come what may, I’m writing a countercultural piece to end this week.  I may never be popular and I may never be published but I will go to my grave having tried to be true to God and His word.  And if God is the only one who approves in the end, I guess that’s enough.  But it would be nice to have some fellowship.

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Is it not true that people CAN still love and be loving, even when they openly disagree and disapprove of choices made.  God has shown this to be true.  Always.  He loves us no matter what, even when we reject Him and His ways.  And He’s always there to help us pick up the pieces of our self-imposed shipwrecks.  He’s always there to help us rebuild and sail again.  But how much better it would be if we would just let him build the ship in the first place and allow Him to direct our ships into safe waters.

And so, I will be there for my friend and her son and his ex-girlfriend and their kids.  I will be there for all I love who experience the heart and soul ache of self-imposed shipwrecks.  I will help them rebuild.  But oh hope I hope our culture—our world—will learn and change course and avoid all this painful wreckage.  Isn’t that what a loving God hopes?  That we will ALL learn and change course and avoid all this painful wreckage?  Because it’s not just premarital sex and cohabitation that wrecks.  It’s anything that goes against God and His word.  He calls it all sin.  And He is the one who says that the wages of sin is death—spiritual, physical, relational, you name it.  Sin weakens and destroys, sooner or later.  And since we’re all less than perfect, we’re all in the same boat. Shall we remember and speak out and support one another in setting our course straight?  Shall we support each other in keeping our eyes on the Light that guides us safely?  Wouldn’t that be loving?  Wouldn’t someone loving guide ships away from sandbars submerged rocks?  That’s what happens at the most treacherous river entry in the world—where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  Boats risk turbulent waters to go out and guide ships safely to shore.  Are not people’s hearts and souls and relationships worth more than a ship?

 

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