Posted by: ritagone | November 17, 2010

The Destruction of Marriage

When Satan looked down on the earth eons ago and schemed how to create major upheavals among mankind, he made a wise decision as far as those evil plans go: he planned to destroy both marriage and parenthood.  When you can obliterate a marriage, you damage the very fabric of society, and along with that, you damage the picture of God’s love for the individual, as represented in Scripture between a bride and bridegroom.  If we are the bride of Christ, then that marriage illustration if destroyed is no longer something people can look at to see their way toward a relationship with God.

And if God is our Father, what better way to nullify that image than to take fatherhood – and motherhood – and throw such aspersions on it that to be called “father” or “mother” is not only impossible but repulsive?

And so the Devil has delighted to destroy both marriage and parenthood, as I said.  Go back to the beginning, to the very first relationships in the Bible, and you will see parent-child situations that became corroded, you will find marriages that displayed tensions and divisions and such animosities that they couldn’t exist under one roof.  And you will see Satan smiling with glee that his plan has been carried out with success.

Our recent trip to Russia was filled with sad examples of this: children in orphanages not only because their parents were deceased but because those parents were alcoholics or otherwise unable to care for their kids, so they  grew up to become young adults who have never known a secure family life.  And divorce is rampant there, even more so than here in the U.S.  Everywhere you look in Russia are the signs of the destruction of both marriage and the ability to parent children well.  In fact, almost everyone we talked to came from divorced parents.  It was, indeed, staggering.

American poet Robert Frost famously said, “A family is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”  Well, that’s not always the case, apparently.  Last week in my Rita’s Ramblings I wrote about Alexei, a young man in Ryazan who was rejected by his birth parents not once but twice: at birth, when they gave him up for adoption, and then when, as a young man newly come to Christ, he searched for his parents in an attempt to let them know that he had forgiven them for abandoning him, wanting them to know that he was fine, that he just wanted to thank them for giving him life.  Instead, his sweet and naïve desire to connect with his birth parents was met with rejection yet again.  They didn’t take him in as Frost promised they would; instead, they walked away from him a second time.  Apparently they didn’t know what Robert Frost thought everyone knew as instinct.  They didn’t get that message.  Stop for a second and think about this kind of rejection!  Put yourself in this young man’s place.  I can’t.  My heart almost breaks with the thought of it.  I absolutely cannot go there.

In the face of this kind of hurt, in the face of this destruction of marriage and parenthood, can you picture Jesus walking amongst these people, touching them, putting His loving arms around them, healing them, comforting them, telling them that He loves them, that He knows their pain and that He will be their Father, their mother, their friend?  And so who will tell them about Jesus if not us, if not you and me and the church planters and missionaries and Jesus followers who have already learned who Jesus is, who have already discovered the healing of His touch and the comfort of His love?  And that’s why we are sent, that’s why CA is doing what it is doing.

And here’s a segue for you:

I’m reading a book about non-profit boards.  Yes, I know it sounds boring, but surprisingly, it is not.  It asks some hard questions about boards and board membership, and one of the most profound was this one: “If the organization ceased to exist, would it be missed?”  And as I thought about this question in regards to Christian Associates and all that I have seen recently, especially in Russia, I have to say the answer is a resounding, “YES!”  And I believe this is true for our organization in all of Europe, East and West, in South America, and in North America.  There would be a huge hole, a horrible gap, and some of these hurting people who have been damaged by divorce and lack of good parenting would still then be damaged and left to flounder if it weren’t for the people under CA’s umbrella who come alongside and minister in the name of Jesus.

Wherever there is hurt, wherever Satan has tried to gain a foothold (and isn’t that almost everywhere?), let there be people also who bring Jesus into the mix, who walk with Him and know what it is to be healed by His gentleness and His grace, so that they can communicate Jesus to others who have been damaged by divorce and lack of parenting.  Whatever Satan is bent on destroying, one by one, marriage by marriage, each and every parent-child relationship, Jesus is coming alongside wanting to touch and cure and soothe.

He provides the family that does take people in.  Christian Associates is also providing a small but significant part of that family to those who are needing it.

 

Enjoy the rest of the week.  Enjoy being in Jesus’ family.

 

Regards,  Rita

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