Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What About the Second Time Around?

Alright he/she has been married before and now has learned a few things about relationships he/she didn't know before. They have seen the so called marital bliss light and decided to give it another go. However, he/she has done this, you are convinced (if you aren't the one that did the convincing) and now you have decided to propose or you said yes. You know there is a whole plethora of things you, as a believer, have to ask and do before actually walking down that aisle - right?

First, I can't believe you think this is a made in the shade deal when the other person has done this before. What are you thinking? And if the other person has children, whether in that person's physical custody or not, its another load of drama because there is another adult with feelings and a history you have to acknowledge that he/she does really exist. Then those children, those tiny little reminders of a life before he/she knew you. A life with another person who looks like one or  two of those little reminders that occasionally glance at you (depending on the age) causing emotions and feelings that you didn't have to deal with prior to dating him/her. Those are children that you have to help raise and be an example to. Children you will have to love as if they are your own (Matthew 18:6 AMP). Children who could very well not like you and if you come in with children, they have to get along with yours. This is not a reality show or some sitcom that will be over in 30 minutes, this is real and you are making the decision to actually live it. Are you kidding me?

Now before you completely disregard this post entirely and click off vowing never to read any of this blog again, I have another question to pose that I believe no one in their right mind thinks about until years later and by then its just stupid to even venture forth. Seriously, I wondered this same question I am about to ask with another woman who married a man that had been divorced. I couldn't help but to wonder what interview process would she ask a man in his mid to late thirties that has been married - past the obvious stuff. Why won't the other person ever ask to speak to the ex-spouse? Yeah, there maybe some crap attached to the whole idea behind it, but doesn't that in of itself, tell you something? But if the intended doesn't have an issue with it, why not ask the ex what happened (Proverbs 9:9-18 AMP)? Who tells anyone their faults? Who likes to paint a bad picture of themselves?

Consider this: A young man and woman marry in their early twenties. They are supposedly in love with each other. All is wonderful right up until they had to figure out who was gong to control what. Who was going to handle the budget? Who was going to do all of the house work? Who was going to do the yard work? Who was going to work and who was going to raise the children? Was there a problem with day care and why? So forth and so on. It seemed every issue was an argument. Eventually they fell into a grove that worked for them but was no less quiet of their troubles. One day he decided that he had to do something that would cause her to leave and it wouldn't ruin his chances of remarrying. He decided to be even more argumentative then they usually were. It worked! She left with the children. And he worked on trying to find a new bride to start a new life. By this time he was in his late thirties and dating had changed in the last 10-15 years. It took him about 3-4 years after the divorce but he found her. She was a little ignorant of the Christian values and ethics but he figured he could teach what she needs to know and everything else would fall into place. Within a month into the marriage, the household sounded as if he was with his first wife. They argued over every little thing (James 1:20 AMP). He had to have control and so did she. The arguing, this time didn't stay confined to the household. She picked with him at social events and he brought up her shortcomings in mixed company. The first wife heard about the life he had. She also heard about him using her as a comparison to his current wife. All the first wife could do was thank God that she got out when she did.

Could his second wife avoided the noise if she did a little investigating of her own? Could she have sought some answers with the first wife as to why, with the Christian principles being what they are, would there ever be a divorce (Malachi 2:16 KJV)? But most of all, why do you believe it would please God for another marriage to come together when the spouse of the failed marriage has not been called to be with the Lord (passed away)? God hates divorce and yet, its been done and pursuant to be with another without understanding why the divorce came about is disastrous. Why put someone else through that? Who do you love by disregarding these questions? Why are you even dating?

Failed marriages are failures because love did not exist in them. Excuses are made afterward (if not blame on the other person). These are signs when discussing the matter that the person of the failed marriage has not changed. I came to this realization when studying the scriptures on love and having a painful self actualizing session (1 Corinthians 13 AMP). I could have enjoyed blaming my ex-husband for everything (and may still be in the process of being delivered from tiny bits of that), but the truth of the matter is, I spoke those vows, I believed what I wanted to believe, and I responded in one way when I could have followed a more peaceful path. For a long time it felt good to sing the song, I Did It My Way. But it was that study that made me see true salvation in Christ Jesus, knowing that His way is the only path to righteousness, peace, and joy (Matthew 6:32-34 AMP). Why would I compromise that?

Fine, let's see this on the practical side because people do what they do and the rose colored glasses are usually snatched off afterward. It is such a rude way to wake up and see the light - seriously! When I confronted my ex-husband trying to get some asinine proverbial closure, I mentioned the many lies he said to me of what he was going to do and had no intentions of doing them. He smirked as if those were high points in his life and said, "we were young!" I swallowed the shriek that tried to well up in my throat. I expected a sincere apology thinking that so many years have passed and he would see how wrong he was. But he didn't or wouldn't give me the satisfaction. So what did I have left but to either get revenge and deal with God later (stupid choice of words) or refer to the only guide of life that I have been using for everything else - The Bible.

While it isn't very popular with the feminist movement and for many other women, there is a reason as to why women should be submissive and obedient to their husbands. It isn't for us to be their subservient slaves but for us to look at the bigger picture. Being patient, loving, temperate... we have children to raise to do the same things. They are going to be leaders of industry but in order to do so, they will have to have respect for those in authority (followers first). What better teachers are there but their first ones they see in the home - the parents (Proverbs 22:6 KJV). The rise of crime is not because of the media, the cartoons, or the lack of good teachers. Rebellion is the lack of good parenting and lack of peace in the home (Joshua 24:15 KJV). If women have an issue with being submissive to this man she agreed to marry, then she must be clear about not being able to respect him, his choices, or other decisions she has with him. Reverencing him is not showing weakness but it strengthens the home for the children to also be reverent to him. Women must keep in mind that he got down on one knee and proposed because he realized that he needs help. He submitted first. He knows that she has what he needs to complete the vision God called him to. Now its her turn to do the same. When you do, God sees how much more you are like Him. A goal we all strive for (Romans 8:1-17 KJV).

Here is the balance, he has to show his love for Christ even before he comes into deciding to marry. If he doesn't know it, the woman should recognize Christ in him before accepting the proposal. We all learn things along the way. If the first marriage wasn't an indication of missing it  - big time, then the second time around, changes should be evident. He has to love her as Christ loved the church. Christ died for the church. He gave up His life for the church. So does it make sense for him to give her a prenuptial agreement to sign before walking down the aisle? Is it a clear indication of what he loves more, of what he will die for, of what he will give up for her? When Jesus told the rich young ruler to give away all that he had to follow Him, Jesus didn't ask him - the young ruler asked Jesus if he could come and join His team. You will see, the rich young ruler couldn't do it. Did Jesus tell him, "never mind, I see you are having a hard time letting go of all of your crap, come on anyway and join with Me"? Can you imagine how different the gospels would have been with this rich young ruler tagging along knowing that all of his possessions are safe in his home and all of his selfish ways are loaded up to come with Jesus too? If you can't see the troubles that Paul refers to coupled with this parable, you should not be dating.

There is humbling on both sides. The man has to humble himself before God in order to obtain all that God has for him. The Word tells us that even in the last days every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. If you see, there is no other choice in the scripture, you will do it. So while there is the choice, why not do it willingly? She has all of these skills that he needs in order for him to be successful, if not the skills then it is her ability to have children and raise them. She knows this and can be extremely hard nosed and arrogant about it, but this would not fair well when raising her children to be adults that no one likes because of her harsh views of all that she has and would not humble herself too. It is the meek that inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5 KJV). So how can this be done if the heart is not in it? If you cannot be submissive in your little world with one person, how then would God, who is good, give you such an inheritance that is evident you cannot be trusted with.

Ladies, I am going to conclude this post this way. Notice how you are feeling reading this blog. Is there a hint of frustration in knowing that you have to be submissive and humble to a man in order  please God? In explaining this to my four sons, I saw the pride they had in quoting a scripture to me that most men say to women to keep them quiet. Its the submissive one (Ephesians 5:22 KJV). But then I showed them the verse just above that. Like it or not, that puff pride causes in most men's chests was deflated. I am happy as you too will be (Ephesians 5:21 KJV). God is good.

Marriage is a wonderful institution. I believe God created such a practical venue for people to remain out of sin and to help build each other up in Him. One will put a thousand to flight, but two will put ten thousand..., its strength. Its a more clear indication of why God hates when the two are ripped apart in a divorce. Nevertheless, with a second marriage, there has to be a change in the individual getting married again. When asking the questions, if blame is still on the other person - ever, he/she has not changed and divorce will be in your future as well (Genesis 3:9-13 KJV). The divorced individual must see what hand he/she played in the failed union in order to be successful in the new relationship. Demands will be expected no matter who you marry. The newness and the special tingles will wear off when you see her wake up with no make up or you see him scratch in places that aren't cute. Will Love outshine those times too? Is Love at the helm?

The obvious question, that I am not going to get into right now is, how can the he/she marry when the ex-spouse is still alive? That is a question that must be handled individually. It is as you understand it for you. No matter what your decision, God has called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15 KJV).

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