Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Abusive Church

Being a social worker and a Christian counselor, I am frequently called on to do work with husbands and/or wives who are struggling with their marriage commitment. Usually in these situations, both partners are mistreating each other, neglecting each other and taking each other for granted, all part of the recipe for an unhappy marriage. There is seldom one partner who is wholly responsible for the assault on their relationship. But occasionally, the problem seems to be one-sided and while the partner does everything in their power to please their mate, the mate simply has already decided to be unhappy with the marriage and continues to look for a way out. There are few things sadder than the struggle of a one-sided marriage. When one spouse has decided it is not worth fighting for, the valiant effort to hold it together is usually as productive as trying to run with a handful of sand, without losing a grain!
I am thinking of a young woman who in my opinion, abuses her husband and his vow to love her. She expects him to spoil her, to wait on her, to be at her beck and call, which he willingly does. She berates and belittles him, which he takes. And although he gives in to anything she wants, he truly can do nothing to please her. She spends very little time with him, always choosing friends and co-workers over her spouse. She doesn't even pull her own weight around the house but rather expects him to bring home the money and do all the chores, including all the parenting. All of the duties that should be shared have over the years have become solely his. When he has had enough and draws the line, she attempts to manipulate him with false contriteness, phony excuses, petulant promises and a reminder that he loves her and has forgiven her in the past. Each time, out of his deep love for her, he forgives again and for awhile she behaves, she co-parents with him, she spends time with him, they work together on household chores, she tells him how much she loves him and seeks out ways to please him. But before long, she is back to her old spoiled and childish ways and once again, he is used and abused.
While she is not hitting him, I believe she is truly abusing him. She is abusing his trust, taking advantage of his love and preying on his mercy. It disturbs me that she behaves this way and I wonder how long her husband will be able to love and forgive her. I wonder how much abuse he can take before he has once and for all--had enough?
And then I think about us--the bride of Christ! I think about how we, the church, treat our spiritual husband. It really is a beautiful love story--even beginning with the typical fairy tale beginning, "Once upon a time". But this is no fairy tale. Scripture says that before He even created us, He saw us in His mind's eye and fell in love with us. He proposed to us not down on one knee but on the mountain called Calvary. He worked out all eternity to get us to the altar, and He gave us the Holy Spirit as the promise and guarantee that He would indeed love us forever and remain faithful and true. Of all of His creation, He loves us best! And we accepted that proposal and all that went with it when in the waters of baptism, we declared our undying love and commitment to Him.
And yet, somehow many of us have become that spoiled young woman. While our groom blesses us over and over and while He provides for us daily, we spend less and less time with Him. We fill our lives with other people and crowd our Groom right out of our lives. We beg and plead for what we want and once we have it, we ask for more. We take full advantage of all that He does for us, the messes He cleans up for us, the sustenance and strength and security He gives us. We claim His name and revel in the benefits that come with being His. When it suits us, we flaunt our relationship with Him and yet, we get so busy pleasing us that we fail to even think about pleasing Him. And when our heart is pricked, we often put on an air of shame and humility and we beg Him to forgive us, hanging our hope on the incredible love He has for us and on His history of mercy. We promise to do better and for awhile we do and then like the spoiled Israelites, we begin to seek out what pleases us and we quickly become our own god--working to spoil ourselves, all the while expecting to be spoiled by His blessings, also.
All too often, I am afraid we are an abusive Church! The Bible teaches us that His love never ends but on the day of judgement, there will be no more mercy--unforgiven sins will be accounted for. The abuse of God's Son will be avenged! All petulant pleas and tearful promises will be ignored. There will be great sadness and fear and the abusive church will be judged. However the day will be a joyful one for the Bride who has remembered her vows, who has worked to please her Husband and who has reveled in His love. For this bride, there will be nothing but joy and happiness, such a joy that has never been experienced, and for her it will be only the beginning. As the Groom takes her home to His Father, this Bride will know that from that point on, her life is the life of happily ever after!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That is a great post--I never thought about abusing Jesus and our covenant with him. You always make me think, Neva.
Thank you.
Hope your job is going well,


8:35 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Great analogy! Great post! We make the blood of Christ common when we forsake our vows to Him.


10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very unexpected turn--I read the title and thought something totally different.
Good thoughts, though. How's the job going?


6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! You are so right --we are often not a very good spiritual spouse!

Great post!

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Jarrod said...

That was worth waiting for. Hopeyou are enjoying your job and blessing lives.


2:03 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Great post sister.
Thanks for bringing this topic to light as it should be. God bless you for doing what is difficult to do.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

3:30 PM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

Wow, Neva - powerful story and a powerful illustration. You put things so clearly. Well done

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You remind me of the OT prophets with your admonitions to repent and your brilliant illustrations.
Thank you,


6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Pat, "WOW". I sincerely appreciate all the obvious thought you put into your posts. Thank you for encouraging us to live more godly lives.

Love ya

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again your post reminds me of my failings as a child of Christ. Thank you for this post Neva you have put into words a concept we need to think about and be willing to change in ourselves. It is so easy to apply these lessons to others and not to self!

1:25 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Amazing. As I was reading the first part of your post, I was thinking about the relationship between us and our savior. The truly amazing part is that He continually forgives us. We certainly don't deserve it.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to love like He does?

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

Dear Neva,
We live in such a small world. My friend lives in Japan where she and her husband are missionaries. She sent me an email telling me about an "amazing" blog she found. Imagine my surprise when she said it was dancing in the light? LOL--She was happy to find that I had been reading your posts for quite some time. Too funny! Always a shower of inspiration and encouragement. Thank you for your ministry.


8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a powerful analogy!

Thanks Neva!
Have a blessed day!


11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"like running with a handful of sand without losing a grain"
What an excellent picture of the futility of a one-sided commitment.
Great post, Neva.


2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful! Powerful!


4:19 PM  
Anonymous Jeneane said...

How do you like your job? Hope you are loving being "home". I have been praying for you. This was a very thought-provoking post. You always make me think and re-examine and think some more.


4:39 PM  
Anonymous Interested Bystander said...

Ahhh, the old Neva that leaves us thinking is back! I have really missed this kind of powerhouse blogging. There is not enough of it! Keep up the good work.


9:58 PM  
Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

Truly you have posted the truth. Thank you for sharing it, I am always saying when we deal with difficult people or disobedient children, God is just saying, "Welcome to my World!!" because he deals with it daily and still loves us. I wish I were more like him, I get frustrated when I should just pray.

thanks for visiting my blog and for your prayers and listening ear.
God bless you and yours.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a knack for putting spiritual perspectives on things. You make your readers think, you convict us and inspire us to change. This post is particulary well written. Thank you for sharing your ministry gift with us.


1:15 PM  
Anonymous Don -A/W said...

You done gud gurl :)

12:33 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I often wonder when Christ returns will he see "His Bride" the Church bursed and battered. I pray that we will strive for peace. Unity. Oneness. As He prayed in the garden.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Oh my...what a beautiful post.....so convicting!!

8:57 PM  

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