If for some reason or another you find yourself no longer among the "happily married" in Christendom, then give thanks. Yes, that's scriptural. Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18?, ..."Give thanks in all things for this is God's will concerning you who are in Christ Jesus."
Giving thanks to God for being divorced allowed me to begin a great journey of Kingdom discovery. Maybe you, as did I, discover divorced Christians are often "shocked and dismayed," by the prejudice they encounter within the fellowship of believers. Some fortunate ones may get by without getting the looks, comments, and opinions of those who refuse to recognize divorce as an option recognized by both the testaments of the Bible. Still, they probably, in some format or another encounter the usual phrases about divorce.
Unfortunately, confusion over the covenant of marriage still abounds within the Christian community. And, remains a highly divisive subject. Therefore, many, (probably most) divorced people stay away from church. I did for a while until recognizing the pathway I was following led in a direction I did not want to go.
Before divorce the much taught story about the woman at the well, when being used as an example, brought my keenly trained female ear to alert to hear the same old garbage and fortunately, also, brought up a wall as high as heaven because it had about it the chill of prejudice and biblical abuse. Still, I wasn't divorced so could disregard the slanting sermon.
After divorce, whenever it was again being used as an object lesson passage, it still brought the same sense of it being used to keep women in subjection to male dominance. But with a vastly different message. The message was always negative even though positively set. Biblical submission is very valued in most the minds of most Christians even though they may give voice to it otherwise.
The non-spoken passive-agressive message always was, "the woman was a gentile, a Jewish outcast, and Jesus had mercy on her." Factual to be sure, but I always braced myself for knowing I was going to have to sit through another life lesson taught not about Christ but really all about how to control females through biblical abuse. This week, I encountered the lesson again being taught only this time it was from a totally different perspective. The perspective was a cultural one and did not set the woman and her choices as the object lesson of the story. The lesson focused on the culture and the messenger.
No mistaking this focus; the lesson was about living water, its' source, and its' eternal value not about the evils of women refusing to live under the control of men.
I listened with the rapt attention only real hunger for The Word can produce because finally the truth of God was being approached. That is until the very last statement when the speaker added quietly, "She was maybe not a very nice woman." The story is often set with the concept the woman drew water at a time when she would have had the least of interactions with other women drawing water. The speaker had to throw a rock, even if it was just one (yes, it was a male teaching).
Gentile culture was very different from Jewish culture. It was pagan and pagans do what they want without consideration of God's laws. Biblical expositors have taken the content and added context because Jesus spoke to her about her choices. Give me more than supposition and I'll reconsider the previous slants. The fact is, Jesus, the author of all purpose in life, stepped outside the barriers of Jewish culture to make a request from a gentile so he could offer her Living Water. He chose her. Let that be a lesson to us all.
Never thirsting again for truth in life is the most astounding gift anyone could ever be given. Even through divorce, Living Water never leaves. And Jesus is living water in the life of the believer.
Christ gave his life. Did you hear? Christ gave his very life so all people could speak truth and fact to one another. May God have mercy on those who prevent truth and fact by but also continue to tell us of himself in honor of His Holy Name.
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