Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)
TITLE: The Covenant Keeper
By Crista Darr
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The key turns in the lock. He sneaks into the house and creeps across the room as if he can somehow be hidden. I smell the cigarette smoke that lingers on his clothing. He refuses to look me in the eye and I know he has cheated again. Flickers of insanity dart from his black eyes as he disconnects the VCR for more drug money.
My hand clenches into a fist. I grit my teeth, resisting the urge to hit him, choking back the screams of condemnation rising in my throat.
As if reading my mind, he turns to look at me, daring me to say something. My mouth is unusually silent. This battle is not mine.
I wonder what Jesus wants me to do.
“I forgive you,” I say, but I don’t really mean it.
He ignores me, and walks back out the door. The truck roars to life again. I hope he never returns.
I fall on my face before the Lord. The unbearable heartache makes me long for death. My husband has broken covenant, and I want out. No matter how vehemently I plead for an escape from this marriage, the message is always clear, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31-NASB).
I search the Scriptures for guidance. 1 Peter 3:1-2 becomes my daily sustenance, “Wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” (NASB)
How can I submit and be respectful to a husband in the grips of evil? How can I love a man that I only want to hate? I can do it by faith.
I struggle with my own sin. Self-righteousness rises up in me like a monster. Its talons of control and manipulation threaten to strangle my husband as I try to be his preacher, teacher, and Holy Spirit.
Months turn into years, and the battle rages on. My husband returns from another adulterous drug binge. His filthy clothes hang from his emaciated body. A blank stare looks out from glazed eyes, sunken into the black recesses of his skeletal face. He appears as a dead man, far gone and stinking. I remember Lazarus.
God gives me a vision, allowing me to glimpse deep into the soul of my husband. Beyond the demons staring back at me, I see a little boy with tears streaming down his face, whimpering like a hurting child.
Unconditional love and forgiveness pour out of my heart. I know these feelings are not my own. It is the power of Christ working in me. As the scene unfolds, I feel like only a spectator, watching the astounding transformation within me as if from a distance.
I embrace my husband. I look into his eyes and forgive him with all my heart. The hurting boy emerges; he breaks down in uncontrollable, shaking sobs.
Still, the madness continues. My breaking is not finished. My husband takes advantage of my willingness to submit, knowing that he can practice any kind of treachery, including adultery, and I will still be here, a doormat to wipe the filth of harlots on.
The pain is unbearable. The promise that a quiet, submissive spirit will win my husband seems a fleeting fairytale. My impulse is to jump out of this fiery furnace. God holds me with His gentle words, “Do you trust Me?”
Arising from prayer, I am filled with strength that is not my own. I cling to the hope within me. With God, all things are possible.
After years of infidelity and drug abuse, God remembers His promise. Then, as gradual and sure as the sunrise, light dawns in the heart of my husband.
Every day brings new joy as I live in victory with my godly husband, the dead man made alive and washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ – the covenant keeper.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21-NASB)
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