Alongside Babylon’s rivers we sat on the banks; we cried and cried, remembering the good old days in Zion. Alongside the quaking aspens we stacked our unplayed harps; That’s where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking: “Sing us a happy Zion song!” – Psalm 137:1-3, MSG
A keyless, noteless, lyriclessChanson is known only by itsAnnual wedding anniversaries –Twenty-two sequential somberReturns out of fifty minus one.August thirteen’s forty-ninthReturn reopens invisible chronicWounds then heightens their painWhile displacing summer nuptials’Joy – much like how a Blues styleSyncopation de-emphasizes strongBeats and accentuates weak beats.La-la stopped meaning ‘love you’Three decades, three months afterDelfonics earned a place on Soul’sInternational map with baby talk –A young male’s frequent utterance.Life has repositioned love’s dynamicDownbeat – relocated to an upbeatSpot known as the joke’s on me –Where misery’s stereophonic soundDrowns out all hope of loving anew.Sorrow is the song my soul hasSung each year for a score plusTwo years – after my divorce,Which unleashed a whirlwind ofEmotions that mark my life as aSad survivor of a modern tragedy.
- composed August 13, 2020
Some Pharisees came to test Him. ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ they inquired. ‘What did Moses command you?’ He replied. They answered, ‘Moses permitted a man to write his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away.’ But Jesus told them, ‘Moses wrote this commandment for you because your hearts were hard. However, from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’ ~ Mark 10:2-9, Berean Study Bible
My husband divorced me in 1998. Our divorce was final in July of that same year—just 28 days shy of our 27th Wedding Anniversary.
In 1971, we got married on August 13th. This year, on August 13th, it would have been our 45th Wedding Anniversary.
While I realize that what is done is done, which simply means that my divorce is in the past, and while I have not put my hands to the plow and looked back but have continued to reach upward and go forward, as the Holy Spirit leads me, empowers me, teaches me, and helps me to be about my Father’s Business, being divorced STILL troubles me. Without fail, every year for the last 18 years in a row, about 5 days leading up to and at least 2 or 3 days after August 13th I invariably feel a deep sense of loss.
For the record, I would rather be singing “because I’m happy,” from the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams—or doing backflips (which I never could do, even when I was way younger). What I am trying to say is that feeling anything other than this profound sorrow would be an improvement. Let me make this perfectly clear. I do continually praise and thank God for His Love and the ministry He has given to me, yet, even though I know that I am His Child and that He has my best interest at heart, the fact still remains that what God has joined together has been altered by the state of Virginia. This man-made alteration is what brings me down every year around this time.
Now, according to America’s divorce laws, I am a single woman. I have been, according to the state of Virginia, single now for 18 years—divorced on the grounds that we “had lived separate and apart without any cohabitation and without any interruption since October 15, 1996!” Well, that is a lie, because my husband moved back in with me several times before he made his last exit. However, I could not contest this false living ‘separate and apart without any cohabitation and without any interruption’ claim, because I was denied all divorce proceedings’ notifications—but that’s another story that I may blog about one day. The point here is that according to God’s marriage LAW—the One who joined us—I am still married to my husband in my spirit and soul.
Contrary to popular opinions, just because a married couple signed legal separation papers, this husband and wife’s agreement only means they have gotten into bed with their state government. In other words, signing and returning a marriage certificate (a legal state document that proves a couple is married to each other) to a county clerk of court gives that state’s man-made court system the right to issue legal separation papers that literally allow a living separate and apart couple to have an open marriage—their state has the LEGAL secular power to give every couple the okay to break God’s Commandments!
Put differently, since both civil and religious marriages involve a husband, wife, and their state, this fact means that each state—once it receives and records a marriage certificate—now has the right to issue legal separation papers, which give legally married couples the okay to commit adultery, fornication, covetousness, marital genocide (married couples are now helping their state systematically “kill” God’s Institution of Marriage), and familial genocide (married couples are now helping their state systematically “kill” God’s Institution of Family), and so on and so forth. Furthermore, because each state receives and records marriage certificates, this fact also means that when a divorce happens each state government not only has the right to issue legal divorce papers but also has the right to take control of a married couple’s marriage, home, children, material assets, financial assets, social security benefits, and retirement benefits.
The uncomfortable truth is that, as far as God and His Institution of Marriage are concerned, legal separation papers in no way speak for God. The Divine Truth is that God never issues legal separation papers—HE NEVER gives a couple He has joined together the right to move on with someone else while he or she is still legally married!
The deeper uncomfortable truth is that a marriage license, though considered to be a legal man-made document, does not give a couple the right to marry. Additionally, a marriage certificate, which also is a legal man-made document, does not mean any couple who gets legally married is married in God’s eyes. For the record, REAL MARRIAGES—the God-kind of Marriages—take place in each couple’s spirits (hearts) and souls. As such, this kind of union is supernatural, permanent, and divine—the kind of union God forbids anyone to try to pull apart or divide.
God is the One who sanctions, sanctifies, and seals every couple who has entered into His kind of spirit, soul, mind and body marriage—a totally committed marriage. This Divine Truth is why a signed and recorded marriage certificate doesn’t prove any couple who has NOT entered into a totally committed marriage is married—is joined in marriage in God’s sight. Indeed, a marriage certificate doesn’t make anyone married! Only a spiritual and faithful—a permanent and divine—commitment in each other’s spirit and soul is what makes a man and a woman a married couple.
The bottom line is that each state government only can separate and dissolve or divorce couples that each state has joined together—every state government, in God’s eyes, only can separate and dissolve or divorce couples who are not genuinely married in their spirits and souls—couples who spiritually (supernaturally) are NOT ONE as God has sanctioned, sanctified, and sealed them to be. When any state government legalizes a separation and then legalizes the dissolution of marriage (legalizes a divorce) of a couple who is married the way God intends for that couple to be married—permanently, divinely, and supernaturally in their spirits and souls—then that state government has overstepped its bounds. This last statement is uncomfortably true because from the moment we Americans gave our state governments the power to put asunder (pull apart; divide) what God has joined together we all began to play a part in our state governments’ systematic destruction of God’s Institution of Family and God’s Institution of Marriage.
I said all that to say this: Regardless of whether or not my former spouse meant to be joined to me permanently, divinely, and supernaturally by his spirit and his soul, this is exactly how God joined me to my husband. No doubt this unbreakable connection to him is why God has not allowed me to move on and be joined to someone else. As a result, every August 13th—as well as at least 5 days leading up to it and 2 or 3 days after it—I suffer from a deep sense of loss that cannot be avoided no matter how hard I try. It is what it is. I feel like I lost my soulmate, and, until God changes me, I believe I will feel this way, every year around this time, for the rest of my life on Earth.
May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, MSG
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. ~ Philippians 4:6-7, MSG
Letting go to let God Make me whole— Most annoying role For abandoned soul With bullet-like creases— Worse than disease is, Or wrecking-ball blow, Is unwanted divorce; Intensely lethal force.
Letting go to let God Meant to be simple— No puzzle, no riddle No surprise, no wrinkle In being prisoner of hope— Rippleless seamless cope Designed to be nimble; Keeping in perfect peace, Hope’s unexpired lease.
Letting go to let God Set me free totally— Makes Spirit’s lead poetry, Profoundly and soberly Unmerited Grace’s surplus— Willed after Son’s purchase, Most freely yet potently Flared welcomed spark Lit after world went dark.
And Pharisees came up to him andtested him by asking,‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’He answered,‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,’and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, andthe two shall become one flesh?So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’ They said to him,‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’ He said to them,‘Because of yourhardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” ~ Matthew 19:3-8, ESV
Repeat button on, Rewind in progress. Push Stop, then Play, stereo compatible surround sound. Increase volume; listen; precisioned mechanism.
Garbled…garroted…garbage… Clarity gone when Cleaving’s done.
Black hole swallowed portion non-retrievable. Blank spot — tape erased: No who, no when, no where, no why… No face, no trace, Just empty space.
Memory — jejune Name that tune.
~ I first posted this poem on iVillage.com on March 22, 2000
Anyone one who has been a member of a wedding party in which conventional vows are exchanged, or anyone who has been a wedding guest at a traditional marriage ceremony is no doubt familiar with the time-honored promises a man and a woman make to each other. Even though marriage is an institution ordained by God, and even though marriage should not be entered into lightly or in jest, in many cases, soon after men and women have spoken their wedding vows these promises are broken by people who would rather move on to someone else instead of staying married to their current spouse.
In this 21st century, married couples have easily and swiftly broken their promises to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, for richer or poorer, and for better or worse. As a result, especially where Christians are concerned, divorce has become widely accepted by the institutional church as a godly way to deal with marital problems.
The truth of the matter is many Christians divorce for unbiblical reasons. Here are some of the most common unbiblical reasons (or excuses) believers use to justify getting a divorce: (1) My spouse committed mental adultery; (2) My spouse is abusive; (3) Divorce is no worse than other sins; (4) Making people stay in a ‘bad’ marriage is legalistic; (5) We serve a forgiving God who will forgive me, because He knows my heart; (6) My spouse would be happier without me; (7) I don’t have peace; (8) My spouse is a leech, draining me financially; (9) My spouse is not saved; (10) My spouse is not a good Christian; (11) We are incompatible; (12) We have grown apart; (13) My mate doesn’t love me; (14) I don’t love my mate; (15) I’ve fallen out of love; (16) I love someone else; (17) God wants me to be happy; (18) I married the wrong person; and (19) I need a drama-free marriage.
Yes, there are scriptural exceptions to God’s command to stay married. They are: (1) Matthew 19:9, sexual immorality (physical adultery); and (2) 1 Corinthians 7:15, abandonment, deserted by an unbelieving spouse. Nevertheless, even with these two scriptural exceptions, God makes it clear that He hates divorce (cf. Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:11-12; 1 Corinthians 7:12-13). Furthermore, the fact that God would rather that His children work on their marriage instead of getting a divorce, for whatever reason(s), is made clear in 1 Peter 3:1-6.
Once more, the divine truth is that God hates divorce! This biblical truth should be very important to believers, especially since today’s believers and non-believers, when facing difficult or tumultuous marital circumstances, are not only too eager to dump their spouses but also too eager to feel that their divorce is justified. Believers, thus, need to know that, even though many of them will be tempted to divorce their other half for one, or several of the reasons previously mentioned, they must not rebel against God’s commands pertaining to the institution of marriage. If they do rebel, especially in this Rapture season, they very well could end up also walking away from their own salvation (that is to say, they will be divorcing God).
As the world’s false labor pains (Braxton Hick’s contractions) continue to increase in intensity and frequency (e.g., with catastrophes and hardships like the recent 2010 deadly Haitian earthquake or the 2009 global economic crises), it becomes more and more possible that many believers will be tempted to turn away from God, especially when He doesn’t answer their prayers the way they want. For this reason, married Christians, especially, must remember that not only are they wedded to an earthly spouse but also they are “betrothed,” spiritually speaking, to Jesus the Christ.
According to Jewish traditions, the bride and bridegroom are married during the betrothal period, but they do not live together or have sexual intercourse. To become “betrothed,” the bride (wife) must enter into a legally binding contract, which happens the very moment she accepts the bridegroom’s (husband’s) full marriage contract—his written marriage agreement, his cup of wine, and his bride price. The bride (wife) then waits at her parents’ home until her bridegroom (husband) finishes building the place where they are to live.
After the bridegroom (husband) returns from His father’s house, where he has been building the wedding chamber for his bride (wife), he gets his bride (who has remained faithful to him in his absence) and takes her home with him. Once there, they consummate their marriage and remain in their wedding chamber for seven days. When they leave their wedding chamber, they go to the banquet hall where they celebrate their marriage with invited wedding guests.
For sure, the fidelity vow between the Jewish bride (wife) and her bridegroom (husband) is just as important for today’s supernatural Bride of Christ as it was in the ancient Jewish culture. Indeed, in the past, if the “betrothed” woman broke her vows, like Mary the Mother of Jesus had been accused of doing, her fair punishment would be stoning! Even though believers are under Grace, the divine truth is that Jesus the Christ is ONLY coming back for those believers who are without spot or blemish—those believers whose WHOLE souls, spirits, and bodies have been fully sanctified (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23). The remaining believers, along with non-believers, will have to face the wrath of God, which is the Day of the Lord or Tribulation Period.
Since the Holy Spirit’s sanctification process is progressive, then believers cannot afford to divorce God (cannot afford to not cooperate with God’s Holy Spirit by choosing to walk away from God). Believers cannot refuse to let the Holy Spirit complete His sanctification process, because if believers choose to walk away from God (divorce God) during this Rapture season, it is quiet possible that at the very moment many of them obtain their spiritual divorce the Lord might come for His Bride.
Contrary to opinions, the Parable of the Ten Virgins does illustrate what will happen to believers if they are like the foolish five virgins who do not get raptured. It should be noted here that the English word “virgins,” as used in the King James’ version of the Holy Bible, is an English translation of the Greek word parqevnoß transliterated as “parthenos.” Since “parthenos” means marriageable maidens who have never had sexual intercourse with a man, then the ten virgins (symbolic of 5 wise plus 5 foolish Christians) collectively represent the Bride of Christ. Without a doubt, the Bridegroom (Jesus the Christ) is coming back for His Bride (wise Christians who have NO spot, wrinkle, or blemish), for the Apostle Paul says that Ephesians 5:25-31 are verses that pertain specifically to a “…great mystery,” adding that this great mystery is “…an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one” (Ephesians 5:32, NLT).
Therefore, it is that supernatural or mysterious oneness, that marriage union between Jesus the Christ and His Bride that is being symbolized in the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Those believers who are not ready to be counted as wise virgins, as believers who have been completely sanctified—glorified or changed into the image of Jesus the Christ—are like the five virgins who are left behind.
When Jesus the Christleaves five virgins behind, when He shuts the door to Heaven (cf. Matthew 25:8-10; John 14:6; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 3:16, 20), He is thereby letting these five left-behind believers face the Tribulation Period! Definitely there will not be any EXCUSES that the Lord will accept from unprepared and careless believers who have divorced themselves from God by not allowing His Holy Spirit (represented by the “oil” in the aforesaid parable) to fill them so that they will have the strength and power to endure ALL circumstances, even marital situations, until Jesus the Christ comes in the clouds to rapture them.
For these reasons, Jesus the Christ (Bridegroom) is saying to believers (Bride): “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return” (Matthew 25:13, NLT). Since Creator God is believers’ Husband, Protector, and Redeemer (cf. Isaiah 54:5), they must be watchful, prepared, holy and righteous believers who remain surrendered to His beloved Son’s Lordship, in spite of whatever sickness, poverty, marital situations, or evil act they might experience.
For sure, once believers accept Jesus the Christ’s marriage contract—God’s saving grace; the Lord’s cup of blood; and His Bride’s price, which is salvation by faith in the crucified but resurrected Jesus the Christ—believers (Bride) must stay faithful to the Lord. They must keep themselves only unto Jesus the Christ for as long as they both might live, and that is eternally.
Believers (Bride) ONLY are faithful to the Lord when they are loyal to their wedding vows. Entering into a marriage contract with the Lord without seriously counting up the cost could mean that this person, or persons, might end up in a hasty divorce that has eternal implications!