Proverbs 31:12 has been one of my love life verses in the Bible. It reminds me to do good things for my future husband all the days of my life, which means every God given day. For this reason, I surrendered the pen of writing my love story to God for I know that He knows what is best for me. I will stay faithful to my future partner and promised not to flirt with anyone. I will wait until He says it is the right time and he is the right guy. But what if Mr. Right got tired of waiting and married someone else instead? Or what if Mr. Right is not really Mr. Right at all? What if while I am patiently waiting for him, he is busy cheating with other women?
The statistics regarding annulment and divorce is very alarming. The numbers show that there is a small difference of divorce rates between Christians and non-Christians. Thus, we cannot blame the world if they call us hypocrites, a not so good reason that the enemy can use to stop unbelievers from turning to Jesus.(Note: “Christian” category included people who profess a belief system but do not live a committed lifestyle.)
I hate cheaters. I resent homewreckers. I come from a family who gives so much importance to having one. I feel so much loved that is why I do not know where this anger towards adulterers is coming from. Maybe because I empathize with the victims of it. How can these cheaters bear to sacrifice their family’s happiness in exchange of pleasure? And perhaps because I am so afraid of becoming a victim of it.
Please understand if I honestly admit that I went on berserk mode when I accidentally read in a comment in YouTube that Israel Houghton and his wife were already divorced! (If you are a fan, I am sorry but some of my comments might hurt your feelings). It was last Wednesday when I was listening to a clip of Revealing Jesus which had lead me to finding out about the separation. At first, I was in denial. Israel Houghton was one of my favorite singers. I loved the way he sings. So I researched more about it and yeah, it was true. It was stated in some articles that he admitted he failed and sinned in his marriage. What I just don’t understand are the other write-ups linking him to Adrienne Bailon. He said he was in the process of restoration that’s why he was temporarily on leave from being a worship leader in Lakewood Church. Did that process lead him to dating the woman just few weeks after their divorce? Like seriously? Why, He moved on like a lightning!
I really am sad and disappointed. I was so affected that I think his now ex-wife had forgiven him already more than I had. To think that she is the one who was enduring! As a woman, is it normal for me to ask that he shall live with the consequence of what he did? Twenty years of marriage and it ended just like that. How terrible!
Here is the thing, after few days of sulking, here are some things I had realized from Israel Houghton’s story and the like.
- People will always see the bad
Yes I am one of those who erased the good I’ve seen in Israel and judged him the moment I found out about his issue. That is a normal nature of man which should be eradicated and I am including myself here. We all are sinners and none of us is righteous. That is the reason why Jesus came, right? He commanded us to love our enemies, forgive those who sinned against us. When a brother is drowning, we have to help him up so he will not sink in the deep. It is normal to feel resentment or frustration but it is how we do with our reactions that will make it wrong. For instance, bashing. Karma is digital in today’s generation and Israel and Adrienne had already taste a glimpse of it. I know you, we, are angry but God doesn’t want us to resort to such dirty tactics. Let God do His thing. In time, the anger towards these people will soon fade away.
- Learn from other people’s experiences.
We do not need to experience something to learn from it. Wise people acquire a lesson from the experience of others. From Israel’s story, we could grasp how important it is to resist temptation. James 1:7, Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. From the very moment you feel that the devil is luring you, stop him! Do not let him to penetrate deeper. He only does if we allow him to. For instance, being alone with an office mate of the opposite sex who is not your wife inside a car may seem not harmful however, it may lead to a deeper and sinful relationship if we allow attraction to take over. There should be no next time. Once is enough. You are a Christian, you have the wisdom to know the good and the bad because the Holy Spirit guides you.
Be faithful. One night stand can break your family and not only that, you will be hated by many. It is hard to maintain marriage however, it is harder to lose everything. Think of the consequences first before you do a thing. You will never know what could happen after a simple exchange of text messages without your spouse’s knowledge. Set a physical, emotional and sexual perimeter and do not violate it because it may lead to the destruction of marriage.
- Man is not perfect
Maybe the reason why we see the flaws in our church leaders and other people we look up to is because God wants us to focus on Him and not on His creation. When I read about Israel’s divorce, I was thinking, “Never will I sing his songs! How come he sang Jesus at the center when He destroyed his marriage? Doesn’t he realize that God wants marriage to last forever?” Because of my disappointment, my anger was displaced to the song. And what hath the song has to with Israel’s actions and decisions?
Sometimes we adore our religious leaders too much that we forget to think who the song or the preaching is for and what it is all about. Instead of focusing on God, we admire how beautiful the voice of the singer/pastor is, how good the guitarist or drummers are. It should be all about Jesus. Remember, He is a jealous God.
- The need to pray for our religious leaders
It is a biblical command to pray for those in authority not just our political leaders but also our leaders in the church. Our religious leaders need prayers too. They are humans just like us who make mistakes. They are not immune to all kinds of temptations and trials. Search the World Wide Web and you will be surprised to know that some pastors also went through what Israel and the other divorced Christians are facing right now. It is scandalous, yes, however, we can help our leaders not to walk the same track by simply praying for them. Whatchristianswanttoknow.com enumerated the top 6 prayers for pastors or leaders which include:
- Prayer for faithfulness (God, church, wife, family, commitment)
- Prayer for Quiet time to Study the Word
- Prayer for Rest and Good Health
- Prayer for Provision
- Prayer for Wisdom and Direction
- Prayer for Fellowship and Good Godly Friends
- Whatever path this may lead, God is still in control
Let us all leave it to God. Whether ex-couples will be back in each other’s arms or find love separately, God knows best. Though we may want Israel and Meleasa to reconcile, Israel had clearly stated in his post that it is not what he wants anymore. I am not sure though if that is what God wants. What I am certain is that He is the author of life and He makes amazing stories from His children’s weaknesses. The best thing we could do is to pray for those people that they may follow the track that God had prepared for them. Let us pray for wisdom and direction. God will guide our steps if we are just willing to submit.
It is so easy for us to judge other people even without knowing the story behind. And even though our fellow Christian had sinned and brought scandal to the church for instance, to condemn him is still not the correct thing to do. Forgiving someone is a choice. One won’t always feel like it but if we exert extra effort, there is a great fulfilment. Who in the world had never sinned? Not even one. That is why Jesus came. He had paid the price through His death and resurrection.
- There are still men who are faithful and value marriage
With all these cheating headlines in the newsfeed, our belief of happily ever after may somewhat be compromised. As a single woman, you might prefer to stay in solitude all your life and spare your heart from being broken to pieces. But hey! Do not lose hope. If God meant marriage for you, the right man will come along. He will be all eyes on you and you will be his world. Faithful men still exist although they are already extinct. These are the men who make God first and last in everything, who embraces imperfections and focuses on positive qualities instead of defects, who keep communication lines open at all times, who respond with love and respect and who loves to pray! Take a leap of faith honey!Do not be clouded by these cheating issues. Trust God!He knows the desire of your heart and He can and will give it to you at the right time.