Archive for January, 2010

Blast from the past

Posted: January 30, 2010 in Commentary, For brothers

It so happens that when my ex wife left for another person I was advised by a Christian attorney (who was also a lay marriage advisor in his fellowship) to get a separation agreement early in the process. I did in fact press my “ex” in this; and got a little flak from a few people — not a lot, a little — for this. One of those flak-givers was a pastor’s spouse, a real comforter of Job she was. The “fact” of my having a separation agreement on hand was thought to be evidence, I suppose, for not being whole-hearted about reconciliation. In the State of my residence, as it further so happens, separation agreements are seen by the courts as pretty much legally binding contracts; whereas pre-nuptial contracts have a lot of “give” in them by the time the lawyers get to squabbling; and in the various States there are horror stories of Family Law judges pretty much discarding the language in these documents. It so happened that my ex was of the mindset at that time that things would work out with the new guy, so the terms were fair.

I have previously written here about reforms that are needed in Family Law; my point today is this: If you have found your way to this posting by way of a search engine, and are in a situation similar to what mine was, do not hesitate at all to push for your legal standing and rights to be protected.

In my case, after my ex’s affair eventually crashed to earth, she was blistering in anger towards me; believing, as she put it, that she “could have had everything.” She was not correct completely about this; I doubt it would be as clean-cut. But things were clean cut in my case because I had, prompted by the Holy Spirit and the advice of an attorney, moved to protect myself.

I write this post simply to authenticate for you and acknowledge for you that you need protection and are not sinning by seeking it. Don’t be an ass about this. But don’t be road pizza either.

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You will not succeed by “coasting” in your life with God on the strength and understandings of days past. Like the Israelites of days past, who required a daily provision of manna, you require a “daily” provision of manna.

In terms of relations with a woman, should you be blessed by God to have one, you must daily have wisdom (especially in the face of a secular culture hostile to Godly unions) as to how to nurture and protect it. Relying on inertia or past success is the path to failure. I speak from bitter experience: Keep moving upstream.

I link here to an essay by Elusive Wapiti about his experiences of late, having to do with discovering what is going on in the mind of his “ex.” I’ve posted it here because I want to add his perspective to your understanding if you are considering a relationship with a priorly married woman. I do not say that one should not consider such a thing; rather I suggest that you be wise and discerning if you do. This article might help you towards such a place.

This powerful piece by Paul Coughlin is truly something to meditate upon, particularly if you are a pastor or church leader who looks anything at all like the individuals described in it.

Nearly prophetic in its power.

This most excellent essay is a good public response to Pat Robertson’s widely publicized comments about the disaster in Haiti.

An excerpt:

Psychologists see control as a response to a perceived threat. Picture an adult with an inner twelve-year old saying “I’ll hurt you before you hurt me. I’m tough. I say tough things. Don’t mess with me again.” In religion, these leaders often project their way of seeing the world onto God. Please forgive me for painting Robertson with a sweeping brush.

And yet another one:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..”

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Edit on 1/19: Here is a good piece by an editorialist for FOX news.

Reading the comment thread on this piece by Anakin (a piece which is worth your time to read) I got inspired by something someone said to come up with this relationship tidbit:

When you go to church with her, take the lead in deciding where to sit to see if she is willing to follow your lead in this.

I link here to this interview with Paul Coughlin published on the Growthtrac website, by Jim and Sheri Mueller.

There are also a few essays on this site about dating and relationships; conventional Evangelical thinking worth refreshing your understanding and contemplation of. This one of note has this gem: “If we believe that we need a human spouse to be satisfied, then people, rather than God, will dictate our lives.”