Monday, February 2, 2009

Your Choices and God's Power

Marriage has its tensions. Each partner may at times fail or wound the other. But love will forgive. Lonnie and Jane were about to learn that as they stepped into my office for counseling. "I don't want to be married anymore," Lonnie said during our first visit," Lonnie blurted out this statement, with Jane seated nearby. I had seen Jane a year earlier and was able to lead her to the Lord. She had become a growing believer and was committed to staying in the marriage. I'd known about Lonnie's feelings through his wife; now I responded to Lonnie's statement by asking the question "Why do you want a divorce?" "because she did two things that I am angry about. She told me she planned to leave me two years ago, and she said nasty things about my children." This was Lonnie's third marriage. As we talked, I felt led to show them Scriptures about repentance, confession, and forgiveness. I could see that his wife was in distress but really didn't know what to do. I also sensed that despite Lonnie's strong words earlier, he really didn't want a third marriage to go belly-up. As we talked, his wife asked for forgiveness about the things she said that had hurt him. Immediately, Lonnie granted it. Often it doesn't happen this way; many times forgiveness is a process one must meditate on, talk through, and finally reject or accept. It is a choice each person must make-a choice that comes only through the supernatural power of Christ within. "Well, I don't really want a divorce; I want help," Lonnie finally said. "I feel like a scared little boy inside. I'm afraid other will laugh at me. I don't know to receive or give love. I need help." This admission led to Lonnie and me meeting one hour per week in a counseling/discipleship (counseling is just intense discipleship) relationship. Since that day he chose to forgive Jane, we've talked about many issues in his life, and I've shown him appropriate Scriptures. Amazingly, he can now pray with his family, and the love of Christ is healing his shattered heart. I'm specifically showing Lonnie who he is in Christ, and he is maturing as a believer. He feels a new power to love, and his wife has told me he's a new man under their old roof. In this subject of choices, you can see that Lonnie made a conscious choice in this situation. He chose to forgive. He chose to be vulnerable and ask for help. As a result, the Lord is meeting his needs in ways Lonnie never believed were possible. He recently said to me, "I have learned that marriage is a holy trio with God at the center." I have seen him move from that "scared little boy" to becoming a decisive person who wants to live for the Lord and serve Him in his work, his home, and his church. In counseling people like this, I have seen that much of our misery or blessing n life comes through our choices. Wrong choices eventually lead to dire consequences. Right choices lead to God's blessing in your life, even if that blessing brings with it other problems. Lonnie chose to let God's fruit come into his life by simply following God's principles for life. It's often as hard choice, but when thought through, when one seeks God, it's possible to turn as life around in radical ways. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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