Beauty Turned Ugly

Two young friends of mine, one 28 the other 30, are suffering deeply because their parents, who have strongly professed the name of Christ their entire lives, are walking away from their marriages. In my view it is no different than Miley Cyrus, who at age 14 told Oprah that her favorite Bible verse was Ephesians 6:10 but now is living as if she never knew that verse or any other.

Wait, I changed my mind.

These four parents walking away from their marriages is different.

It’s worse actually because these four adults have claimed the truth for themselves and taught it to their children for decades.  Grown-ups should be more mature than children like Miley, more able to withstand threats and weaknesses.  So we hold them to a higher standard, and rightly so because an abundance of good instruction should make them stronger.  But the fallacy we too easily believe is these adults and too many others are therefore not susceptible to falling.

Ugliness is now reigning in these homes and millions of others because when any one of us rejects the truth and goes our own way beauty is shattered by disunity, betrayal, and rejection chosen over the lovely forms of love and faith.

I’m feeling very sad today, even though I have never even met these four parents.  My grandparents divorced when I was very young and all my life we had to split our vacations between the two remarried grandparents, so I get it.  It is a fallacy that one’s divorce affects only a few and that “they’ll get over it.”  Children are not resilient even when grown up.  The brutal consequences of divorce last for life.

So when and how did unbelief sneak in to these hearts? Only they can answer if they would be willing.  But I do know it began with little choices at first, small rejections or compromises that no one saw or knew.

I also know beauty can reign again in these lives if the ultimate rejection of unbelief is recognized, if they would say, “Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Jesus said, “He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief,” (Matthew 13:58) which I believe is a plague in our nation.  Too few are willing to risk a radical faith in a God who delights in redemption and restoration.  His specialty is the miraculous.  Most of us would say we want the miracle but He can’t work a miracle if we stubbornly refuse to let go of the toy, the cheap imitation in our hand.

Yes, I know it takes two, that some situations are too destructive, that it might take a really long time and be really painful, but I also know Jesus doesn’t lie and His word says “Nothing is impossible for God” (multiple times, by the way). So it would be nice to see more men and women believe the impossible for their marriages.  The beauty of overcomers feeds a healthy society far more than the litter of resignation.  And healthy marriages and family relationships would change our country without the need for the ways of Washington.

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