Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Lonely Trek to the Narrow Gate - Part Three - Quest for Peace

"Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding:"
--Proverbs 3:5 (ASV)

There is one abiding principle I have to believe all Christians adhere to, regardless of their particular flavor. The Bible is clear in its examples that baptism only takes place after instruction (ref Acts 2:37-41Acts 8:12, Acts 8:34-36, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 16:32-34, Acts 18:8Acts 19:1-6, etc.). We supposedly enter into God's service with full knowledge of what that baptism commits us to, and in theory, I guess, we all know it can be hard. Then, somehow, someday, some of us get slammed in the face with a spouse who denies us the intimacy we have been promised, by no less than God's Word in the Bible, is a guaranteed part of the marriage covenant--and just how hard God's way can be lands on us like a trainload of  bricks.

Whether we "saved ourselves" for marriage or not, it still comes as a rude shock. Had we been able to predict this outcome in our worst, darkest nightmares, we most assuredly, for certain, guaranteed would not have in any unlikely conceivable fashion in the most insane of senseless, drunken or drugged moments have even possibly imagined the slightest, thinnest, remotest unfathomable possibility of contemplating to think of maybe potentially agreeing to commit ourselves to a life sentence of heartbreaking, lonely, frustrated denial to be intimate with the only entity in all of God's entire vast creation we are allowed to be intimate with. Which now seems is exactly what we did when we took our marriage vows.

We find ourselves confused, desperate and humiliated. We're too embarrassed at first to say anything to anyone about this thoroughly intimate problem, worried about what others might think of us. When we finally try to approach the subject with our spouse, we see mixed results, from those instantly cured to, well, reading blogs about what to do because all else seems to have failed.

So now what?

Well, as I mentioned in Part Two, the key to overcoming this situation is Peace. I am saying overcome because I cannot say in advance what the end result will be; but if you are at Peace, any outcome will be at least bearable, which is probably much better that what you have now. Peace is fruitage of the spirit. It usually comes along with other fringe benefits:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law."--Galatians 5:22-23 (ASV)
“How blessed are those who make peace, because it is they who will be called God’s children!"--Matthew 5:9 (ISV)
Sounds divine, no? Peace lets you accept Jehovah's will in the matter without resentment, without regret, without hate or anger towards your spouse. Peace lets you place other feelings into perspective, to take comfort from your ordeal, and allow you the opportunity to try and improve your situation God's way.
"Make sure that no one pays back evil for evil. Instead, always pursue what is good for each other and for everyone else."--1 Thessalonians 5:15 (ISV)
"But know that Jehovah hath set apart the pious [man] for himself: Jehovah will hear when I call unto him.
Be moved with anger, and sin not; meditate in your own hearts upon your bed, and be still. Selah.Offer sacrifices of righteousness, and confide in Jehovah."--Psalm 4:3-5 (DARBY)
"Don’t pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give blessing in return. You were called to do this so that you might inherit a blessing. For
those who want to love life and see good days should keep their tongue from evil speaking and their lips from speaking lies.
They should shun evil and do good; seek peace and chase after it.
The Lord’s eyes are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord cannot tolerate those who do evil.Who will harm you if you are zealous for good? But happy are you, even if you suffer because of righteousness! Don’t be terrified or upset by them. Instead, regard Christ as holy in your hearts. Whenever anyone asks you to speak of your hope, be ready to defend it. Yet do this with respectful humility, maintaining a good conscience. Act in this way so that those who malign your good lifestyle in Christ may be ashamed when they slander you. It is better to suffer for doing good (if this could possibly be God’s will) than for doing evil." --1 Peter 3:9-17 (CEB)
How can I cultivate Peace?

Since it is fruitage of the spirit, how about praying? Jehovah wants your marriage to succeed, so don't feel bashful about asking Him for help. Humble yourself before Him and follow His ways.
"In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:6-7 (ASV)
"Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and *he* will sustain thee: he will never suffer the righteous to be moved."--Psalm 55:22 (DARBY)
"Great peace have they that love thy law; And they have no occasion of stumbling."--Psalm 119:165 (ASV)
"Jehovah is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, And saveth such as are of a contrite spirit."--Psalm 34:18 (ASV)
"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Jehovah.
Lord, hear my voice: Let thine ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.
If thou, Jehovah, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with thee, That thou mayest be feared."--Psalm 130:1-4 (ASV)
Keep up reading the Scriptures daily. Meditate on what you read and consider how you could apply what you read to your situation and let God's Peace come over you. Keep praying for Peace and do not forget Jesus' comforting words:
"I’m leaving you at peace. I’m giving you my own peace. I’m not giving it to you as the world gives. So don’t let your hearts be troubled, and don’t be afraid."--John 14:27 (ISV)
Next part, I will share what I have done to get me this far. May Jehovah grant you His Peace.

My prayers to you.

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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