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Archive for April, 2015

A few years ago, I learned that a once-dear friend of mine had abandoned his wife and children.  This is a man I looked up to, a man whose counsel I valued, and a trusted friend.  He is a brilliant man of great intellect and incredible talent.  However, after decades of marriage to a wonderful lady, he abandoned her.  He abandoned the lady who had risked her life multiple times to give him children.  He discarded the lady who continues to raise and care for his children alone.  He forsook the precious daughter of God who had given him her virginity, a precious gift she can give to no other man.  He tossed aside the lady whom he had covenanted for all eternity to care for and cherish and be one with.

He abandoned her, because he met and fell in love with another woman.  He abandoned her and broke his eternal covenant, he said, because he had met his soulmate.

I know that no marriage is without its difficulties, no marriage is perfect, no woman is perfect—although my wife is darn close—just as no man is perfect.  I also know that marriage takes work.  I also know that soulmates are forged, not met.

When I think of my friend, I feel sorrow and pity.  After all those years together, after all the struggles, the heartaches, the sacrifices, the love, the joy, and the triumphs, he met the new love of his life and threw away his first true love.  And he voluntarily gave all that up for what?  Another woman who left her husband and abandoned her family to be with him.  So two marriages and two families were destroyed.

I wonder, if when he realized he was attracted to this other married woman, if when he realized he had romantic feelings for her, why he didn’t turn as Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife, and run away?  Get counseling, rebuild your relationship with your wife, court her again like you did when you were first dating, rebuild your romance with her, get on your knees and pray for help, get on your knees with your wife and pray with her.  But flee a potential relationship that could destroy, not just one, but two marriages, two families, and all the innocent children involved.

I know I have not walked a mile in this man’s shoes, but I must admit that when I think of my friend’s ACTIONS, I feel only contempt.  I can find nothing admirable in what he did.  I believe most honest people would react the same way.

Now let me change one word in the above true story.  Change “woman” to “man.”  First, let me be very clear: my friend did NOT leave his wife for another man.  That was NOT the case in this story.  But imagine for a minute if it WERE the case.  Imagine if the man in the story had met another married man, and they had connected, and had left their wives and children so the two of them could be together.  If such were the case, many people would call this man courageous.  “Oh, it’s so brave of you to be yourself!”  Many would applaud him.  Many would claim that he was finally being true to himself.

So tell me, if the man in the true story, the heterosexual story, is pitiful, selfish, and despicable, how is the man in the altered story, the homosexual story, brave?  Have we fallen so far as a people that we truly call good evil and evil good?

There is nothing brave about tossing aside the bride of your youth like a pair of old sweatpants that have seen better days for the shiny new soulmate of today.  It isn’t brave; it’s merely selfish.

True courage means doing the hard thing, such as keeping the covenants you made and keeping your promises.  It means blowing on the dying embers of your first love to kindle it back to a living flame.  It means turning from Potiphar’s wife and running as fast as you can.

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When Jesus was born, choirs of angels sang to announce His birth.

But when He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, enduring the agony of the sins of all mankind—the central, most important event in all of human history—a single angel came to strengthen Him.

In the last couple of weeks, I have imagined myself as that lone angel.  I’m sure it was a great honor to be the one to comfort and strengthen the Savior at that all-important time.  The only sinless Man suffered for us all, and without Him, we would all be lost—for we have all sinned, we have all fallen short.

And as I imagined myself comforting and encouraging the Son of God in His agony, as He bled from every pore, I thought, I caused this—not all of it, certainly, but some small part of it.  I, David Belt, caused Him part of this pain.  And I continue to add to that awful burden every single day.

And I am so very grateful that He willingly paid this debt that I cannot.

So as I picture myself there with the Savior, I see myself weeping and pleading with Him.  “You can do it.  You’re the only One who can.  Don’t give up.  Please endure.  Please, please endure for me, for my wife, for my children, for all of us.  I’m so sorry.  Please forgive me for my sins, for the pain I have personally caused you.  Thank you so much.  Thank you for not giving up on me, even when everyone else—including myself—might.  Thank you for loving me.  I love you.”

Someday I hope to bathe His feet with my tears, but until that day, I daily renew my pledge to more fully, more humbly serve Him.

 

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