Jeremiah 7:21-22 ESV
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.’”
Nearly three years ago the Lord led me to write a book called, “I Married My Dad.” It is the story of my life, a life of abuse, but of healing and restoration, too. I wrote the book with my husband Rick’s approval. In fact, he wrote the forward for the book. And he knows I am writing this now, too.
I lived with my parents until I was age 22.5, and then I have been married to my husband for 48.5 years. Both my dad and my husband were/are sexual addicts. My dad never changed before he died, as far as I know. And my husband has not yet let go of his idols, and he has not yet committed himself to our marriage and to the Lord, although he claims to many times.
He can be good about helping with meals, dishes, housework, grocery shopping and other domestic chores (he is retired now 4.5 years). And most of the time he is a generally pleasant person, someone who likes to tease with people, and who people generally find amiable. He likes to do things for other people, too, and he is generally a generous person.
And the thing of it is, I still love him. I can still look back at our wedding pictures, even knowing what I know now, and still have a fondness in my heart for those memories of when I thought things were good with us. Even after all he has put me through, I still am holding out hope for him to be delivered from his addiction and for our marriage to be healed.
But right now, he is not willing to do that, although he will claim he is, but his actions speak louder than his words. He is good at performance and at doing things for me that are helpful, and I thank him, and I praise him for all that he does to be helpful and cooperative and not combative with me.
But when the Lord commands his people to love him, and when he tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, he is not looking for formalities or for only what his people are willing to sacrifice to him while they hold on to their idols and refuse to love him as he requires.
I appreciate the things my husband does for me, don’t get me wrong, but if they are being done as a cursory sacrifice in hopes that I will feel that he loves me while he refuses to be faithful to me and to love me as his wife, then that isn’t love, and God doesn’t see it as love, either.
Jeremiah 7:23 ESV
“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’”
The Lord sets the standard for what it means to love others, and for us who are Christians, the standard is that we must obey the Lord (1 Jn 2:3-6). For, if we are not obeying him, as a matter of our daily practice, then we don’t know him, and we don’t love him, and we don’t have eternal life in him.
Obviously, my husband does not have to obey me, but as one who has claimed to be a believer in Jesus for most all of his life, he is to obey the Lord. And in obeying the Lord he will leave his idols (his other lovers) behind him, he will forsake his sins and his adulteries, and he will be faithful to me and to the Lord. The Lord will be his master, and he will lead me spiritually.
But this is not about perfection. This is about repentance, obedience, and submission to the Lord as his life course, daily by the Spirit putting the deeds of the flesh to death, resisting Satan, fleeing temptation, saying “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and living a self-controlled, upright and godly life while he waits for Christ’s return (Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23).
Jeremiah 7:24-26 ESV
“But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day. Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.”
My husband will say that he tries to be good and to not do what he knows he ought not to do, and he will claim that he really wants to be free from his idolatry, his adulteries and his addiction to sin, but his words say it. He is the one trying to figure it out. But he can’t figure it out. He is still in the driver’s seat, although he claims he tries to give God control of his life.
He says he spends time with the Lord in the word and in prayer, but that the Lord is not showing him what to do, but the Lord has shown him what he needs to do hundreds of times. He is not lacking for knowledge. He is lacking in the doing category, being a doer of the word and not a hearer only.
So many people who are addicted to sin but who say they want to follow Jesus with their lives make many excuses for why they are not living in victory over sin and for why they keep holding on to their idols and for why they keep repeating the same habitual sins over again, but their excuses do not hold water. God said we are all without excuse (Romans 1:18-32).
If we do not walk in obedience to our Lord as our life course, but we walk in our own counsels repeatedly with the same results every time, then we are not doing so out of ignorance or because God just isn’t helping us. We do so with full knowledge that what we are doing is wrong and we choose willfully to disobey the Lord and to cheat on spouses and to abuse relationships.
God does not accept the same lame excuses over again for why those who claim faith in him are still walking in sin and are not living in victory over darkness in the Spirit of God. He sees such habitual, willful, and deliberate disobedience as stubbornness of evil hearts not willing to obey the Lord.
And when we profess faith in Jesus Christ, but we willfully and deliberately keep on in our sinful course or we return to our evil course after making a profession of faith in Jesus, and we go backward and not forward, he sees this as willful rebellion against him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Please understand here that I am not saying these things to put my husband down or so you will think badly of him or so you will feel sorry for me. If that were my goal, such writings as these would have been much more frequent than they have been. I care about my husband, I love him, and I want to see him be free before he dies.
So, if you are reading this, please pray for him and for us and for our marriage. So far, I still don’t see him listening, for the Lord has spoken to him on these matters many times, but he has gone his own stubborn way, instead, and he has resisted the Spirit and my pleas to him to please surrender his life to the Lord and to be faithful to God and to me.
And if you are living the life that he has been living, still in bondage to sin, still holding on to your idols, still unrepentant and still living in unfaithfulness to the Lord and to your spouse (if you have one), then I pray you will repent of your sins today and surrender your life to Jesus, too.
And last but not least, if you are like me and you are married to someone who is an unfaithful partner, who chooses his/her “other lovers” over you, but you have remained faithful, have withstood the abuse, and you have continued to love your spouse, then you are blessed, so be encouraged.
All Through the Night
An Original Work / December 7, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
Blessed are you when you’re persecuted
Because of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you when people insult you,
And falsely say what leads folks to doubt.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is
Great in the heavens. You’re not alone.
When you are persecuted in one place,
Flee to another. God will be there.
You will be hated by all the nations
Because you testify of God’s grace.
Many will seize you and persecute you,
And put to death the foll’wers of Christ.
Yet, do not fear what humans may do to you,
For I’m with you all through the night.
I tell you, love your enemies with my love,
And forgive as I forgave you.
Pray for those who do evil against you.
Rest in my love and grace from above.