Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Real Love Warrior

Last night, autho Glennon Doyle Melton posted a picture of her and her girlfriend with the caption "Abby and I have decided to hold hands forever". I actually enjoyed her first book; I disagreed with several elements, but I found it helpful in many ways.

Her second book, Love Warrior, unsettled me in many ways. She disclosed a lot of private details about her marriage, including her husband's many infidelities and ponography use. The book, however, ends with them married and recommitted and could have been a strong encouragement to fight for one's marriage.

If that's where the story had ended

Right around the book's release, she announced a divorce from husband Craig.

And that she was then dating a woman.

And now, marrying her.

And at this point, the whole love warrior/fight for love/love wins is a load of crap. All she's fighting for is herself. That's not love, that's idolatry.

Marriage was designed by God, for the glory of God. Men and women commit themselves to each other for their lives - to serve each other, to lay down their lives for the joy of the other. Ephesians 5 calls on husbands to love their wives the way Christ loved the church.

Pause and think about that for a moment. How did Jesus love the church?

Jesus gave up perfectly heavenly fellowship to live a life on earth. He healed the sick, touched the lonely and he saw and he knew the broken-hearted. He came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. He did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped but considered others more significant than himself. He was tempted in every way and never sinned. He was despised, mocked and rejected and responded with nothing but the offer of forgiveness. And ultimately He did to rescue, sanctify and redeem His precious bride, the very ones who rejected his kindness and mercy.

That is what marriage is supposed to reflect. If Christ had left me when I was unfaithful or difficult to love, I would have been left behind a long time ago.

One of my favorite Hebrew words in the Bible is hesed, often translated as steadfast love. It is a love of loyalty, a love that gives and serves without considering the worth of the its recipient, a love that does t give up. That is the love to which we are called.

I think that attitudes like Melton's slap marriage and the gospel in the face. I think there are biblical reasons for divorce, but I also think they are few and far between. I just don't think you get to "fight for your marriage", commit, and then divorce years after the fact.

I am much more impressed with people who actually fight for their marriage, who have every reason to leave and still stay. I thank God for them. And above all, I am thankful Jesus, and his never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. He is the true Love Warrior in my eyes.