Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Taste....see......and Fear

1 Peter 2:1-3
"So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

So I've only been married for 10 short months....and one of most sorrowful blessings I've received has been hearing of the failings of the marriages of friends of mine...or the falling away from the faith of professing believers that I've known since my conversion in 2000.

Having been present at some of the weddings adds something to the grief I think.....but those who have had the blessed meditations on the covenant keeping love of Christ Jesus will feel a pang hearing of professing believers getting divorced even if we've never known them personally.

Those who know me will hopefully forgive my bluntness.....but divorce is not a gray area whatsoever. The scripture (not your shrink) says that the only reason that it IS biblical (though still not the ideal) is in the case of adultery. And honestly, I'm sick of hearing women say "he was having an affair with his work, he loved it more than me" blah blah rotten blah.

Then there are those who will dare to go toe to toe with scripture and say "well, what if he's physically abusive to her and his children!!!"

Um...she should not remain in the same household, certainly not. And a redemptive separation may be the action taken, but not divorce friends. Please stop elevating human reason over the Word of God. Be there for our sisters who go through such things, but dare them to love their enemies as Jesus loved us wicked ones.
Even in the cases of adultery, the Lord gives us a picture of His covenant keeping love by loving an adultress / idolatrous nation - see Hosea....showing us what it means to keep a sacred vow.
The light and breezy marriage talk has no place among believers. And though marriage is not without it's difficulties, you can endure it. The Lord will never give you more than you can endure. If God is truly your Father, you have indeed been CALLED to suffer while doing good.

1 Peter 2:20
"But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps."

All this is just on my heart lately, as a recently had a client in my office ...(on a day when I was struggling with how much work marriage is)
He had to move some things around because his wife of 5 months divorced him and left him with nothing. He said she was a believer......and that he was just baffled that she had no desire to work on the marriage and was oblivious to her own faults from the day she walked down the aisle. Refusing to go to counseling, she left feeling as though he was just a mistake.
This guy said to me something that just encouraged me and made me so very thankful.
He said "everyday that you are married to a spouse who has not quit trying to be better is a day to be very thankful for.....a willing heart to grow in an imperfect person is a miracle."

A miracle - truly.....only the regenerate can go day in and day out being convicted, needing to apologize, seeking forgiveness and HAVING the supernatural strength to say "whether my spouse changes/loves me/fill in the blank - or not, I will obey the Lord and seek their good"

Today is the day to start long as you have another breath, let thankfulness to God come out that you still have opportunity to keep your vows to Him......and to live out your love for Him by obeying Him in your marriage.

Today is a good day.......I'm pretty fortunate as I think back. I almost married a make-believer.....but God graciously let that relationship die....and sadly, the Lord gave him over to his sin, and led me to the man of my dreams just 3 months later.

I fear being given over to my hard heart every day. Not quite enough....but it's there.....and if you think about those who CONVINCED us that they were our kindred and were no where near might find yourself crying out more often for mercy and faith.

May God break our hearts, our bodies - whatever it takes to keep us near Him.
And give us grace and peace in His presence - whatever comes.
In Jesus Name,

love and bluntness, because I can't help it,


At 8/28/2008 1:31 PM, Anonymous TrueBeliever said...

I'm sorry Jen, but I believe that if our children are in danger, most certainly we should get a divorce. Our Lord knows that in our hearts, we must keep our children safe, physically and mentally. Getting re-married to a believer, who teaches my children the word of God, and joins in activities serving Him, is MUCH better than staying married to an abuser, being separated, and having our dear children raised with no father. Sorry but I disagree with you. There are certain cases where divorce IS better and our Lord knows our hearts and I believe truly WANTS us to do what is BEST for our children.

At 9/02/2008 10:31 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

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At 9/02/2008 10:34 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/02/2008 10:40 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

Dear "truebeliever" ~

First off - praise the Lord that you were bold enough to get your thoughts disagree with me!! I appreciate that. My hope is that the Word of God would be esteemed above all. As I know to be the goal of all true believers.
I would have agreed with you sometime ago as well...and that is not to say that I don't see where you're coming from still, but I must say that it is unbiblical.
And we should look to the scripture to see what GOD'S priorities and desires really are.

2 Cor 10:5
"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."

GOD wants us to OBEY HIM and TRUST HIM - MORE than doing what we think is our human understanding....even as a priority OVER your beloved children.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding, seek His will in all you do, and he will direct your paths."

And now, 3 points of argument.

#1 God is to be our first love. He knows we love Him THROUGH OUR OBEDIENCE as Jesus said John 14:21 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
The love we have for our own family looks like hatred compared to our love for Him who gave us our loved ones and our very lives, because we want to obey Christ whatever it costs us.

Matt 10:37
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

# 2 God is not after our comfort.
God calls His children to suffer unjustly, just like Jesus did, and promises to be with us IN all of our afflictions/trials. 1 Peter 4:19 "Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good."
(God's will meaning His COMMANDED or DECREED will)

#3 Divorce for any reason other than sexual immorality is unbiblical. (and even then, God Hates it and would rather we keep our covenant)

Beloved, directly disobeying God's word and justifying our actions with worldly rationale is not for believers....that is what the pagans do day in and day out. Surely you have heard an unbeliever explain their reasons for living sexually immoral before getting married because 'they wanted to see if they were compatible' blah blah rotten blah.
(sorry, tangent)

Dear 'truebeliever' if by God's grace you see the truth from the word as I wrote above, I will pray that you are not discouraged. Since if you are now remarried, you have done that without knowledge...and we have a great God......who forgives if we repent and trust Christ Jesus. But please please do not shut your heart up to the truth that divorce lies about Christ's relationship with His church. Jesus said "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." He made his covenant to us, who fall into sin against Him daily....who fail to love Him as we ought, who run after idols and other things instead of keeping our side of the covenant with Him, in submitting to His word and trusting his loving promise.

I would like to recommend a sermon to you called "Doing missions when dying is gain"
if you go to and type the name of the sermon into the search will be challenged and blessed I believe. It would be great to hear your feedback!

He who has ears, let him hear

Up out ~

At 9/02/2008 11:08 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

PS - just to clarify, I don't disagree with a SEPARATION if your children are in danger...... DOOD....get out of there if there is a threat physically or otherwise, SURELY....but as far as divorce.....still not an option.

At 9/02/2008 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm. this is a really bold post. i know blogs are for people to share whatever they want, but i'm not sure you're the best person to be counseling people on issues such as this. i do think you desire to share the truth, but rules (even if they are the word of God) without relationship = rebellion.

At 9/03/2008 8:21 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

Dear anonymous -

You know my whole heart's goal is to draw the line in the sand.....TRULY regenerate believers want to obey Christ in all things because we love Him above all....not for some puffing up of the chest like we're something great - I'm a CALVINIST...I don't believe you can obey apart from God's giving you the grace to do so.....

Jesus was not ambiguous....he was bold with the word against satan, who tempted Him to put 'good things' before God remember? Satan tempted Him with doing some things that made sense to us that would promote 'good' in the world, like His turning stones into bread and Him throwing himself down from a high place and commanding angels to catch him so that people would listen.....but Jesus kept to the word BECAUSE he was rightly related to God...He loved the Father and that is why he obeyed. "but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here."

And, I would dare to say that if people do not obey him- they do not love him, neither have they known him.... (Actually, Jesus said that)

"Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me."

...I'm guessing you have never met me in person??....or if you have (which may be why you are hiding your identity) perhaps you have misunderstood my motives/ my heart and my love for the Lord. I am not a legalist.......If his word is true, it is true.

It's interesting to me how much persecution and rebellion there is against the word of God from those professing to know Him. Guess that shouldn't surprise me based on the texts warning about those inside the church. John MacArthur deals with much persecution for believing and preaching the word of people in the flesh refuse to submit to the word of God....for they cannot, unless they are renewed from within..

The word is precious because the God who said it is precious, and worthy of being followed and submitted to. i love the Lord and trust His word to me, not only the promises that tell me of his love, but his wisdom by obeying his commands.

up out.

Favorite song we sing with 3 year olds in sunday school
"Faith is, O Faith is - believing what God said. God will do it like He said."

At 9/03/2008 8:25 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

Anonymous -
Wondering if I bring up texts of scripture that happen to be commands, how is that not a desire to share truth? (unless you are not a believer)

Please tell me how 'truth' and 'rules' contradict each other?
They are one in the same. Truth is not merely what you WANT to hear all the time.

At 9/03/2008 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm saying that rules (commandments by God to his people, even instruction from a parent to a child) without relationship (meaning, you are in relationship with a person -- a friend, a spouse, a parent, a pastor to lay people) = rebellion (a person is going to run away, not want to share with you).

You can share whatever you want here. It's your blog. What I'm saying is that by blasting people on your responses is not winsome.

I realize God's word is alive, true, and will never change. And praise Him for that. But just spewing things out is not helpful. It seems like you are shouting, "Listen up, stop your wining and move on." This is not what Jesus would do.

At 9/03/2008 2:33 PM, Blogger JBerg said...

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At 9/04/2008 7:56 AM, Blogger JBerg said...

Okay.....So ~
After some consideration for the perception that was brought to my attention..........and re-reading my reply to the first comment......I would only re-word how I said what I said, but all the text would still be there.
Mainly because my mentors and those women I look up to the most (authors also, like Nancy Wilson) Are very straight forward women who do not let me get carried away with my emotions and my human understanding.......they love me enough to risk wounding me that I might heed God's word.
I cannot tell you how priceless that is..."Better are wounds from a friend than kisses from an enemy".....and though my words may have been taken as an offense to conclusion is that no matter how you write some truths, the simple fact that the word of God cuts to the heart will still offend them....(I know, because I am offended sometimes by people re-directing me to the word, instead of listening to my argument about why something I think seems right is right)

With that I would encourage all people to remember not to be quick to take offense...grace needs to flow both ways. Yes, I will try to write less directly to a person and in general truth....please be patient with me as I'm still being sanctified too.

Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
In Him,


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