Friday, February 7, 2020
Parables from a Residential Monk #5
Parable of the Divorce Recovery Group
The apostle said new Christians are often puffed-up, conceited, and full of themselves; thinking no one knows Jesus like they know Jesus.
Ever been to one of those what’s-happening-now churches filled with millennials?
Enthusiasm exceeding education.
That’s why so many young pastors fresh out of seminary get into so much trouble.
They act like they know it all.
It ends, of course, when confronted inevitably by saints that have been reading the Bible and running churches for decades before the puppies were weaned.
Anyway, young pastors feel especially regarded, respected, and rewarded for their 7+ years of college and seminary when everybody around town, it seems, wants to hear from them.
Don’t shatter the delusions of your young pastor thirsting for professional affirmation and personal affection by betraying the truth that civic, social, and church groups just need to fill their calendars with the pool only so deep.
So feeling more important than the reality behind the invitation, he addressed the local divorce recovery group.
He began with a review of marriage theology.
Young pastors like to feel significant.
They want to make a difference.
That’s why he decided to move from the obvious to the obvious:
“You’re here tonight because you’re divorced. You failed in marriage. So I’m going to take you deeper into why you’re divorced and how you can avoid divorce if you ever get married again.”
But that’s what DRGs want to know.
He hooked ‘em.
He started with a review of Willard F. Harley, Jr.’s classic how-to on keeping romance in marriage with a title that initiated immediate squirms: His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair-Proof Marriage.
Unsettling yet compelling because most of ‘em had cheated on their spouses or been cheated on by their spouses and it ended in divorce.
He had ‘em.
He outlined the needs that must be met to keep marriages, uh, humming.
A woman’s basic needs in marriage are affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment.
A man’s basic needs in marriage are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration.
Nods accompanied by nervous laughter punctuated by giggles.
Movin’ from teachin’ and preachin’ to meddlin’, he crossed the river of “a nice talk by the nice young pastor” when he said to dropping jaws and stiffening spines, “Your spouse’s needs will be met with or without you. If your wife/husband ain’t gettin’ it at home, they’re gonna get it from someone someplace else.”
He turned up the heat: “A normal person has emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and sexual needs. A healthy marriage satisfies those needs. Let me be more specific. The Bible says a husband should not deny his wife and a wife should not deny her husband. If you’re denying your spouse, you are setting the stage for them to commit adultery; and if you cause them to commit adultrery, you are committing adultery at the same time by your omissions that caused their commissions.”
Politeness prohibited the exodus predicted by Colonel Jessup.
So he finished: “If you’re in a marriage of sexual dysfunction that proves you’re in a marriage of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual deprivation, pray God will change your spouse or change you or protect you when you’re prowling. Get on your knees and beg God not to lead you into temptation. That’s why He told you to pray that way. He knew you needed romance in your marriage; and if you’re not getting it in your marriage, you’ll need His help to keep you within the bounds of it.”
Yes, he was finished.
Never invited back.
Some civic, social, and church groups are not that hard up for speakers; preferring to be anesthetized than healed.
Truth isn’t always the path to popularity.
You can get nailed for telling the truth.
Jesus comes to mind.
Blessings and Love!