Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pointing Them in the Right Direction

I had a cool thing happen last week.

I have known a couple for quite some time and to put it lightly, they have struggled in their marriage. As an analogy, helping someone in their marriage is as if you are in a boat and you are attempting to have both individuals “stay in the safety of the boat” so that they can move forward in their relationship. However, the problem arises that what too often happens is that just as you are about to get both of them in the boat, you turn your back, and then one has jumped back into the water! A relationship is made up of two people and if you don’t’ have them both on board, little good can happen.

Anyway, the wife in this situation came to me and strongly stated that she was going to seek a divorce. She had given up. She couldn’t take it anymore. He wasn’t going to change anyway. I met with her at church and I think that when she showed up she thought I was going to have my Bible in hand and make sure she had all of Bible verses that talked about how “God hates divorce.” When she sat down and explained her situation and her resolve, I simply said, “You gotta do what you gotta do.” She looked at me astounded; she must have thought, wasn’t I going to admonish her! And then after a pause, I said this, “All I ask is this, do me one favor, ask God if he wants you to divorce your husband. Can you do that?” She nodded, we concluded our conversation and we said our good-byes. As I walked back up to my office, sadly, I thought, Well, that’s probably the last I will see of her…

The next day as I came to the office I opened up my email and viola, there was an email from her. Kind of surprised, I opened it up and the writing simply said this:

I want to thank you for your advice and your suggestion to pray. I did as you asked and prayed about divorce. I came across an on-line Bible study about marriage, studied this and prayed some more. I decided you were right; I was shaping things to my will instead of God’s will. I expressed my thoughts to my husband and I will not be bringing up divorce again.
Isn’t that amazing…if we would simply go ask God what he wants us to do, our lives can be shaped by his will and not our own. I think often when we are helping someone, this is all we have to do—point them back to the One who has all the right answers (and questions). Sometimes, we don’t have to get out the Bible; sometimes we don’t have to give them our best advice; sometimes we simply have to say, Would you talk to God about this? What does He want you to do?

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