I will get back to Colossians in due season but the subject that has been on my mind lately is 'Staying and Going. Returning and Abandoning.'
It is an interesting subject and our lives are deeply affected by how we make these decisions.
"To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches." - 1 Corinthians 7:12-17 ESV
This is passage rarely preached on Sunday mornings but how many people would profit from hearing it. Paul saw marriages. He Pastored and counseled. He saw couples who remained together but fought like cats and dogs and ones who thought it better to part ways.
We are called to peace and a redemptive mindset.
Different branches of Christianity take such different views of marriage and commitment in general. Some preach 'stay' or be stigmatized forever. Others say, 'It is none of our business. We are here and marriage is over there.' There is such a range of thought.
I have read this passage many times and I'm sure I will read it many more. I'll sit with two people who are in a battle to 'try and make it work' and we will read it together. I want marriages to make it. I believe with all my heart that God does also.
This morning I see the power of one person who believes. One person full of faith can sanctify a home. I see freedom not bondage. I percieve the desire to see the people closest to us saved from a life of self-destruction. I see a very careful leader who hesitates to say, 'Thus sayeth the Lord.' regarding this matter.
I think we all struggle with 'should I stay or should I go' matters. perhaps it isn't marriage. It might be a job or a location. It might be a vocation or Church involvement. Maybe it isn't going that is the issue. Perhaps it is returning.
We are called to peace and a redemptive mindset. God has a calling. We as individuals must discern God's voice. All of us are prone to self deception but what is the Bible saying? is there a witness from the believers we fellowship with? What is the pulpit preaching? What is the witness in our prayer life? God has ways to communicate if we are listening and asking.
"For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." - Romans 6:14 ESV
This morning I take my eyes off of myself and pray for the ones around me that are together and others that are apart. Their lives are a witness to me. Some are great testimonies and others serve as warning signs that say, 'Go this way at your own peril'. and I pray for them as I look for God's mind and direction.