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How To Be a Hero

I just met my newest spiritual hero.

A woman I’ve met only once before, just left my office. The first time I met her, was four days after her husband confessed to a serious sexual sin. She was mad, angry and disillusioned about men in general and let one of our pastors and me know it, in no uncertain terms.

“I’m never going to let this man back in my life, my house, or my bed again! I’m done! I’m not only done with him, but I’m done with men!”

We simply listened, which for a guy is almost impossible. But it was clear she just needed to vent. She said she was going to divorce him, because she had biblical grounds. We agreed, she did. And she subsequently did file for divorce.

She’d just been given, her get out of hell free card! Over the 30 years I’ve been a mentor and elder, I’ve noticed this phenomena if one of the spouses in a tough or mediocre marriage has had an affair, or commits some other serious sexual sin. When that happens, the sinned-against spouse was just handed their, get out of hell free card. By that I mean, they can divorce their spouse, get out of a tough marriage, and nobody in the church, or their friends would blame them. Not only would they not blame them, but some have close Christian friends, who will actually begin encouraging them to use this opportunity to cut their losses and end this marriage.

But, I’ve also noticed a second phenomena often comes into play. This get out of hell free card, has a half-life! A spouse, and in this case, a wife, knows she can divorce her husband, and everyone will understand. But, as a practical matter, it has to be done reasonably soon. She knows intuitively, she can’t use this get out of hell free card, say, three years from now. By then, people will have assumed she’s forgiven her husband and it feels too late to use this offense as her reason for divorce.

Here’s why this woman is my newest hero! As predicted, many of her family and friends have been encouraging her to complete the divorce. But, as she sat across from me she made this statement. “Even though my husband has been open and honest about everything and I think, truly repentant, I have spiritually immature people around me, warning me to never trust this man again. The most spiritual people are encouraging me to at least pray about reconciling, but to go slow.

However, I know the only voice that truly matters in this decision is God’s. If I choose not to divorce, and forgive my husband, I know members of my own family will be angry and think I’m foolish or naïve. But, isn’t faith, trusting God, even when it appears foolish or naïve?”

That’s why this woman is my newest hero!

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

This hurting woman hasn’t made a final decision yet, but she understands with crystal clarity, the only voice that truly matters to serious followers of Jesus, is his. Even if she ultimately choses to complete the divorce, she’s the rarest of Christians, because she’s trying to drown out the voices of the world, to hear only the voice of her Savior. That makes her my hero, whatever her decision!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5

How following Jesus works in real life.

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