RSS Feed

Tag Archives: divorce

God’s Original Intent

When I was in college, theological discussions included debating the creation of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Thirty years later, apparently men can give birth, you can self-identify as an animal or tree and everyday things that were once obvious have become clouded and confusing. According to Moses, God’s original intent for creating men and women was so that once you find a soul mate, you would leave your parents to start a new life with the love of your life.

Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence, Genesis 2:23-25.

The words in the passage above were carefully chosen by Moses. When I reread this verse a week ago, I was reminded of the parallels made by the apostle Paul in Romans 10:9-11. Biblical marriage was designed as a unified relationship, where two adults become one body to produce offspring. Meanwhile, Paul writes about the relationship that Christians should have with Jesus. A personal relationship with God isn’t just a crutch like a get out of jail free card in Monopoly. Jesus should be Lord of your life.

He replied, Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate), Matthew 19:4-6.

One of the reasons Christian marriages continue to crumble is when one of the spouses seeks to take control by abandoning their vow to become one flesh. Like a creative student explaining why they couldn’t complete their homework on time, Christian adults have mastered rationalizing why divorce is the best option. As you read today’s passages, may you be moved to develop a will to love your significant other so that hardships and trials will not separate you from God’s original intent of marriage.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 290: Household of Faith

Sometimes you hear a song on the radio, but the DJ fails to tell you after the song is over who this was by. I first heard this song months ago but didn’t catch the artist’s name. While I assumed the title was Household of Faith, something distracted me on my way home from work. Subsequently, my short-term memory erased the lyrics from my mind. After a recent You Tube search, this song was on the top of my computer screen as I discover Household of Faith is by Winner and Shen.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths, Proverbs 3:5-6.

As someone who was witnessed multiple friends and neighbors have their marriages end in divorce, the lyrics of Household of Faith serve as a prayer to keep faith at the center of your marriage. Unfortunately, when couples lose the will to love one another, it’s like Eve in the Garden of Eden staring at the forbidden fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge. May today’s song inspire you to hold fast to faith whenever a spiritual storm approaches.

by Jay Mankus

Forever

Every love story begins with the thought of together forever. As engaged couples eagerly prepare for their wedding day, forever is a hope like marriage vows of “to death do us part.” FM Static sings about this special day in their song Moment of Truth. According to a 2021 study, 2.7 marriages out of 1,000 end in divorce so forever is not guaranteed.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, Genesis 2:24.

Biblical marriage is designed around two key issues. First, the covenant of marriage was meant to be for a lifetime as two individuals become one flesh. Meanwhile, biblical marriage calls new couples to propagate the earth by having children. While some may not be able to complete this call due to health and medical conditions, the intent for newlyweds is to be together forever.

Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous, Hebrews 13:4.

The author of Hebrews calls couples to keep their marriage pure and free from temptation. To promote this position a disclaimer is used at the end of the passage above. Anyone who fails to keep their vows in the presence of family and friends will be judged and punished by God. In view of this warning, may the Holy Spirit fill you with a will to stick to your spouse forever.

by Jay Mankus

When You’re Too Tired to Love

As the summer months begin, it’s only a matter of time before triple digit temperatures become part of weekly forecasts. As I begin a new life living in South Carolina, the heat and humidity quickly drains me of energy. In the last book of the Bible, John writes to the Church in Ephesus. Despite severe persecution in the first century, their faith did not waver. Yet, it appears that at some point exhaustion took its toll as their love for God grew cold.

I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary, Revelation 2:3.

Before getting married, Leanne and I attended a conference in Cleveland for young couples. One of the speakers used the analogy of leftovers. This illustration warned against giving God and your future spouse the leftovers of your time. The context of this expression was at the end of a busy day when you barely have energy for anything. This appears to be what happened to the Ephesians as the only time they made for God was at the end of their days, exhausted and worn out.

But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love], Revelation 2:4.

According to marriage statistics from 2020, nearly 2,400 divorces occur every single day in the United States. At this pace, by the end of just one week, 16,800 divorces and or separations commence. Sadly, if this trend continues, 875,000 couple will break their marriage vows annually in America. When you’re too tired to love, relationships with God and spouses start to fall apart. In view of these dire statistics, may Jesus give you to strength to be reunited with God and your spouse.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 24: When God Ran

When most of the world was panicking about the threat of Y2K on December 31st, 1999, I was listening to a local Christian Radio station. As one century came to an end, this program began the Countdown of the Top 100 Christian Songs of the 1900’s. While I didn’t necessarily agree with all the selections, today’s song was ranked #4 on this list.

But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, Acts 16:25.

Benny Hester would have been more popular than Michael W. Smith, but Benny made one crucial mistake. Back in the days when a divorce wasn’t an option for a Christian, Benny did the unthinkable and got remarried. Immediately, Christian bookstores across the country began to remove Benny’s music from their shelves. Yet, Hester’s prodigal experience set the stage for his hit song When God Ran.

by Jay Mankus

Let Marriage be Held in Honor

In my earliest years as a child living in New Jersey, divorce wasn’t even part of my vocabulary. After moving to Delaware, I was introduced to this term when one of my friends mom got divorced twice. During my teenage years, it was still uncommon to enter a home where parents were divorced. Yet, as I entered high school, more and more adults began to give up on failing marriages.

Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous, Hebrews 13:4.

Perhaps this trend was encouraged by popular shows like Mash which regularly showed members of the Army cheating on their spouses. Distance and loneliness was seen as an acceptable reason for breaking marriage vows. At some point in the 1980’s, affairs, flings and one night stands aired weekly on major network television. Once cable arrived, temptation and sexual fantasies trampled this once sacred vow.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. 22 He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord, Proverbs 18:21-22.

This Bible may be considered an old fashion book with values that no longer applies to modern day life. Yet, King Solomon makes an interesting observation in the passage above. The words you speak, the people you hang around and the beliefs that are formed will shape your destiny. These self fulfilled prophecies will either produce healthy or failed marriages. May this blog persuade you to hold marriage as an honorable and sacred tradition.

by Jay Mankus

Side by Side

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+tube+of+side+by+side+scene+in+evan+almighty&qpvt=you+tube+of+side+by+side+scene+in+evan+almighty&view=detail&mid=48CD7DEF805AAABCA2D048CD7DEF805AAABCA2D0&FORM=VRDGAR

When you watch a movie for the first time, there will be things that you miss.  Perhaps, you went to the bathroom, got something to drink or ran out for a refill of popcorn.  Either way, watching a second time will reveal a catchy phrase, funny line or memorable moment that slipped by you the first time.  As I caught a rerun of Evan Almighty over the weekend, I was touched by a conversation between Morgan Freeman and Lauren Graham.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.  And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.  Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, Genesis 7:6-8. 

Freeman who plays God is serving as a waiter at a restaurant where Graham, Evan Baxter’s wife looks depressed.  Leaving her husband behind, she thinks Evan played by Steve Carell is in need of intervention for mental health issues.  In this time of crisis, she abandons her husband afraid of what might happen in the future.  Before severing this relationship completely, God provides a word of advice to persuade Mrs. Baxter to return.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? – Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

The key to any marriage is standing side by side.  Most wedding vows include “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, til death due us part.”  According to an article from Marriage Today, one out of three marriages in America end in divorce.  Yet, this doesn’t tell the whole story as some states and regions have a much lower rate than the national average.  Although the data is not available, it’s safe to say that those couples who have remained married have stood side by side through thick and thin.  No matter how hard it may be at times, those who endure trials together, stay together.  May thewords, “side by side,” renew and revive the covenant of marriage.

by Jay Mankus

 

Special Needs

There is one common term that I heard as a teacher which was foreign to me initially.  When my school developed a program to help these students, I began to grasp some of the learning disabilities which exist.  Yet, as I spent time with my cousin Mary the past 24 hours, I have a better understanding of what it means to have a special needs child.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19.

Eight years ago, my cousin gave birth to twins, a girl and boy.  A great job and two healthy children provided a promising future.  Yet, an untimely divorce followed by a late diagnosis of her son has left Mary in a no win situation.  Based upon my recent interaction, my heart goes out to any family who is given the task to raise a child with special needs.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4.

I tend to be a confident person, but when it comes to special needs, I feel helpless.  Depending upon the specific condition, I become paralyzed, not knowing what to say or do.  While most programs the government attempts to run usually fails, special needs children is an area where family and parents need help to overcome these extreme situations.  May God raise up leaders to address and solve this growing need in America.

by Jay Mankus

Blessed, Fortunate or Normal

I spent last night eating dinner at my parents house.  Beside the normal topics of conversation, I began ask about cousins I haven’t heard from or seen in years.  Unfortunately, each relative’s update included a similar pattern, ending with disappointment, divorce or unfulfilled potential.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19. 

Like anything in life, there is a temptation to compare yourself with others.  While my life hasn’t been perfect or void of adversity, I feel quite fortunate and blessed.  Up to this point, the Lord has provided daily bread, a sense of accomplishment and passion to pursue my dreams.  Then again, maybe I’m just normal, making the most of what God has given me.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, James 1:17.

When you study what the Bible says about blessings, you have to be careful not to take verses out of context.  The apostle writes to Philippians after surviving an earthquake and seeing the hand of God in allowing trials to occur.  Meanwhile, the brother of Jesus reflects upon how God is in control, despite how bad your current situation may be.  Nonetheless, when you have experienced a good and decent life, you’re either blessed, fortunate, normal or a little bit of all three.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Humble Beginnings

Every life is like a book with a beginning, middle and end.  However, sometimes portions of life doesn’t make sense until insight is provided from the future.  As for me, its clear that I started from humble beginnings.  Born with a severe speech impediment, life didn’t seem very fair.  In addition, I was accident prone, crashing face first into the pavement on my bike, breaking my leg in two pieces after jumping from an above ground pool and having the tip of my pinky finger caught in a car door.  These events summed up my early days on earth.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted, Matthew 23:12.

However, little did I know that all these things likely occurred to keep me from becoming full of myself.  As my athletic talents began to blossom, strange occurrences immediately followed crowning moments.  Appendicitis, a complete ligament tear and head on collision prevented me from becoming a prideful person.  Looking back, perhaps my analysis is incorrect, but something in my soul makes me believe these trials kept me humble.  Furthermore, this experience helped me realize that my talents are on loan from God.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” James 4:6.

Like me, Jesus also came from humble beginnings.  When his future father, Joseph, was about to divorce Mary, God intervened.  Yet, Jesus was born into poverty, forced to work hard as a carpenter to make a living.  Growing up in Nazareth, a town with a terrible reputation, Jesus had a lot to overcome.  Nonetheless, when the appointed time arrived, God the Father raised his Son up to find favor on earth.  May those of you enduring hard times currently, remember the promise of humility, that those who are humbled will be lifted up!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: