Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Knit together

Is this a crafting post? Am I about to wow you with my knitting prowess? No and No. I do know how to knit, but no one would benefit from my instruction on that subject, as I have several unfinished projects laying around. But.... speaking of a lack of commitment....

I am writing about divorce.
I realize most people who happen to read this are probably already in agreement with what I am about to say, but when this metaphor occurred to me I thought it worth putting out there.

Mark 10:2-9
"Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

The Bible tells us that in marriage, God "joins us together." I can relate that to knitting, where yarn is joined together to form a continuous fabric. "So they are no longer two, but one flesh." 

If you look closely at a knit piece of fabric, you will notice that it does not unravel. Knitting interlocks the stitches one to another to form a resilient fabric. If we compare marriage to a knitted fabric, then a divorce (even a scriptural one) is attempting to unravel or "undo" the knitted fabric. I have worked on many knitting projects that resulted in my making a mistake and having to pull out several stitches and start again. While a common occurrence in handiwork, this is not at all a desirable solution in marriage. Imagine asking God to "undo" the fabric of your life. Imagine the sadness of watching years of your life unravel before your eyes. Maybe you don't have to imagine...

Maybe you've experienced divorce in one way or another. Notice how the yarn, the people, still show an impression of the stitches that once held them together. Crimped in places all over with memories, milestones, joys and sorrows. 

God said "let no man separate" what God has joined together. He does not ever want that result for us.
The hope is here: If God has joined you together in marriage, it is His skill as a "knitter"- His handiwork, that will hold you together. We need to trust that He is strong to save. The strength of our marriages is defined by God's strength to maintain the integrity of what He has already joined together. Do we trust Him? 

In Ephesians 5:22-33 we read of the comparison of the husband and wife relationship to the Christ and His church relationship. The husband is to love and give himself for the wife as Christ gave Himself for the church. The wife is to respect her husband and be subject to him as the church is to Christ. God has shown us this comparison to help our marriages, but it should also sober us to the thought of divorce. In what state would we be left if Christ were to leave His bride? We would be without salvation. And what would it do to God if the church left Him? The Bible tells us that "there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." Luke 15:7 Also, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Matthew 16:26 These verses show us that even just one soul is worth more than the whole world, and that one soul repenting causes much joy in heaven. How sad it must be to God, then, when man takes that deal and trades his soul for the "whole world." And because of the comparison to marriage, we see that a divorce is not to be taken lightly. 

I've seen the residual pain of divorce. Most have in some way. Every choice we make affects someone else. God is willing to put in the work to keep knitting you together. Don't ask Him to unravel it. Trust His handiwork. You've seen the flowers and trees bursting into beautiful bloom outside this week. He made those too. He's really good at what He does. The best.

"What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

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