She took a seat behind me, tapped my shoulder in a way that spoke affectionately, and said; “you know, you cannot get married again, right?” To which I weakly replied; “yep“. My heart burned a bit. I was somewhat sadenned, somewhat surprised, and somewhat resting in the seed of truth that those words were really in the Scriptures.
That was eight years ago.
Since then, needless to say, given the title of this post, I’ve done some research. Before that, however, I thought, for a time, that I had the gift of celibacy. I even tested my spiritual gifts, and that came up as one–no desire meant no need. But when I was home by myself for five days for the first time in what felt like forever, though it was really about fifteen years, I was a bit lonely. Is this what my future would look like? I teetered with the idea of joining a dating website and the phone rang. “This call is from a Federal Prison”. I knew who it was so I quickly accepted. Knowing my current situation, this unselfish friend thought he would keep me company for a bit. His recommendation was EHarmony. After weeding out the boat-dockers, accountants, and those not externally desirable, (to the mortification of my children), I met a stud.
As a Christian himself, we both wrestled with the idea of re-marriage. We were fully aware of Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, which say that anyone who remarries after a divorce commits adultery. However, we were also aware of 1 Corinthians 7:15, which says that if an unbeliever leaves (as was the case in the ending of our first marriages), let him or her do so–the believing man or woman is no longer bound in these situations. While Jesus spoke the first, and Paul spoke the second, I believe the Bible is Divinely inspired; so those words must be from God, too.
Here’s what else I believe, and why I have chosen to get married. Again:
- I believe we can do more for God’s Kingdom together than we can apart–and that is the reason for marriage (also if you cannot keep your passions in check–I no longer had that gift I thought I had–but that was secondary).
- I researched what the Bible had to say about finding a spouse. That he must not be hot-tempered, not stuck in addiction, not harboring any bitterness, unselfish, not greedy, kind, generous, and a truth-teller. All boxes checked.
- I have several places that require softening and loosening up, which his tender, humourous, free-spirit, is excellent medicine for.
- He does not complete me, nor do I complete him. We both know that is Christ’s job, and are extremely thankful for the freedom that brings and pressure it relieves from each of us.
- I believe God will honor the decision we have made to obey Him physically, that we do not have to “try before we buy”, and that because of this obedience, our joy will be complete, and our marriage blessed with abundance.
After some naivete, while meeting with a therapist and a pastor, we learned that regardless of whether our kids are four or forty, it will always be difficult for them to welcome a second marriage. It is a reminder of something in their world that they depended on for stability going very wrong. I am doing my best to navigate my daughter’s hearts tenderly. While I am not at all expecting him to replace their Dad, I do believe that his patient and kind, peacemaking spirit (aside from the bonus that he can fix anything), will be an excellent addition to our household of four stong-willed females (make that five with the dog). I believe that what they may learn about themselves, God, and their future marriages will be worth what may have felt risky for a while.
So, just like we did on our first date, and several times thereafter, we’re going for a ride. He’s committing to leading me and loving me, and I’m committing to hold on tight and let him, which, for those who know me well, understand the depth of this statement. As for the woman who tapped me on the shoulder eight years ago, thank you. Thank you for encouraging me to explore God’s word, to seek counsel and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. And, thank you for not being afraid to speak truth even when it may hurt. By God’s Grace, we have placed our lives and our upcoming marriage in His Hands. We are committing to glorify Him; loving others better, and serving Him together, with the power and direction only He can supply. (And yes, our motors are revved).
Unsplash photos by Ben White & James Gillespie