(Prayer power to remove the elephant in the living room)
We use the above idiom where we live to describe something without it being literal. The elephant represents a huge situation we live with and try to navigate around daily. It takes up lots of room and creates a mess but we choose to ignore it.
In recent years there have been many teaching on what some call “The Seven Mountains” of society (one of which is named Family) and how we as Christians need to be involved and affect them for the Lord’s glory. This truly makes sense, but Christians must first address the ‘elephant of divorce’ in order to influence the other mountains effectively. Why?
Everyone in the other six mountains of education, media, government, entertainment, business and religion goes home at night to what they deem ‘family’, the seventh mountain. How we see or interact in family ripples into our attitudes and decisions in life. We don’t compartmentalize. If we are striving to live a godly marriage, raising godly children according to the Word and not the world then it will influence us not just at home but away from home.
“So He does not regard the offering any more, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’
Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth,
with whom you have dealt treacherously;
yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
But did He not make them one,
having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.”
(“godly offspring”.) Offspring all enter the other six mountains.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
For the Lord God of Israel says
that He hates divorce.
For it covers one’s garments with violence.”
When God says He “hates” something how do you ignore the elephant and expect Him to also?
“For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce,
for it covers ones garments with violence.” Malachi 2:16
People are covered in violence and generations are suffering!
“Yet you have wearied the Lord with your words;
yet you say, ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’
In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil
is good in the sight of the Lord and He delights in them’,
or, ‘Where is the God of justice?’ “
In essence, this verse is stating that the Lord is very tired of how people lie to themselves that He approves (or just winks) at divorce. The last part is very sad. “Where is the God of justice?” Their last question was ‘If God hates divorce then where are the ramifications-we feel ok with it? Our question is “How can so many Christians continue to be so blind to the horrific reaping all around us?”
On the 2=1 website you can view the “Time For War” video with statistics about the consequences of divorce-here are additional ones regarding children.
(Statistics gathered by Larry Bilotta)
Studies in the early 1980’s showed that children in repeat divorces earned lower grades and their peers rated them as less pleasant to be around. (Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage –Harvard University Press 1981)
Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are three times more likely to need psychological help within a given year. (Peter Hill “Recent Advances in Selected Aspects of Adolescent Development” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1993)
Compared to children from homes disrupted by death, children from divorced homes have more psychological problems. (Robert E. Emery, Marriage, Divorce and Children’s Adjustment” Sage Publications, 1988)
Children living with both biological parents are 20 to 35 percent more physically healthy than children from broken homes. (Dawson, “Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well-being” Journal of Marriage and the Family)
Most victims of child molestation come from single-parent households or are the children of drug ring members. (Los Angeles Times 16 September 1985 The Garbage Generation)
A Child in a female-headed home is 10 times more likely to be beaten or murdered. (The Legal Beagle, July 1984, from “The Garbage Generation”)
A study of children six years after a parental marriage breakup revealed that even after all that time, these children tended to be “lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure. (Wallerstein “The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1991)
Seventy percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in broken homes. (Horn, Bush, “Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform)
Children of divorce are four times more likely to report problems with peers and friends than children whose parents have kept their marriages intact. (Tysse, Burnett, “Moral Dilemmas of Early Adolescents of Divorced and Intact Families. Journal of Early Adolescence 1993)
Children of divorce, particularly boys, tend to be more aggressive toward others than those children whose parents did not divorce. (Emery, “Marriage, Divorce and Children’s Adjustment, 1988)
People who come from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than those who do not come from broken homes. (Velez-Cohen, “Suicidal Behavior and Ideation in a Community Sample of Children” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1988)
Children of divorced parents are roughly two times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who benefit from living with parents who did not divorce. (McLanahan, Sandefur, “Growing Up With a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps” Harvard University Press 1994)
We know these statistics are from our nation, but every one of our cultures has been impacted by trying to ignore or alter the marriage covenant.
This is not to pass judgment. This is about rising up as one and praying for God’s mercy to fall on His Body. But we must point out that Malachi 2 is not written to the people in the church, it is written to the leaders. “And now, you priests, this warning is for you.” Malachi 2:1 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth.” verse 7 Leaders in the Body must stop ignoring the elephant they helped deliver into homes. Misguided compassion has grown out of proportion and overrun truth.There is unprecedented condoning and counseling of divorce and many sheep have been led astray. We thank God greatly, for those leaders who stand for righteousness and covenant, but they are few. Marriage is God’s idea. His rules apply. It is not up for opinion.
And in Malachi 2:13 they are upset because the Lord is not regarding their offerings and ask why? The Lord is chastising them for also breaking covenant with their own spouses. verse 14. Does anyone read Malachi 2 anymore? We must have a revival of submitting to all of God’s Word! “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce.” How can many continue to counsel and teach it is ok?
Many in the Body have traded theology (the study of God) for philosophy (the study of man.)
But each of us as leaders and couples is also responsible before the Lord for honoring our marriage covenant vows and teaching God’s Word. At this point in the devastation, it is very difficult to find anyone who has not been emotionally touched by a relative, close friend or co-worker who rationalized divorce and remarriage. But circumstances cannot be allowed to rob the revelation of God’s covenant plan. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 When each of us stands before the Lord someday, He will ask if we bowed our knee to His Word and trusted Him, so as to be His light of truth to set people free.
We recently read an astounding quote in a secular magazine. It profoundly sums up where dishonoring marriages vows has taken society.
“No single snowflake ever believes it caused the avalanche.” Voltaire
Many in the Body of Christ use the term covenant often but do not have revelation knoweldge and understanding of what it means so therefore lessens its impact. The sub title above was not entirely accurate. The elephant doesn’t need lots of prayer, the people walking around him like he isn’t there do! What has happened to fear (awe) of the Lord?How are we to affect the mountains when Ephesians 5:31,32 states that the marriage relationship is a mirror of Christ and the church and we are constantly divorcing Him?
The world should be able to look at the church and see truth, whether they accept it or not. The church should not help sponsor the culture of divorce. “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves…” 2 Chronicles 2:14
The gospel doesn’t change because it is the 21st. century. We all hear of horrible circumstances that lead Christians to divorce. But Proverbs 16:32 says “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” People need to rule their spirits. Where are the spouses on their knees interceding with all their hearts for their wayward spouse? If it takes years!! Our spirits must be submitted to the Lord first. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.” John 14:23 All of our hearts hurt for all the painful situations but we cannot win the day by denying God’s Word or His Power for miracles.
Maybe this is more about relationship with the Lord than a spouse. Are we in love with the Lord as His bride is supposed to love Him? Or has self love overridden our first love? Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. The Lord spoke some final, powerful truths through him and then was silent for hundreds of years till He sent His Son to redeem us.
The very first miracle Jesus ever worked on this earth was on behalf of a married couple. We do not believe that was a random choice! John 2:1-11
The “good news” is that the Lord forgives leaders and couples alike when we repent (Greek ‘metanoeo’ = Repentance results in a change of mind, which in turns changes our actions.)“Therefore bear fruit worthy of repentance.” Matthew 3:8
In Isaiah 6, after a life changing encounter with the Lord, Isaiah says “Here I am! Send me.”We have all answered the call to give revelation teaching to couples. To teach the Lord’s life changing plan and blessings for our marriage covenants.
Let us all truly devote quality time as couples and with others in 2=1 meetings.Together in powerful intercession and synergism we will see God’s glory manifested!
Lets pray together:
We declare that our God is a Covenant making, Covenant keeping God. That the Body of Christ shall honor His Lordship and His Word. That according to John 6:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” That His Bride honors and loves Him and her covenant with Him and honors the mirror image = our one flesh marriage covenant. That church leaders will humbly open their hearts and eyes to the scriptures on marriage and speak forth the clear trumpet call to married couples of God’s plan. That 2=1 couples will continue to shine God’s light into the darkness. That married couples will allow the Lord to circumcise their hearts and not be so influenced by a fallen world. That young couples will choose the sanctity of marriage covenant as the foundation for their relationships and not justify the world’s ways. That we will no longer compromise God’s Word and deny the root and death dealing consequences and call them by other names. That according to Romans 12:2 the Body does not conform to the world but allows the Lord to transform it by the renewing of the minds so that we may all prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. That according to Nehemiah 8:9 the people will weep with revelation when the truth of God’s Word is imparted and we will be able to continue to tell them this is not a time to weep but to rejoice that their eyes are opened to God’s truth. That according to Ezekiel 36:26 we ask that the stony places in people’s heart be removed and they receive the heart of flesh that is soft and pliable in the Lord’s hands. That we acknowledge and repent on behalf of the Body; that as God’s Bride sin has run rampant and has created horrible violence and destruction. Oh God please forgive Your people! God’s Word says in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That according to Malachi 4:5 the Lord will send the spirit of Elijah and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. That according to Revelation 2:4 your people will turn back to their first love, remember from where we have fallen, repent and do the first works loving the Lord with all that is in us. That according to Joel 2:25 we then ask God to restore the years the swarming locust have eaten and that according to Psalm 149 we “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints.” Amen and Amen!