Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Horror of Divorce

The  maxim "The family that prays together, stays together" has the testimony
of past generations that gathered around the family alter.

     This is an anonymously written view of the devestating effects of divorce on children from a woman who had been there as a child. Divorce is yet another trap that appears to give freedom.  This writer makes it clear that there are shackles that get put on children in divorce.

"Please, please don't sign them! O Daddy, don't sign those papers!"  My pleadings must have added greatly to my father's burden, but the pen held firmly in his hand continued to write his name on the final papers. 
Thus was my world destroyed and I with it, for on that day something died in the heart of a child. A child?  In years, yes, but the child pleading in the divorce court that day would never again be a carefree little girl.  For now my mommy and daddy were divorced.  It was a big word and a hateful one. What it meant to grown-ups I did not know, but what it meant to me is a story that can never be fully told. 
Right now it meant that the home we had known existed no longer.  To us children our home was our world, with both mother and daddy essential parts of it.  But that had suddenly crumbled.  Like a violent storm that strikes suddenly and leaves you to pick up the pieces.  So life had suddenly turned our home inside out and upside down.  Much of the shock lay in the fact that the ones destroying it had been our very security and life.
From now on my family must be divided.  I was to choose between my mother and father---- I could not have both, though I loved both and wanted them, both of them, to love me.  Each was necessary to me. How could I turn my back on one and say I wanted the other more?
     I remembered nights when I was sick and how my mother kept vigil---- how she had fed me and tended to my needs,  surely she loved me! When things troubled me I had always gone to her and her explanations had banished childish fears.  I had great faith in my mother.
     Nor could I doubt my father's love or the close place I had in his heart.  Often my brothers sent me to Dad when they wanted some favor, knowing he seldom refused me.  This special place I had with Daddy was perhaps because I was so like him and we understood each other so well.  I had deep respect for my father--- but how could I compare it with what I felt for Mother?  And how could I make a decision that would separate me from either?
     This was the down payment in the price of divorce -- and the children had to pay.   To any parent who still count the cost, I plead the cause of your children!  If you subject them to the agony of choosing between the parents he loves, something wonderful has to die in his heart during the unnatural struggle that choice entails. 
    Years have passed, but I still shutter at the memory of the day I left our home with my mother. Daddy cried like a child and then just stood and stared into space.  I have wondered what went through his mind then.  He had worked so hard to do right by his family and now all he had built was gone.  Was part of his grief due to the fact that missing from the circle of his motherless children was his only daughter?  Was he thinking of what might have been?
     In my mind there is no doubt of what might have been: theirs could have been a successful marriage had they determined to keep the home intact-- had both or even one of them been able to sacrifice personal feelings. 
      As far back as my memory goes I remember my parents quarreling. Like all quarrels, these were born of selfishness and stubbornness, with neither willing to give in to the other.  Foolish advice was: "Separate if you can't get along, it will be better for the children."  (Better to crush six young hearts than for one or two to bear small hurts?  Better the blow should fall on six lives, young and tender, not old enough to know why they must be separated from one another?)
     Bitter protest and tears were vain for divorce courts do not consider human hearts when they collect their dues.  Mother and Dad were to be "free" but we children were not.  I became a slave to despair.  The quarrels?  They ceased, to be sure, but the cries of heartbroken children took their place, and I, for one, longed to hear those quarrels, if only it meant I could have my mother and daddy back!
     This story is my own---- the plea I make is that of my own heart, though my brothers, too, could write their own stories, and neighbors in our small town could add to it.  Perhaps it is just a familiar story; a daddy too busy to do the little things that count so much and having to neglect his six  and eight year old boys.  My little brother longed for his mother, but he compensated for his loss and grief by acts of meanness, so he became a problem child at school.  My teen-aged brothers became involved with the law to the point where they spent a night in jail.  I realized even then that this, too, is a part of the price of divorce that the children have to pay.
     Perhaps a girl needs her mother even more than do boys.  I seemed to be cut the deepest and to suffer the most.  The shock of that day in court was indelibly printed on my memory, but I had only begun to taste of the bitter portion meted out to children who are victims of divorce.
     With Daddy thrust out of my life and my brothers gone, my heart fastened more tenaciously than ever on Mother and words cannot express the shock that was mine when I found her in the arms of another man.  In that instant I knew utter desolation. I had lost my father---- now my mother no longer belonged to me!  Another man, a stranger to me, had taken her and this discovery completely changed and embittered my life.
      Emotions that had been sealed within me now broke forth in endless weeping.  Bitterness enveloped me like a cloud and resentment made it impossible for me to speak peaceably to my mother.  Back of the confused emotions came the resolve that no one else should have her.  She belonged to me and to Daddy!  I became obsessed with the idea that I must win her from the one whom I felt was the cause of my sorrow.
     Artist may paint human suffering but neither artist's brush nor writer's pen can recapture the horror of the moment when a child realizes it had lost the battle for its mother's love.  One day she had been my mother-- the next, she was a stranger whose only feeling seemed to be displeasure at her unreasonable child.  Neighbors pitied and tried to comfort, but their words did not reach me.  I only knew departed hope.  My appeal had failed and no failure had ever involved so much.
     So I tried going back to our old home and living with Daddy.  I think I was in a state of shock as I found my way back there.  A few weeks before I had been in this home: a happy confident child, but as I entered the familiar yard there was no joy in my heart--- no anticipation or eagerness.  Daddy met me at the door and seemed thankful I had returned, but he found to his sorrow that it a not the same little girl who had come back.  Sorrow and grief had caused youth to flee, and with it had gone laughter and joy. 
    He tried, but was not able to save me from the depths of despair to which I sank.  I wept until tears no longer came.  Many pitied but there was no healing or my wounded heart.  When we heard that mother had remarried, great bitterness possessed me.  Grief had so eaten away at my life that I became hard and rebellious.  The faith that my mother had destroyed had caused me to lose confidence in everyone, even my father, and I became full of self-pity, feeling that everyone was against me, even my father.
      I left Daddy and stayed with anyone who would have me.  Later, harsh circumstances forced me to go back to my mother and her new husband.
      I must have been a haunt from the past for them, and I lived with the stinging reality that I was not wanted.  Yet every fiber of my being craved to be loved.  Violent argument-- a war of hate began between me and the intruder.  Strain began to show on my mother's face and in my misery, I found secret consolation in that fact.  My frayed emotions became a physical sickness, for the human system can only be over taxed just so long before something breaks.  Fitful sleep, punctuated by nightmares became my new pattern.  No one wanted to be around me and being alone most of the time, I developed a fear of people.
      I succumbed completely to shattered nerves.
      I wish I could take the hand of every parent even remotely thinking of divorce and lead you back with me into the horrible valley of shadow through which I have come.  If the hurt of an innocent child' heart, the bitter shock to a tender life, the tears of an innocent child's heart, the bitter shock to a tender life, the tears of an unwanted misplaced child could all be called to bear witness in a divorce court, there would be a lot fewer divorces granted in our land.
     Thank God, in my struggles through that darkness I met the Savior and slowly-- very slowly-- began to live again.  Since that time I have married, and at one time it seemed that I would fail as my parents had.  But through sacrifice and love I was able to prove that marriage can be made to last.  Today I am so blessed to have my wonderful husband and a secure loving home setting for my precious children.  It is infinitely worth it to work and pray problems through and make Christ the Head of your home.  My marriage did not succeed overnight, but every effort and sacrifice of feeling or pride on my part proved worthwhile as it brought out qualities in my husband that I had not known existed.  God alone knows the joys I now reap from every battle I fought-- with myself-- instead of with my husband.  I had to learn to give when I would have rather taken, to smile when my heart rebelled, to hold my tongue and let God speak for me-- but my rewards are a truly happy marriage and a secure home.
     If any reading this have at all contemplated divorce, I beg of you, gather your children into your arms, look deeply into their faces, and in pity spare them that which I have had to endure and can never forget.

Source: Adapted from the August 2013 edition of The Evangelist of Truth magazine.

The Evangelist of Truth
5830 Alexander Hill Road
Washington, Indiana 47501

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass - From Aesop's Fables

      A Miller and his Son were driving their Ass to a neighbouring fair to sell him.  They had not gone far when they met with a troop of girls returning from the town, talking and laughing, "Look there!"cried one of them, "did you ever see such fools, to be trudging along the road on foot, when they might be riding!"  The old Man, hearing this, quietly bade his Son get on the Ass, and walked along merrily by the side of him.  Presently they came up to a group of old men in earnest debate. "There! said one of them, "it proves what I was a-saying.  What respect is shown to old age in these days? Do you see that idle young rogue riding, while his old father has to walk? --Get down you scapegrace!  and let the old Man rest his weary limbs."  Upon this the father made his Son dismount, and got up himself.  In this manner they had not proceeded far when they met a company of women and children.  "Why, you lazy old fellow!" cried several tongues at once, "how can you ride upon the beast, while that poor little lad there can hardly keep pace by the side of you."  The good-natured Miller stood corrected, and immediately took up his Son behind him.  They had now almost reached the town. "Pray, honest friend," said a townsman, "is that Ass your own?"  "Yes," says the old Man. "O! One would not have thought so," said the other, "by the way you load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than he you!"  "Anything to please you," said the old Man; "we can but try."  So, alighting with his Son, they tied the Ass's legs together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him on their shoulders over a bridge that led to the town.  This was so entertaining a sight that the people ran out in crowds to laugh at it; till the Ass, not liking the noise nor his situation, kicked asunder the cords that bound him, and, tumbling off the pole, fell into the river.  Upon this the old Man, vexed and ashamed, made the the best of his way home again --convinced that by endeavouring to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his Ass into the bargain.

Source: Aesop's Fables: A New Version, Chiefly from Original Sources by the Rev. Thomas James, M. A.   Published in 1851

Check out the subject of  people pleasing in the Bible: Galations 1:10 and 1 Thes. 2:3

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How Guns Relate to Freedom

Here my brother and sister are enjoying some shooting practice 
    Gun control is another issue that is a heart issue.  Using government coercion is the wrong route for "gun control."  I believe this is reflected in the Scripture that says, (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."  People will control their guns properly and shoot the right things when their hearts are right.  There is an old Latin saying that goes:  Minatur innocentibus qui parcit nocentibus.
It means: "He threatens the innocent who spares the guilty."  Many leaders are now threatening the innocent by not allowing the innocent to protect themselves from the guilty.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 
 -The Second Amendment of the Constitution
    Our founders saw the right to keep firearms a very important right to make it number two of the Amendments to the Constitution.  Those that don't like this amendment have taken several different angles to get around it.  These maneuvers are not unique to the gun-control lobbyist. 
1.Twist the meaning of the authority. 
2. Make the authority to appear outdated.
3.  Ignore the authority.
  One way the original meaning is twisted is to say that it was talking about making sure the military is properly armed.  Anyone who knows history knows that this is not what the founders meant as the amendment was a safeguard to make sure the government remained a servant, and not a  tyrannical force.  Then there is the idea that the Constitution is outdated.  They believe that because we have police forces and freedom that we don't need to be ready to protect ourselves.  They don't recognize how swiftly things can change, and that to keep freedom we must have the means to protect it and eternal vigilance. I think of the words of the prophet when he said people were saying, "Peace, peace; when there is no peace."  Because the Constitution has been twisted and made to appear irrelevant it also has been ignored.  Today we see a number of unlawful laws being made that ignore the authority of the Constitution.
I can't help but think about how people treat the Constitution in a similar way to how the Bible is treated.  I believe the Bible gives us the means to live in the soundest freedom available to man.  It's meanings are twisted by those that don't want to know its true meaning.  Those that love freedom must be able to know what words mean and use the true meaning of words when they use them.  One advantage to using a KJV Bible is that it was published when the English language was at its zenith and it has been acknowledged that it has had an influence on our language ever since it was published (just take a look at some of Webster's old dictionaries). John Milton said, "When the language in common use in any country becomes irregular and depraved, it is followed by their degradation.  For what do terms used without skill and meaning, which are at once corrupt and misapplied, denote but a people listless, supine, and ripe for servitude." It seems that those that change the meanings of these documents think that everything is evolving and a higher race of people will bring in a better day.  They can't see that by twisting meanings they bring bondage on themselves and their posterity.  There will be a better day when the guns and swords will be made into garden implements, but not till Christ is known as the true authority.  In the meantime, man has an evil nature that requires us  to take the necessary means to protect the innocent.  We also know that when the command to not steal was given in the Bible it ordained private property and with it the means of keeping it. Jesus said, "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up" (Matthew 24:43).
Ancient Israel went through a tragic day from sword-control.  The purpose of the sword-control was people control. The Israelites were made captive by the Philistines.  If they had swords it would have given them the means to go free and there would be no more free lunch for the Philistines.  The people were being used.  They were not even allowed to sharpen there own garden tools.  They went to the Philistines to have their tools sharpened.  Among the Israelites there were only two men that had swords, Saul, the king, and his son Jonathon.  It makes me think of Stalin and how he took guns away the farmers in Ukraine.  When he took the farms from the farmers to make collectivist farms the farmers caused uprisings, but not successfully as they only had farm tools to defend themselves.  A similar story is of the government of Turkey and how they confiscated guns from the Armenians before killing many of them through forced labor, starvation and execution until three quarters of the Armenians in Turkey where dead.  The stage was set to take away their ability to protect themselves from a government that sought to destroy them.
There will be the day that the swords and guns will become pruning shears and ground tillers. The idea of peace is noble, but it will not be accomplished without the Prince of Peace. The reason men must still guard their homes and country is that there are people that are evil and purpose evil against others.  Eden is gone and will not come back with our own short-sighted wisdom, but for those that ask the Creator for wisdom it is granted.
On the Web:
This is an interesting take on the issue of gun control.  The author believes our national inheritance and rich history in freedom are strong safeguards against gun confiscation.  He comes at this issue from a different angle from I have.  If you have insights on this issue that might be good to cover further, please let me know.