That this is a historical moment is perhaps an understatement. Although I am more conservative than Mr. Obama in both politics and theology, I am very grateful to see enough of our nation overcome racial divides sufficient to elect a non-Anglo to the highest office in the land. I remember when my southern high school integrated. Our school was able to do so without any violence. I cherish that heritage and also this historical moment.
Being the independent thinker that I am (I don't claim to be one of genius intelligence; I just reserve the right to do my own thinking rather than let others do it for me) often gets me in trouble, especially among those who live their lives in fear or who are in a contest to be the fourth person of the Trinity. But for others, they accept me as the human follower of Jesus that I am and we can have great dialog.
As a Christian it is my privilege and responsibility to pray for whoever occupies the civil leadership of our nation. We in the United States have the right of appeal as free citizens. We Christians should be able to give a reason for our beliefs. Therefore the exercise of good citizenship is expected. However, we must be people of truth and reject lies and disparaging innuendo against those who do not share our beliefs or opinions. We are to be Christian in every sense of the word. That means we pray for all and protest only with truth. Mr. Obama gives testimony of being a follower of Jesus. He is a brother and only Jesus can judge otherwise. So don't fall into the trap of those with agendas who would use Christians as fodder for their own agenda. Read, think, pray. "The king's heart is in the hands of the Lord"(Prov. 21:1, NIV).
But back to the "prophetess". How do you function in your marriage? We are committed to the sufficiency and truth of the Scriptures. I do use the word "inerrant" (Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy) to describe the nature of Holy Scripture. This is a double-edged sword for those who believe the Bible. One is that where Scripture speaks, it is authoritative and if we are serious, we should seek to obey. The other side of that is where Scripture does not speak, we should not attempt to make our cultural and religious opinions authoritative. Here there is freedom. Deuteronomy 29:29, (ESV) is helpful: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
A good marriage is always a work in progress. Two people, usually different personalities and often different backgrounds fall in love. They are typically young and the body has yet to "backslide". Their dreams are ahead of them. They can make love all night, not realizing that what they can do all night will one day take all night! But there are some things they haven't done.
They likely have not considered the biological family of their intended spouse and asked the question: "Will he or she be like that when they are that age?" They have not looked at the behavioral patterns, sin patterns, the strengths and weaknesses, or the disease and dysfunctions that are patterns in the biological family of their intended. They honestly believe they will be "different". They have their own dreams, so they begin.
But life often comes from our blind sides. Ahhh, those tests. Those unexpected "worse" parts of our wedding vows. The biology kicks in and despite our best efforts we begin to exhibit some undesirable traits of our heritage and genes. Do you remember the first time you heard yourself saying something to your children or spouse that your parents used to say and you swore an oath that you would never say that? Or the first time you looked in the mirror and then looked away? :)
One has some options at these points. Although not at all God's desire, it is too easy in this country to simply walk away for less than biblical reasons. I am referring to choosing the path of least resistance when the challenges come. This is sometimes encouraged by culture, friends and family. It is often a regrettable decision and carries it's own baggage. But some do choose this option.
Another option is to buy into the "role" legalism. We speak a lot in marriage about role. But it isn't a biblical word. It is one of those "opinion" rules. In fact, it is not even used in the NIV, KJV, or ESV. It is used twice in the NLT and neither refer to the family. Role can be a helpful word. It can be a reminder of certain responsibilities each of us have. But if used as a scorecard, it is not helpful in a marriage relationship and is often the parent of resentment. Almost every scorecard keeps a record of errors, and I Corinthians 13:6 reminds us that love "keeps no record of being wronged" (NLT).
I believe a better way is to use the word relationship. We are not in a perfect world and it is likely a good thing that when young and in love we do not analyze everything in one another's biological family. Who would survive such critique?
The word "relationship" is a biblical word and is used in various translations in both the Old and New Testaments. It is used in some passages in the context of family. I believe the translators have been wise at this point. Marriage is a relationship. Relationships have the possibility for growth as well as for failure. Relationship has responsibilities and requires sacrifice. Relationships cannot exist in a vacuum. One must give of himself or herself in order to achieve a successful relationship.
The years have given Cheryl and I some great joys and we anticipate more. We have had some pretty tough knocks as well. We have learned from them. And I have grown from the "Role" emphasis of marriage to the "relationship" emphasis. In that relationship we see all of the components of a biblical marriage. And it is good and growing. And although I am the outspoken one, I have found in her soft words wisdom. Is this not a part of being in the image of God and "one flesh"?
My encouragement to you going through difficulty is this. Don't give up to any except God. Today is NOT tomorrow and God will carry your through. Respect one another enough to fail with them. Some of the greatest of our history experienced many failures prior to achieving their life's success. Abraham Lincoln is just one example. Moses is another. John Mark another. So was Simon Peter. I affectionately refer to him as "Peter the Cable Guy". He was somewhat of a Galilean "redneck".
God will honor you and bring you through. I do like the old spiritual, "I'm goin' through, yes I'm goin' through. I've started in Jesus, and I'm going through." May all of us go through together!!