Many saints are angry and bitter at the church.  Their relationship is much like the man who seeks a divorce from his wife in search of a better woman.

Jim’s marriage was in trouble.  He walked into the counselor’s office hoping for some support for the way he felt.

“What brings you here today”” asked Dr. Noble.

Jim looked down, refusing eye contact with Dr. Noble, as he began to answer, “My wife has changed from when we first married–she has so many more  wrinkles on her face.”

“Jim,” Dr. Noble interrupted, “do you think your wife has always had some of these wrinkles and flaws, and maybe you are just now beginning to notice them?”

“No, it is my wife showing signs of aging.  She no longer has the smooth and perfect skin I fell in love with.”  Jim realized how this sounded to the counselor, but he felt he had to finish telling his side of the story.  ”My wife has also put on some weight.  When we first fell in love, she was thin and athletic.  Now, I look at her with disgust.  I can’t even bear to touch her anymore.”

Dr. Noble had heard this kind of thing before from other men and women who had grown tired of their marriage.  He knew this was really the beginning of the end for Jim ad his wife.

“But don’t get me wrong, the problems are not just physical.”  Jim continued before Dr. Noble could interrupt.  ”My wife has said and done some things that I just cannot forgive.  She is not the same person I married.”

“Every marriage has troubles, Jim”  Dr. Noble affirmed, “but there is a healthy way to address these problems and a destructive way.  What have you done to make things better?”

“A lot!” said Jim, feeling vindicated by how hard he has worked to fix his wife.  ”I have offered my wife money so she could get some plastic surgery and be the woman I want her to be.   I also write her notes on a regular basis that remind her of all the things she does wrong during the week and how she can make herself  a better wife.”  Jim now looked up to meet Dr. Noble’s gaze with confidence in all that he had done.  ”I have done everything I can to make my wife better, but she is too slow to change.  It is time to move on.”

“What do you mean?”  Dr. Noble asked… but he already knew the answer.

“The only think left of our marriage is a piece of paper.  All that I have left is a meaningless institution that lacks the love and passion I long for.”  Ken was now more determined than ever to finish what he started.  ”I want to leave my marriage and start over with a new and better wife.  I want a wife who will not blemish with age, who will never do anything that upsets me, and one who will always meet my needs.

I know this is God’s plan for marriage, and I refuse to settle for anything less than God’s perfect design.”

Revelation 19:7-9

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His wife has made herself ready.”

And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen,
clean and bright,
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me,
‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’
“These are the true sayings of God.”

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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