Building on the last post, When Disappointment Turns Destructive, God’s desire is that disappointment and suffering would turn individuals to Himself. This shouldn’t be a newsflash–it’s the story of the Bible, cover to cover. But too often, well-meaning individuals use marriage as the fix. They offer sex (in marriage) as a solution. They hold out respect (biblical-?) as a reward.

That is idolatry.

Jesus is the fix. Jesus offers fulfillment and satisfaction. Jesus is our reward.

When churches, Bible study leaders, pastors, and lay leaders seek to placate a hurting, fearful, angry man with a marriage covenant, they follow the steps of Jeroboam who offered worship in the high places* as an alternative to submission and obedience evidenced by going to Jerusalem**.

Women are poor substitutes for God. They grow tired of bearing their husband’s sin, failure, fear, and disappointment; weary of being emotional, mental, physical punching bags for their husband’s frustration and unmet demands. Apart from outside intervention, the only way to change a husband’s sinful attachment to a broken vessel is to expose his weeping wounds. (see Eph. 5:1-14; John 3:14-21)

God’s desire is not idolatry–worshipping the earthly over and above the Eternal. But even in our brokenness and distorted thinking, God offers comfort. He offers Himself. Not human comfort. Not limited grace or sufficiency. Himself.

Our view is too narrow or short-sighted when we offer earthly comfort to soothe eternal damage; human bondage to ease heavenly dissatisfaction. God alone comforts, calms, soothes, and completes the human soul. Jesus alone removes guilt, sin and shame (even in the midst of unwanted, painful, and unintended consequences).

Comfort and contentment are critical for healing disappointment and suffering. It’s time to repair the dike instead of holding women captive by a finger until someone comes to save them. The God of the Bible does not sacrifice women on the altar of marriage. He is not Molech; he does not glory in human orgies, self-indulgence, and the resulting destruction. To speak or act as if He does is the greatest of blasphemies. Offering women (or marriage) in God’s place communicates, “God is not enough.” This is “grace plus” mentality. It is wrong and sinful. Jesus died, once for all.

Please stop stealing from wounded angry men. Anyone who offers marriage, wives, and women in God’s place commits robbery–robbery of God’s glory and placation with a lesser, unfit god. Women and marriage are a poor substitute for grace.

Behold, your God!

“Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God.
“Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her guilt has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”

The voice of one calling out,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the uneven ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
The people are indeed grass!
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

Go up on a high mountain,
Zion, messenger of good news,
Raise your voice forcefully,
Jerusalem, messenger of good news;
Raise it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His compensation is with Him,
And His reward before Him.
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in the fold of His robe;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And measured the heavens with a span,
And calculated the dust of the earth with a measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge,
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its animals enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
As for the idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
He who is too impoverished for such an offering
Selects a tree that does not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To prepare an idol that will not totter.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to live in.
It is He who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
“To whom then will you compare Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Raise your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who brings out their multitude by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, Jacob, and you assert, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to the one who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
(Isaiah 40)

*what I want, what is easy, what salves my conscience, but removes me from reminders of God’s holiness
**what God commands

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