In 1968 there was a movie by the same name. It was about a man and woman, learning to love one another while accepting the blending of two families with the children. The children had to learn to love and respect each other as well as their parent’s decision to remarry. Though it is a complete work of fiction, it is a story that has been played out repeatedly over history. This movie does have a happy ending unlike such stories that portray step parents as the evil villains. Another story that too is often played out in real life.
I see as strong parallel on a notion that I touched on yesterday. Voting as matter of conscience. I have met way too many Christians in both major parties here in the United States who come to believe that if you are not aligned with them, then you are aligned with Satan. The concept that you make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time, is of no value to them. Either you are in or out, wrong or right. But a careful read of Scripture being inspired by the Holy Spirit, reveals that there are many aspects of the “will of God” that have to be carefully weighed out and sifted, and not everybody will reach the same conclusion. Here is one such example:
- 1 Corinthians 7:32-40 NASB – 32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and [his interests] are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and [to secure] undistracted devotion to the Lord. 36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin [daughter,] if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin [daughter,] he will do well. 38 So then both he who gives his own virgin [daughter] in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better. 39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.
Being free to serve God is one thing, but without previous generations giving themselves into marriage and procreation, we do not exist. (Just study the Shakers to see how quickly a movement can become extinguished in one generation without procreation!)
So notice carefully the words of the Holy Spirit as spoken through the apostle Paul . . .
- He wants us to be free from concern . . .
- He does not want to put a restraint on us . . .
- WE HAVE AUTHORITY OVER OUR OWN WILL . . .
- We are free to decide in our own hearts . . .
- The Holy Spirit can work either way with us as it is left to our own “opinion.”
One may fret what may happen if I do not not make the best decision. Then I remind you to “Do Not Fear.” Because:
- Romans 8:28 NASB – 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose.
Please note, it does not say God causes all things, just that He works all things together. If the choices we make are not the best or down right bad, take comfort in this; God knew in advance what decisions we would make and has a plan to set things aright. The unspoken theology is by not agreeing with self appointed apostles and prophets, one will thwart the completion of the will of God, or the plan of God. Such talk is nonsense. Only God, (not us nor even Satan) has the omniscient power to know all things and work all things together.
There was a prophetic word making the rounds last Easter that God was somehow rebooting his Church after Covid restrictions had been put in place. I like to remind people that Covid may have caught the church off guard, but it did not catch God off guard. There was no need for God to abort his plans, pause his plans, and reboot. His plan was already in effect. We as humans made the ultimate screw up of not recognizing his Son when he came and crucified him. God was working out all things even before we acted, and while we acted.
God knowing our intended actions, made provision in advance that Jesus was freely given as a sacrifice on our behalf. If God could after one of the greatest mistrials of all time, witness the death of his Son, this current election in the United States does not even rise to the level of child’s play. It is only of concern for those who may loose face when it comes to influencing other people’s behavior. Which I might add is the role assigned to the Holy Spirit. But in the end, we still have authority over our own will. Our will has never been, nor intended to be, delegated to any other person, regardless of gifting or calling. Self-Control is indeed a fruit of the Spirit. We are free to do what we see best and if we fall short, as we all have done, we have an advocate before the Father to help restore right relationship. And through right relationship, we clearly come to see what is yours, mine, and ours. And when we do so, we learn to love those who may think and act (vote) differently than we would.
So be at peace with your decisions and as always, love much my friends . . .