Later this month I'll be starting a series on separation and divorce. My hope is that this series will be very affirming to those of us who have separated/divorced or are feeling we are probably being called there. However, before we get into that, I'd like to take a couple of weeks to affirm those of us who are staying and look at one of the fundamentals of living with a recovering sex addict. Truth be told, what follows is a key for living in any difficult place.
Seek Ye First
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteous, and all these things will be added unto you."
In this season of my life I find that God is putting a lot of emphasis on what it is to seek first His kingdom. What I'm realizing is that this focus is key to living with a man who:
- Has a history of betraying me
- A history of lying to me
- A history of sacrificing me and our children for his own selfish desires
- Who looks and acts a wee bit insane at times (be it "stinkin' thinkin'," contradictory belief tracts, inability to control his thoughts, or even some demonization)
What I've come to feel at this time is that the seeking, isn't so much about "looking for," as "setting our hearts on." A little digging around in the scriptures shows me that this is a legitimate enough translation considering that "seek" in Hebrew (the authors of the New Testament may have been writing in Greek, but their thinking was Aramaic and Hebrew) meant not only to "look for" but "to worship." Moreover the word "first" in Greek: proton, implies "first in importance."
Now, I can't "make myself" focus first on God (His kingdom and righteousness) or make Him most important in my life by a simple act of the will. However, by an act of my will I can plant a seed and till the ground to make this a possibility. The seed, for me, is asking Him regularly to "capture my heart." Even just the act of asking this, and meditating on what it might mean draws me to Him. For me, tilling the ground, means taking time to thank him for the good things in my life.
The result of this "planting and tilling" is that I automatically clear space in my day for one-on-one time (because He's delightful to be with), clear space in my thoughts (so I consult with Him as I go about my day). All this brings me to a really good place of peace, joy, patience — and other fruity things that carry me through the circumstances.
The Hard Days
This was not a place I could have easily gotten to in the early crisis days. If that's where you're at, know that you can start this journey, but the fruit, including "the peace that passes understanding," might still be a couple/few years off. That's ok. Ripe fruit takes time. Planting the tree today though, is a great way to make sure you have fruit later.
Next week, we'll look at "the kingdom of God" and "and all these things will be added." For now, let's reflect on this:
Jesus also said, "The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own..." —Mark 4:26-28a
Spiritual crisis and questioning is very much a part of the journey for most wives of sex addicts. It's good to know that "seek first the kingdom of God" is a bit of a mystery, and that God has done, and is doing, the bulk of the work. Still, you may be feeling some of the frustration around "seeking" expressed in this song. Know that this is a very common part of this journey.
photo credit: Bourguiboeuf Carole via photopin (license)