As usual, I watched “Jesus of Nazareth” Easter weekend – my favorite Biblical movie. In the movie, when Peter is asked by Jesus to join Him, after the miracle of catching all the fish, Peter hems and haws and says he has to take care of his family. Although it wasn’t recorded quite like this in the Bible, I’m sure that Peter, at some point, questioned leaving everything to follow Jesus. All the disciples must have thought, even for a brief moment, it was a lot to ask to leave their families and their work.
We all face a point in our Christianity where we have to decide to put the worldly things behind us to follow Jesus. It’s a daunting task, one that keeps many from turning their lives over to Him. Before I truly became a Christian, I remember thinking it would be too much of a sacrifice. I wanted to go out and party with my friends and do whatever I wanted. Living a Christian life didn’t look like a lot of fun to me. Oh, how wrong I was!
Marriage can sometimes look like the same kind of sacrifice, scaring many away from it. In order to have a healthy, solid marriage, you need to put your old life and the world behind you.
Back to Peter - some Bible scholars refer to Peter as being unstable and unpredictable. He was passionate and often ruled by his emotions, speaking before he clearly thought about his words.
During the Last Supper, Peter vehemently declared to Jesus that he would never deny knowing Him as Jesus foresees that he will. As we all know, after the arrest of Jesus, Peter claims he does not know Him not once, but three times. His fear overruled his faith. I don’t know about you, but three denials would have been enough for me to say, “Sorry Peter. I don’t need your kind as one of my disciples.”
Seeing all the flaws in the disciples of Jesus gives me great comfort. None of us are perfect; we all struggle with flaws. Still, Jesus includes them in His elite group, and they all wind up leaving a great legacy in Biblical history. Peter turns out to be the “rock of the church.”
Matthew 16:18-19, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus forgave the disciples for their doubts, fears and imperfections as He forgives us. He allowed them to grow into the spiritual leaders He desired for them to be by letting them learn the hard way – by making mistakes - by being human.
So why do we have such a hard time allowing our spouses to be human, to make mistakes? We can be so quick to judge them and begrudge them. Aren’t we called to be like Jesus who forgives and forgives and forgives?
Our world would have missed out on some amazing life examples from the disciples of Jesus had He decided to divorce them because of their imperfections.
You may miss out on an amazing marriage should you decide to divorce because of your spouses’ imperfections. I know I almost did. At one time, I thought my marriage was hopeless, but God saved it and made it amazing.
Through most of Jesus' life the disciples seemed pretty hopeless and helpless. That was just the middle of the story, though. Jesus had so much more planned for them. They went on to live full, holy lives fulfilling the will of God. That is God’s desire for all of us.
You may be going through difficulties in your marriage, but realize, you are only in the middle of your life story. There is always hope. Don’t allow your fear to overrule your faith. God has a plan for you, too. In order to fulfill those plans, you may have some life lessons to learn in order to prepare you for the latter part of the story. Realize that these times are part of that plan to make you stronger – like the disciples.