HOT TOPICS SURROUNDING MARRIAGE…PART TWO
A Real Life story on Marriage, divorce, remarriage and adultery
In August 2009, I was speaking at an Association of Marriage and Family Ministries conference in Phoenix, AZ. After my presentation I was late for lunch and a black gentleman with an accent approached my table as I was eating alone. I recognized him from being in my presentation.
He asked if he could join me for lunch. I said, “Absolutely,” and thanked him for joining in my session. He introduced himself as Pastor Morvan Zang from Cameroon, West Africa, and shared that he was the vice president of the Western African Association of Churches. He was very encouraging and after some small talk and learning a bit more about each other he invited me to come and share the Love and Lordship message (IP315 Ministries at that time) at an International Marriage and Family Conference in Cameroon.
I was taken back, both excited and humbled to be asked, and we talked a little while. I told him I was certainly open to The Spirit’s leading and would make it a matter of prayer.
Over the next few months I prayed as The Lord laid it on my heart and then we reconnected via email and social media in February 2010. After several months of communicating on the digital platforms we scheduled a phone call in May (7 time zones apart). During this phone call I asked him one question that The Holy Spirit had laid on my heart. I asked him to tell me about their culture.
He proceeded to tell me that Cameroon was a “developed” country, although not like US, government-run schools (which I replied was very much like the US) and there was a military presence at financial and other commerce related institutions.
I further asked about the state of the churches and families. His response was the word The Holy Spirit used to confirm it for me. He said, “Our churches are doing okay but not great and our marriages and families are struggling more and more. The more western culture that we get the more our marriages and families are falling apart.”
I asked, “When you speak of western culture are you including the western culture church?”
He replied, “Yes, I am.”
What a sad statement that reflected on our families, churches and culture and almost word for word from an underground pastor that I had talked with from China in 1991!
We made all our plans for travel and childcare, got our shots and passports, and took off for Cameroon for the conference in November 2010. We had a wonderful week and over 1100 people attended the conference.
We closed out on a Thursday night and I taught on the information that I shared in the previous post on marriage, divorce, remarriage, and adultery.
We went sightseeing on Friday, as we were to end the week with a Pastor’s conference on Saturday. Approximately 50 pastors and spouses showed up on Saturday and I spoke about taking the message to a lost and hurting world based on the Love and Lordship principles presented in this ministry and our book, The Authority of Love.
As we wrapped up the pastor’s conference and the week, the gentleman who had been our chauffeur and my interpreter the entire week approached me. I could see he was visibly moved as he took my hand and began to speak with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat.
He said, “I want to thank you for coming to Cameroon and speaking God’s Truth to us. My wife and I were set free on Thursday night after God’s message through you. We’ve never had an American pastor speak it so plainly, graciously and boldly. We’ve never had an American pastor even share this truth.”
Needless to say, I was both encouraged and disheartened. Encouraged personally, but disheartened by the reality that tough issues are often ignored or soft-pedaled in our churches in America today, thus reinforcing Pastor Zang’s comments earlier regarding the impact of western culture, including our churches, on their families and churches.
He went on to share that after the teaching he went home and told his wife that he needed to pray with her and ask her forgiveness. She asked him why and he said, “I now know that I’ve committed adultery.” She gasped and he reassured her it was because his first wife had left him and he had now married her, his second wife.
They knelt and prayed for over an hour. When they stood up with tears in their eyes they looked at each other and said simultaneously, “I feel like a weight has just been lifted from our shoulders and we can now truly become one and do all that God has called us to do.”
He thanked me again and left as I stood there, tears now filling my eyes, I had goose bumps all over me.
Everyone else had left except for Pastor Zan who had invited us and coordinated the entire conference. He approached me and asked if the interpreter had shared his story with me. I confirmed that he had and told him how awesome it was to see God show up in that way and His uncompromised Truth set them free.
The pastor asked, “Do you know who he is?” I answered, in a matter of fact tone, “He’s the chauffeur and interpreter.”
He said, “He is the president of the entire Western African Association of Churches. Did you see…?”
Before he could finish I said, “I know what you’re going to say. All week long all the other pastors had kept him literally at arm’s length with short, curt greetings and stiff-armed handshakes. Everyone else was greeted with deep heartfelt hugs. Today every single pastor and their wife gave him a hearty and long hug.”
Pastor Zang said that since his divorce and remarriage, the founding church in the US made it clear that he would remain as president but everyone, including himself, has struggled with what you taught on Thursday night.
“We’ve had great difficulty coming together as a church in our country but today that all changed.”
I replied, as I had to the interpreter (president) when he shared that he and his wife knew they had been set free on Thursday night, “That’s what happens when God’s Truth is taught and received. People, couples, and even churches are set free.”
I pray that you will receive all of the teachings from God’s Word in this ministry and in our book and test them to see if they are of Him and therefore true. If you find them to be, I pray that you would follow them with all your heart in every relationship and especially in your marriage and family and in His Church.
Only when the sanctity of Marriage and Family under the Lordship of Christ and according to the Truth of Scripture has been restored will we see true revival and servant-leadership in the Church and then Godly influence and impact in the culture rather than the other way around…the culture influencing our churches.
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Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – God’s Word makes it very obvious that marriage is a lifetime commitment and that any breaking of that comes against His design, will and plan. However, He also has made a way, as with any sin, for forgiveness and redemption in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) – 1) Ask The Lord to give you the wisdom to see and value marriage as He designed it; 2) Ask The Lord to help you not fall for the world’s destructive ideas regarding relationships, sex, marriage and family; 3) Ask The Lord to forgive you for any sin with regard to these areas in your life and; 4) Ask Him to help you build Godly, Biblical relationships, practice sexual purity in order to work toward a healthy, fulfilling marriage and family.