by Faith Jongewaard
"All his friends would have understood if he had left her. She was unfaithful, wandering, adulterous--plain and simple, she was a whore. The children, who all bore his name, didn’t all look very much like him. He was always having to go after her, always having to hunt her down in bars and strip joints and other men’s houses. He was always having to bail her out of some mess or another—and, that wasn’t cheap or easy. So, everyone would have understood if he had left her. Some would have even applauded. Some would have said, “Well, it’s about time! She’s been playing him for a fool for way too long!”
But, he didn’t leave her. He couldn’t leave her. It wasn’t that he didn’t get frustrated with her—angry, furious, raging mad. But, he couldn’t leave her. He had made a promise—not just to her, but also to God. And, truth be told, it was often only the promise to God that kept him going. He was, he said, being faithful to God, not to her. And that mattered to him more than anything—more than her unfaithfulness, more than the shame he felt about her lifestyle, more than the fantasies (and the advice of well-meaning friends) that he might really have a much better life without her or with another. ..."
I saw this linked today in Presbyweb, and I was impressed with its strong advocacy for remaining together as as denomination. I can understand the frustration many feel with the apparent disconnect between the powers in Louisville and the people in the pews, but my heart is with this denomination, as imperfect as it is. And I am very thankful for those who choose to stay and provide a faithful witness as spiritual leaders.