After RLB returned from deployment and I was still in rebellion to God's word, I spoke of separating and possible divorce. I couldn't understand the changes in him and I was blind to my rebellion. It was beginning to seem hopeless. RLB would not relent. He would not give in to me. His convictions were solid. I was the one missing something.
After I told him I was considering moving out, he said something to me that still, to this day, plays over in my mind. He said, "You can leave, you can divorce me, but I will always pursue you. I will never stop loving you."
He was speaking of Agape.
Don't be mistaken, these were not statements meant to woo me. They were not soft spoken, sentimental words. In no way was he putting me on a pedestal.
This was an admonishment. This was him saying, "As a sister in Christ, you are off, you are wrong, you are in rebellion and it is my responsibility to lead you to the truth. I will continue to do so no matter the choices you make."
Receiving a divorce decree from the State would mean nothing in God's eyes. The changes that had occurred in RLB were him repenting of his own rebellion to God's commands:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. - Ephesians 5:25-28I was the last person who would tempt him to rebel again. My actions no longer mattered. He understood what was expected of him as a husband, I would not sway him.
His words affected me so deeply, I started seeking. His conviction and obedience to God's word was visible. It was a very commanding, masculine presence that captivated me. He was a man I could not turn away from. Something within me needed to get right to receive his favor again. I needed to be the wife this man treasured. Call it Christian Game. It is powerful.
The very same words, spoken with a different intent, spoken out of supplication, not spoken with Agape, would not have had the same effect on me. I do not respond well to being put upon a pedestal - by anyone. I lose attraction, and quite honestly, I lose respect. RLB doesn't ever put me on a pedestal, thankfully.
RLB had just lived in a very evil place. He fought evil and cleaved to the Word. It changed him and it concerned him whether he would be able to come back home where his loved ones lived a cozy life, blind to the evils of the world. He was concerned no one would understand him and he was certain what was changed within him would remain. He was prepared to suffer a life of being among people but alone.
He would not walk me through the changes I needed to make. There is no play by play, there is no script. Developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, repenting of rebellion, and living obedience to God's word is a very intimate and personal time. RLB had faith, he prayed for me, and he left me alone. Very, very alone.
I am so thankful he did. I am so thankful he placed obedience above fear.
I will always love him.