As my father-in-law shared with me about how my mother-in-law suffers at the hand of Alzheimer's, an unexpected thought popped into my head. He just needs a girlfriend. Then I immediately thought... O my! Where in the world did that come from! That is not of God! How was it possible that "I" would have such a worldview come into my thoughts?
My dear father-in-law did not know that I was dealing with a worldview battle in my head. I was so shocked by this thought that I did not tell my husband for several months until one day he shared with me a news release about highly publicized comment on Alzheimer that someone married to an Alzheimer's patient is free to divorce. It was then that I told Greg about my thoughts that day.
I explained that I dealt with it immediately by confessing it and covering it with the truth of God's Word. This caused us to dialogue about the difference of a Biblical worldview and a secular worldview. The idea of worldview versus Biblical worldview is used a lot right now in Christian circles, but what I am discovering is that Christians struggle with worldview more than we realize. In this particular situation, I asked God, "Why did I have this thought? I would never suggest or condone this type of behavior." It was then that I realized, I still held a worldview in the recesses of my heart that was not Biblical.
I am unapologetically a romantic at heart. I love romance. Romance makes my heart sing. Suffering just isn't romantic. Without realizing it, I developed a worldview of romance... Romance heals all wounds. Romance lifts the spirit. Romance will make it all right. Just fall in love... Ugh! Evidently, my favorite relaxing pastime of watching romantic movies has gotten the best of me!
In order to counter my worldview about romance, I began to examine what I know about scripture and what God has to say about these particular thoughts. For example, Isaiah 53:5 says, "By His wounds we are healed." Not exactly the most romantic verse, yet Jesus' love stood strong against the mental, verbal, social, physical, and spiritual attack in order that our wounds in all of those areas may know the fullness of His love, which heals. Romance cannot heal all wounds. Though, the world portrays in movies and books that it does.
I confess when Greg and I first fell in love I felt like I was in the clouds, but this type of feeling stops the minute suffering comes because it is emotion based. Emotions change as circumstances change. This month we will celebrate 20 years of marriage. In our 20 years of marriage, we have endured numerous health issues personally and with extended family, death of loved ones, the loss of everything due to floods, and the collapse of ENRON only to lose all of our retirement. It was not romance that lifted us up, it was our faith and trust in the Father that enabled us to get through dark seasons. Our marriage has endure and sustained by waiting on the LORD when most would walk away. Psalm 37:34 states, "Be waiting for the LORD, and keep His way; and you will be lifted up..."
Enduring suffering is not easy. It most definitely isn't easy in the case of Alzheimer's. My father-in-law sits with my mother-in-law at every meal to make sure she eats, knowing that most of what he will say will be a monologue without any dialogue in return. When he said his marriage vows to my mother-in-law, he said, "Until death do us part!" Marriage in a Biblical worldview does not end because of difficult circumstances, health issues that are unforeseen, or because the romance has ended. Marriage from a Biblical worldview must make the choice to wait on the LORD and seek Him to be the One to heal all wounds!