Robert is a father, husband, chef, life coach recording artist, sculptor and would love to add "Author" to his list of dreams fulfilled.
While some may not agree that Matthew 18 is applicable in Marriage, I have personally discovered that if one of the partners is willing to approach their spouse when a conflict arises, with the intention to to resolve the matter utilizing this method given to us by Jesus, there can be great benefit.
We have ceratinly had our share of challenges in our marriage over the last two decades. many of them were resolved by just talking it out, but there has been one specific paramount situation where my bride, through much prayer and counsel arrived at the decision to exercise this method.
As a storyteller, I decided to consolidate and pen the journey that led to this moment and the victory that was gained as a result of both parties being submitted to the leadership of the Spirit of the Lord.
My hope is that if you find yourself in a similar situation, this blog might just be the inoculation you need to fill you with a greater sense of hope. That you may just be inspired enough to work through your conflict by applying this timeless instruction given to us by Jesus.
Sit back and allow the Lord to minister to your heart as you take this short trip with me. As I bare my soul I trust that my sincere vulnerability may become a catalyst in breaking down any walls of bitterness and disappointment, inviting a spirit of unity to re-gain access, and result in eternal benefits for you and your marriage.
There I was once again, curled up in a fetal position, with the proverbial thousand-meter stare in my eyes. Motionless, and perhaps quite easily mistaken for a mannequin. The kind of pain I felt produced a numbness that stifled all other feelings. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time that I found myself in this place.
“Comfortably Numb”, I believe is how Roger Waters penned it? This was my reward for just being an innocent little boy who became the next victim of a scheme developed eons ago to cripple and destroy young lives and has proven to be very efficient.
The ill-fated events that took me prisoner in the blink of an eye, became a Segway that paved the way to many years of unrelenting abuse against a defenseless, curly haired, hazel eyed boy.
The shame that blanketed me, coupled with the vow of silence I was coerced to surrender to, perpetuated the quintessential diabolical plan that would ensure my demise.
Throughout my adolescent years, sexual promiscuity ran rampant among my peers, only later did I discover, that they too had all been swept away by this swift, corrupt current. It was a cesspool of filth and degradation that had all the trimmings of a secret society. Shame was the jackhammer that the admin used to keep everything in a bubble, while the puppet master controlled all of the players from the balcony.
But there was a faint voice that continually echoed through the corners of my mind, and eventually after years and years of turning over every rock in the garden, I was somehow able to succumb to, and surrender to that delightful frequency that persistently beckoned me.
It was the voice of a man that I had heard of. One that I’d heard stories of all of my life. I procured His book, but shelfed it alongside, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella and Goldilocks. It was simply another binding of papyrus filled with fairytales that didn’t always have favorable endings.
This was apparently my lot, and all I could do was grin and bear it.
I don’t know how or why I was able to somehow continue upstream with a broken paddle, but the human soul is quite feisty, resilient and can go the distance under duress.
More so than what my finite mind was able to make sense of, or comprehend.
I stared at the television screen, despising the late-night televangelist spewing his best medley of words in order to reach his viewers pocketbooks, offering his best snake oil at a reduced one-time, buy now price!
“ But wait, there’s more”.
All the sudden, the atmosphere literally shifted; the man was speaking directly to me.
I remember looking around the room for a camera, but there was none. My palms were sweaty as he “read my mail” and assertively summoned me closer. He asked if I’d like to be free, and if so to place my hand on the television screen over his and repeat after him.
Before I could blink, I was kneeling in front of that monitor with an outstretched hand. There was an intense swirling in the room like that of the wings of birds flapping violently. And for a Nano second, I got a glimpse into the spirit realm, and I could see angels and demons engaged in an all-out fierce battle.
I could hear the sounds coming from the man’s mouth and I repeated with a great sense of urgency with one eye still peeking into this other open portal. Instantly, all was calm. A calm that I didn’t know existed. I felt as if a big warm blanket had covered me from head to toe and I was now back in my bed, again in that well-known fetal position. Only this time, I felt as if I was cradled in a giant hand. I felt safe and protected and for the first time in what seemed like eons, I slept like a newborn infant.
My days were numbered. I however was clueless. There are truths in scripture surrounding the subject of keeping your “house”, clean and as a result of my deliberate wrong choices, an invitation was made to seven unruly guests that wasted no time taking up residence.
I became very delusional and coupled with my closest friend, “Narci”, I was on a mission to sabotage and destroy everything that loved me, and what better place to activate my wrecking ball than at home.
After years and countless times that I barehandedly tore down my brides Lego castles, little did I know that she was in training and wasn’t about to allow that to continue. I became even more overbearing as I began to lose control of her mind to eventually find myself looking at a border that I could no longer breach.
I felt as though I was just wandering aimlessly in a wasteland being eaten alive by pride. Ther was much anguish in my deep as It cried out desperately for the freedom that I experienced in that cold, dank bedroom many years earlier. Just when I came to the end of my rope, I knew that it was time to throw in the towel, so I did. I gave up. I surrendered to the mirror and was able to see the depravity to the point of vomiting. The towel however, was hurled back at me and I knew there was a way out, I couldn't give up! I confessed of all my wrong doings, I spilled my guts and kept spilling them as I could hear the echoes of soul calling me home. It was time to reach for the bookshelf and dust off that one non-fiction book and begin really applying its content to my life.
When I pulled the power cord on the enemy of my soul, a tool box appeared, filled with the specific tools that I needed to repair my house. Instruction came as I spent time on my knees gazing into the eyes of this man that assured me it was time.
I was being offered a second chance to not allow the invitations to be sent out as the four corners of my house began to be swept clean.
As I lay there shaking, she entered the room and politely asked if I minded, she visit with me.
I listened intently as she spoke to the depths of my soul. She made clear to me the ought she had against me, and the sins that I had committed. I believe my heart was primed to respond accordingly, because there was no longer any need or desire to resist or be combative. I could feel a love like I had never felt from another human in my entire life. She pointed out that while others were attempting to persuade her to discard me, she stood her ground and said to them, “So, this tumultuous challenge that made me strong, that grew me up , that taught me how to set strong healthy boundaries, and made me the woman that I am today, I should now throw away?”
She looked at me with and her eyes were blazing like fire and said,“ I choose you; I will always choose you, Robert”. I had never encountered Jesus in this way through a human being as I did in that moment of time.
A cry that bellowed from the marrow of the marrow of my bone, rose from within. I did everything I could to breathe and keep my spirit from literally leaping out of my body!
Grace collided with humility and step one of the playbook in Matthew 18:15 was in full force. Her “brother”, was won over because she refused to not show up and adhere to the Coaches instructions resulting in a great VICTORY!
The process of Matthew 18:15,17 is not punishment for the individual, but the greatest love potion that requires a human to commit one of the most selfless acts that I know of. When we approach an individual, who has sinned against us with only one agenda, and that is to “win them over”, there is never any guarantee that it will take place, but the knowledge of that does not make us exempt and omit us from the responsibility. Its our duty that as believers and followers of Christ to restore that brother or sister.
By the grace of God, He had us both in training on opposite ends of the field for the day that we would practice this “play”.
One that He fashioned, that would bring about unity, restoration, and demonstrate to us and the Kingdom once again what a good, good Father He really is.