In order to possibly skip out on becoming the focus of the town’s gossip during the normal water drawing time at the local well, a woman went at a different time of day. During these times, women generally went to draw water at the well near sundown as this was when it was cooler. Gathering water from the well was typically a woman’s duty and was a place of friendship, fellowship and gossip (because it was a bunch of women and we just know that happened.)
Maybe it was the only time she could have gone or maybe she didn’t want to be subjected to wagging tongues about her life.
This well trip turned into something different that day for this particular woman. There was a man waiting for her. A Jew and she was a Samaritan. Considering the feud between these two races, this was NOT a match made in Heaven, but wait…
The man was Jesus so this kind of IS a match made in Heaven.
First thing He did was ask her for a drink of water and then when she sputtered out their obvious differences,He offered her the gift of water.
Water in His case was the synonym for love, forgiveness, grace and a one-way trip ticket into Heaven.
Only after His offering did He talk about her 5 husbands and then the one she was shacked up with. Yup, her affairs were certainly the talk of the town especially in those days. He then offered her “water” again and she left to go telling the town of this great man.
With Christianity today, we are a little surprised to note that He didn’t start stoning her immediately for being a divorced (many times) kind of woman. After all, that’s how we play the game today. Instead He offered her acceptance, love and forgiveness before He recited the facts of her life.
So many times we get so caught up in the one verse where Jesus was being tested on His view of divorce as described in one verse, that we don’t take in context the entire Word’s view of marriage and the roles the husband and wife are supposed to fill.
The Bible also says things like:
Each partner can’t deny the other one. (I Cor 7: 3-5) (not just sex, but the other needs are detailed out as food, shelter and love)
You can’t put things of the world over your marriage (I Cor 7:33-34) (for example: workaholics, substance abuse, material possessions, etc.)
You can’t be harsh with your wife (Col 3:19) (physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially)
You must be considerate and respectful (I Peter 3:7) (not just in what you say, but how you treat your spouse in ALL things)
…and trust me here…I could go on and on about what a “Christian” marriage is supposed to look like.
So Jesus didn’t go into all that with the woman, so why do we think we have the right to judge someone’s marriage or divorce(s).
He simply saw a woman. A woman who was worthy of love and forgiveness and He gave it. Unconditionally.
The old standby of Christians of adultery being the only true cause for divorce is a blind way of looking at some of the sufferings of God’s children. There are many reasons for a man or a woman seeking divorce that is listed out in the Bible if you are willing to look at it all. Full context, friends. Sometimes in a marriage that is falling apart, divorce is the only way to protect the individual or children involved. Sometimes, if both parties are focused on begging for healing and forgiveness, a marriage can be saved. Often having both partners on the same page is just not possible and the continuation of the marriage will detract from the glory of God and His purpose for the individual.
In order to be “Christlike” we must be willing to actually be like Christ.
Not judging. Not condemning. Focused on the individual and not a mass Spiritual society standard. Willing to step out to those who are not “our kind.”
Although the people around you may have condemned you for being divorced, know that Jesus never would have. He may ask that you clean up your life. He may ask that you evaluate your choices, but ultimately He is going to offer you love, grace, compassion and forgiveness first.
…and frankly…we need to try to walk a mile in His sandals and offer “Water” to people who are hurting before we consider picking up stones of condemnation.
Categories: August Diary Entry