I Have No Name!

Adulterer!  Sex addict!  Pornographer!  Abuser!

  • Do you feel like people have forgotten your name?
  •  When others look at you, they don’t see a person; rather, they see an issue?
  • Worse yet, have you forgotten your name?
  • Do you think of yourself only in the terms of your issue?

You’ve tried to overcome your issue with the help of well intentioned friends, self-help books, counseling, support groups, even Church but nothing has helped remove your issue.

You have lived with the issue for so long that in some way you have lost your identity and now identify with your issue.  You can’t even imagine yourself without it.  You and your issue are so intertwined that now you ARE your issue.  

You have no hope of ever being free from it.

In this series we are going to learn from the story of a woman also only known by her issue; she is known as “the woman with the issue of blood.” 

 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. (Mark 5: 25-26)

This woman suffered from a menstrual hemorrhage that had been occurring for twelve years.   In her culture, when a woman menstruated she would have to remove herself from her family and the community, by staying in a house outside of town until her menstruation stopped–Her issue isolated her from everyone.

Every seven days the priest would come to her and if she could, she would show him her clean rag (pad or tampon).  If she could not provide proof that the bleeding had stopped, the priest would announce her as being “unclean.”  The Priests announcement of her issue was declared over 624 times—the embarrassment of her issue was repeatedly made public for 12 years.

At her expense, she had participated with every known and many painful experimental medical procedures to be healed of her issue—her issue cost her all of her money.

Repeatedly she would buy into a new hope only to be let down with greater and greater disappointment, not just with the failure of being healed but by her issue being made worse—her issue gradually became worse.

Can you relate?

  • Has your issue isolated you from your family, friends, or church community?
  • Have you been embarrassed by the public awareness of your issue?
  • Has your issue caused you severe financial cost?
  • Have you lost all hope, afraid to hope in anything else because you just can’t stand another disappointment?

It is my hope that by the end of this series, you will find new hope, you will find the cure for your issue, and you will no longer be known by your issue but by your name and your faith.

Soul Mate

“I want you to teach me how I can continue this relationship and not feel bad.”

This is what a man I once counseled asked of me.  He was married with children, and involved in an adulterous relationship with another woman, whom he referred as his “soul mate.”

I could barely believe what I was hearing.  I had been meeting with this man for several weeks establishing the counseling relationship.  The directive of this session was to establish a clear goal for our counseling.  This was a man who was a professing believer in Christ, consistent attendee of our church, and someone with whom I had worked in ministry.  Here he was asking me to help him learn how not to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit for his sinful behavior and attitude.

This man was to the point in which he felt as if he made a mistake when he married his wife.  He thought he had chosen the wrong woman for his wife.  If only he had waited to marry until he had found this woman who was his “soul mate.”

O, did I mention she also was married to another man with children?

Have you been there?  Are you there right now? 

Do you think you made the wrong choice when you married?  Do you feel like you have to make a choice between being miserable for the rest of your life or leaving the marriage so you can enjoy your life and possibly with someone better for you, maybe your “soul mate”?

“For those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.  A wife must not leave her husband.  But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife……Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.” (I Corinthians 7:10-11, 17)

These words of the Apostle Paul can be tough to hear.  What is communicated here is the idea that your “marriage” is more important than your personal happiness.

I understand that there are times when there is nothing a person can do to salvage a marriage, especially if your spouse is set on abandoning it, or if your life is in danger due to your spouse’s behavior.

The consideration to abandon your marriage should be the same consideration you would give for having an arm or leg amputated from your body.  When God Married Adam and Eve in Genesis 2, they became “ONE flesh.”  Jesus repeats this line of thinking in Matthew 19 and Mark 10, when he refers to Genesis 2.  When a man and woman are married they are “one” and if they divide it will hurt and it will be messy with huge wounds.

If you are finding yourself in this marriage dilemma, I encourage you to change your thinking to how God can help you influence your marriage for the Glory of God.