I could not find an adequate picture to describe today's blog title. It is hard to put destruction and restoration in the same picture as they are polar opposites. I actually borrowed the title from Tyler Perry's movie, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. It is one of the most powerful lines in that movie. One that struck me the first time I ever heard it and it has stuck with me every since. If you have not seen the movie, please do. It is an excellent account of the effects of abuse and the restoration that can only come from Jesus.
Mr. Perry's words could not be more true. There are men who come to destroy. **I did not understand how true until after the death of my husband and the end of my marriage. My late husband, although a Christian himself, allowed his past, resentments, jealousy, bad beliefs and soul sickness to destroy him, his marriage as well as my self-esteem, sanity and worth.** Abuse is a destroyer, it does not have another name. Abuse will always be a destroyer no matter how good it looks on the outside or how charming. Underneath that fascade there is only destructon and death - death of marriages, self-worth, self-esteem, individuals, families, children, other relationships, jobs, the list goes on. This death and destruction is both seen and unseen. Men who abuse others are destroyers - whether they really want to be or not. There is no other name for them. They are bent on destruction, yours and theirs.
On the other hand, there are men who come to restore. They look for the best in others and in their mates and family. They love selflessly and with all their being. They do not hurt others or attempt to destory them to get ahead or look good. They support others in their endeavors and jealousy does not reside in their hearts. They do not solve their problems with violence. Violence does not reside in their heart. Resentment does not reside in their heart. Most importantly, these men will meet you where you are if you have been abused. They will love you for who you are and they will want to be understanding. They will be full of grace. It's quite the contrast to a destroyer isn't it? I believe my restorer is coming!
I want to focus on the men who come to restore. The men who come to destroy, without repentence and personal change, will be destroyed themselves - a sad but true reality. No amount of charm, good looks or manipulation will save them from that reality. God is never mocked.
I have referenced 1 Corinthins chapter 13:4-7 in many of my blogs before. It is an excellent example of a restorer. I will refer to it again today:
Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
My hope is that you will use these verses as a measure for the difference between a destroyer and a restorer. I want you to use them as your measure for who you choose to allow into your life. Restorers choose love and restorers choose life. And yes, you can choose a restorer after you have chosen a destroyer, unbeknownst to you. You can do that because now you know the difference just as I do. Destroyers teach us what to avoid and they may even teach us about ourselves. Restorers teach us that we are worth far more than we imagine, worthy of love and worthy of the best in life.
You are worthy of a restorer and he is worthy of you! You are worthy of the best!
Until next time,
**The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope and Everything In-Between tells my story. I hope you will read it and in those pages come to know how good God is and how much he wants to restore our lives. He is the Master Restorer!