"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39. ESV.)
As John Piper puts it,
"With long-suffering and prayer and humble, exemplary conduct, the believing partner longs to win the unbeliever. But it may be, as Jesus predicted in Matthew 10:34ff., that the rebellion and unbelief of the unbelieving spouse will turn Christianity into a sword that severs, instead of a peaceful balm that heals."To which I give a hearty "AMEN!"
Now, to clarify, I do not believe dissociation and complete disconnection from the loved one is the proper course of action but I do believe sometimes distance is required. And as always, God can see the heart and when one stands with a clear conscience before Him and sits at the foot of the throne communing with Him, it makes a huge difference!
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9. ESV.)Proverbs 16:1: The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Proverbs 20:24: A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?
Proverbs 37:23: The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
Jeremiah 10:23: I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
I have to say, my way of doing things is SO much different than God's way! I love to run (metaphorically speaking) everywhere I go and currently the Lord has me standing in one place…and I've been immobile for a while now, which (as one can imagine) is driving me batty! My sovereign King has said, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10. ESV.) So cooling my heals has become my mundane. Not to mention I have to trust COMPLETELY in Him for everything! And I ask a lot of questions, "But Lord, what about this? And how about that?" As a patient parent I imagine Him smiling and saying (to my heart), "Don't worry, my child, I'll take care of everything. You just listen and follow directions." I can say I have experienced each, the sword that severs and the balm that heals. Both, praise God, come with His grace that is sufficient and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60. ESV.)