You would have to be living under a rock to not be familiar with the Kim Davis story these days. Headlines are all over the internet–and not just about why she made the news–for standing up for her religious beliefs and refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses–but about something completely irrelevant to the story–her personal marriage life.
In a nutshell, she got married, had two children with her husband, then got pregnant by another man and divorced her husband. The man who fathered the twins she became pregnant with was reportedly abusive so she didn’t stay with him. She then met her current husband, whom she married. This marriage also ended in divorce. She then married the father of her two youngest, which didn’t work out and led to divorce as well. Finally, she remarried her second husband who is her current husband. (Whether this is accurate I don’t know–I don’t know Kim Davis–all I know is that this is what is being said on the internet.)
What does this have to do with her being jailed for following her religious beliefs? Absolutely nothing, unless you are trying to find dirt on her to disprove her case that she should have religious rights in the workplace.
That said, I personally believe that Kim Davis’ marriage history is the single most important thing on the news in regards to her story.
Hear me out.
Whether you agree with her stance or not, there’s no arguing that all of the talk about Kim Davis is about–well, Kim Davis. “Kim Davis stood up for our rights!” “Kim Davis is a homophobe.” “Kim Davis is an example to Christians everywhere.” “Kim Davis is a bigot.” “Kim Davis stood up for our rights as Americans!” “Kim Davis is a hateful person.” “Kim Davis is what bravery really looks like!” “Kim Davis is a coward.”
And yet, in the small 1 minute or so clip that hit news stations everywhere of Kim Davis making a speech of thanks with Mike Huckabee, she comes out, lifts her hands in worship to God, and then when the crowd starts chanting “We want Kim!” she responds, “I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people. Just keep on pressing. Don’t let down, because he is here. He’s worthy.” Her focus was not on herself, but on God.
People can argue about whether or not what Kim Davis did was glorifying to God–depending on your stance the answers will differ greatly. But nobody can argue that God took Kim Davis’ life–a life with failed marriages, with sin, with disappointment, and turned it around to make a woman who is faithful to both Him and to her faith in Him.
“She’s a hypocrite,” her opposers say. Not according to the Bible. Take a look at the Apostle Paul, who is known as possibly the greatest evangelist in the history of Christianity. Paul didn’t start out as a faithful Christian. No, he was a Pharisee, a strict Jew who hated Christians. His mission was to rid the world of Christians, killing and imprisoning as many as possible. He stood and watched as Stephen, a godly man, was stoned to death. The Bible says he breathed out “threatenings and slaughter” against the church. Ananias, called of God to lead Paul to the truth, was scared of him.
Yet God spoke to Paul (whose name was Saul at the time) and confronted him about killing the Christians who were just as much His children as the Jews. Paul came to the realization that Jesus was God come in the flesh and converted to Christianity. He then began to evangelize and tell as many people about Jesus as possible, despite being persecuted himself.
So was Paul a hypocrite? No, because his sin against the Christians happened before he became a Christian. He realized the error of his ways and worked toward getting his life right. No doubt he probably had guilt his entire life for what he did before he became a Christian, but he had to realize that God is merciful, a forgiver, and that he was free from the sin of his past. Being an evangelist–who stood strong in the face persecution–also didn’t mean that Paul never sinned. On the contrary, Paul himself said that he was the “chiefest of sinners”. That didn’t mean that he was going out and living a double life. It meant that he was trying the best he could, but that everybody fails. The Bible says that if a man says he doesn’t sin he is a liar. All Christians sin. We just realize that God is a forgiver of sins and we try our best to change.
Kim Davis’ marital history does not make her any more of a hypocrite than Paul’s murderous history. Kim Davis was not an Apostolic Christian when the marriages and divorces occurred (but even if she was, again, we have to realize that Christians are not perfect–they make mistakes just like everybody else). Saying that she is a hypocrite would mean that we all are. We all lived in sin before choosing to live for God. A hypocrite is someone who says, “Yeah, I am going to judge other people for doing the same exact thing I’m doing, and I don’t care if I say I don’t believe in it, I’m going to do it anyway.” That is hardly the attitude Ms. Davis is displaying. (I also want to say this: hypocrisy is also a sin that can be forgiven. If you feel that you have been a hypocrite it is never too late for you to ask God for forgiveness and change your ways.)
What makes this the most important part of her story on the news, I believe, is that Kim Davis’ forgiveness and restoration after her life of sin and failed marriages shows the world that God can take someone who lived such a life and heal them. He can help us overcome our past mistakes. He is a great God, merciful, and ready to forgive the moment we ask. Her marital history and her testimony of overcoming her past and living a fruitful life for God speaks volumes to people who may be looking at their own lives and thinking, “I’ve failed too much. I’ve made too many mistakes. God can never make anything out of me.” God can. Going through three divorces is hardly the worst thing someone can do. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Paul demanding the imprisonment and deaths of people for their faith is definitely worse.
Kim Davis’ stand for her faith is definitely a commendable thing (and whether you agree with her beliefs or not, if you are a United States citizen you should agree that we are entitled to our religious rights), but in the media it is all about Kim. Kim this, Kim that. The media is not printing headlines that say, “Glory belongs to God.” However, her testimony of how she overcame her life and now lives for God is all about God. It’s about God’s power. God’s saving grace. God’s ability to take a sinner and save them and help them lead a better life. It’s about how God can save me and how He can save you.
Her testimony is about God.
“And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” -John 8:11