My Bride: How God Teaches Me to be More Like Him

 

img_2620

I’ve been married for seven short years. There is one thing I am abundantly grateful for – my wife never lets me determine her generosity; only the gospel does that. You may wonder, why does that make you grateful? Well, the answer is easy – I’m a sinful man. I rationalize the illogical. I debate the inexplicable. I shun the irrational. I hesitate in the face of benevolence beyond my means. And I fight to steer her in my direction. In this, she has my permission (and ultimately God’s permission), to rebel against my authority and submit to His. And she should. She does.

 

My wife gives what she can. My wife also gives what she can’t. This is what I love about her. It’s the most attractive thing on the planet. Why? Why do I find this so amazing? Why is this behavior so beautiful? What is it about this type of conduct that causes me to be so attracted to it? Again, the answer is simple, it’s in the gospel. She looks so much like Jesus when she gives without a ceiling. She reflects the glory of God so brightly when she empties herself for the sake of another. She operates in the Spirit when she is governed by His gospel, not my own. She leaps into the unknown, fully trusting Him to be her Provider, revealing the deeply rooted sin of unbelief that is in my heart. Her belief shines light on my unbelief. Her “yes” agitates and aggravates my “no”. Simply put, her giving makes me look more like Jesus. It is painful during the refining process, but each time I walk away glittering and glistening like gold. And I love it!

 

I earnestly pray for those ladies who desire to be equally as generous, but have a husband who will rationalize why she shouldn’t. He says, “It’s not wise. We simply can’t do that. What if…” All she wants to do is tread deeper into the waters of the unknown because it is there that she will learn more about the true lover of her soul, Jesus. She wants to see Him do, what you as her husband, can’t. She wants to take a risk and relinquish control to the One who promises to “never leave nor forsake”, yet she can’t, because you have a Bible verse (out of context, nonetheless) for that. She wants to feel Him and know Him on a new level. She wants to dance in the freedom of knowing she is all His and He is all hers. But then there is you…rationalizing, negotiating, picking out the potential problems, damning the work of God in her life…

 

Husband, we are called to graciously and compassionately point our wives towards the gospel, not away from it. How can she trust that we will do that if biblical community, service to the bride of Christ (the church), small group involvement, and a very present hunger for the things of God are lacking in our lives? I know professors who preach every weekend of the importance of the church and our commitment to it, yet they are so disconnected from their own? I know students who declare with passion their theology of the Providence of God, yet choose to forsake giving to their church. I know laymen who cling tightly to the promises of God, until that promise requires participation from them. And I know husbands who teach and read the Word, yet are so quick to lead their families away from it. Is that you? Before you answer, let me offer you some help…

 

It’s me. It’s you. It’s all of us. This is why we need Him. This is why we need her. Together they keep us, as stubborn, sinful men, in line with Him and His gospel. If you spend time with God, He is certain to make a giver out of you. If you are the redeemed, a recipient of the most generous gift given to man, God in flesh, Jesus among us, you can rest assured that you will become a very generous giver yourself. This is how the human heart responds to the gospel; it gives. It gives more. It gives when it makes sense. It gives when it doesn’t. It gives when it can. It gives when it can’t. I love this about my wife. She is a beautiful portrait of Jesus to me. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *