Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Seeming Contradictions and Beautiful Hope- AKA Why I'm Not as Good a Husband as I Wish I Was

I am not a perfect husband.  But I really want to be one.  I make a lot of mistakes.  But I want to fix them. 

Does this sound like you?  And are these statements that relate to much of your life, and not just marriage?  While the profound heartache of being less than perfect in my marriage is abundantly clear, I sadly admit there are so many aspects of my life that fall into the category of knowing better, but doing worse.

One of the ways I enjoy blessing my wife is by helping out around the house.  Though I still have a tendency to overload the washer and dryer I have been known to clean and fold a fair number of loads.  And I don't want to get to braggy about how many times I do the dishes or vacuum the house!  I know for a fact that when I do these things(without being asked....that's the key FELLAS!) it is a huge blessing to my wife. 

Last weekend my wife had to work in the ER(she is a nurse) both Saturday and Sunday for 12 hour shifts.  She works about an hour from where we live, but in the same town her parents live.  When she works back to backs she will spend the night at their house.  Before she left at 6am on Saturday she asked if I would get the house all cleaned up before she got home Sunday night.  I happily obliged. 

Seeing as I had two WHOLE days to get it done, I took my good ole time getting it done.  By Saturday evening very little had been accomplished.  And then the phone rang.  My wife had forgotten it was a back to back weekend and was almost home before she remembered and was just going to sleep at home and go back early again......

I panicked.

My poor, sainted mother, was visiting that weekend and I immediately put her to work.  Not only am I a great husband, but also a great son!  Like a tornado I ran around trying to make the house look like I had made at least some significant effort. 

I know without a doubt that the dumbest and most irresponsible thing is to put off doing something you are capable of doing right now.  And I knew that the more cleaning I got done, the more blessed my wife would feel.  I was a lazy bum.

Our lives are full of such absurdities.  We know the good we should do, but we will often choose to do something else.  What is wrong with us??!?!?!

In 1 John chapter 1 we are given a very clear standard that we have to come to terms with;

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

While something silly like not cleaning on Saturday is not what one would classically define as a "sin" it really is only the tip of the ice berg.  Here is the standard of God:  Being perfect.  And when we look at ourselves with unflinching honesty we have to admit we are not.  The over arching testimony off the Bible is this; God is Holy, we are not.  God is Just, and are lack of holiness will get dealt with! 

As I read this it can send a shudder down my spine.  By God's very defining characteristics my lack of perfect Holiness precludes my ability to even be near Him.  Light in its very nature banishes the darkness.  I am dark.  I can rightfully expect banishment.

John continues

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us

We are told quite plainly that we MUST BE PERFECT to have fellowship with God.  And then we are told quite plainly that God WILL MAKE US PERFECT!  How is this done?  Through the finished work of Christ.  Our goal doesn't change, the conviction doesn't change.  The hope DOES.

The most difficult people in our lives are those who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes and short comings.  Honesty and humility are essential building blocks to healthy relationships.  I want, and work hard, to be a perfect husband.  I will never be that.  But I can be honest and confess my mistakes. 

The hope in Jesus is that while we keep falling short of the best us we deeply desire to be, He is there to pick us up and give us a fresh start.  The cross says over and over and over, "Lets try this again."

What in your life do you have to get brutally honest about?  Because the truth is that until you get honest with yourself and others, it is never going to get better.  The new life that we want is predicated upon confession.  Whether it is in your marriage, job, friendships, your faith, or, your family, you have to stop lying about who you really are.

This doesn't mean we ignore our darkness, we just stop denying it, and get to do the real work of shining a real light onto it. 

We need to be perfect.  We are not.  But when we accept that, then we have hope. 

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