Thursday, October 25, 2012

Keep your promise!

Howdy, gents.

Racing toward another volatile election, the airwaves continue a non-stop bombardment that this election will prove a pivot-point for our nation. While I won't dismiss the importance of the November vote, it's not the man in the White House that will determine our nation's future. It's the man in the mirror.

The other day my son watched a program on ESPN about the murder of a youth on the streets of urban Chicago who promised to be the next basketball phenom. The piece pulled on heartstrings but failed to address the prime failing in our urban jungles, the disintegration of the family. Let's aim the scope with a bit more precision because most of the time the disintegration of the family occurs because the man (husband, father) refuses to act the man, refuses to shoulder his responsibility, refuses to fight his temptations, and refuses to honor his vows, his covenant to his wife and to his God.

I can sit hear, fingers pecking away, and plead that you should love your wife. I've done that plenty and will continue to do so because God's word tells us to do that, but telling you to love your wife will have as much impact on your family as our next president will have upon our national throes because what we are as a nation depends not so much as who's at the top but upon the quality of the people.  Likewise, who I am as a husband, father, and friend depends upon the quality and treasures of my heart. There is only one way to change a heart, let God do it.

A lengthy passage from Ezekiel, but let it resonate:

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
As is true for Israel, so true for man today. A man may will to do, he may try to do, but in the end, he will reap frustration (Romans 7:24). He will remain a self-absorbed, self-impressed, self-loving husband, father, and friend. Only the power of God in a redeemed life can impel and motivate a man to love another as Christ has loved him (John 15:12-13) and to lay down his life for another, especially his wife (Ephesians 5:25).

Dinesh D'Souza
This is why Maggie Gallagher's story of Dinesh D'Souza (here) and stories like it are particularly grievous. "Is it a bad thing that I am engaged before my divorce is final?" Might I ask why a Christian is divorcing his bride in the first place?

Yes, I know, sin can ravage any marriage. Yes, God did provide a wafer-thin avenue for divorce when a spouse has shown disregard and contempt for the vow that they have made. At the same time, when a man loves the Lord his God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength, he will love his wife as Christ loved the church, and if he so does, I contend that his wife would be hard pressed to leave her man. If a man pursues his woman with so compelling a love, divorce rates will shrivel in the land.

Here's how Ms. Gallagher closed her essay.
After all, is marriage such a horrible cross to bear?

With marriage, you choose one woman. You promise to love just her the way that God loves everyone, until death do you part.

So love her. Keep your vows close...Show your children, show other people's children, that in this too-swift race between love and death, which is all that our lives are, that love can be trusted.

If Christians could just do that and nothing else, it would transform our culture.

If we cannot do that, I fear, nothing else will.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Husband, love your God.  Love your wife.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderated. Grace and civility in all things, please.