I used to think that I was a wonderful husband; until I got married that is and realised that I was not such a wonderful husband.
Having married a little later than some; being 33 when May Lin, in a moment of insanity(?) said “I do” and got lumbered with me of all people. Such a fine sister in Christ entangled with a wretched sinner like me. Anyway, in those days of bachelorhood, I used to think that I would be such a good husband. Being married in my early/mid thirties I had many moments of longing prior to marriage that one day I would be married. And I would think that if God did finally provide me with a wife then I would be so kind and gentle and generous and forbearing and understanding and whatever it takes to be the wonderful man in your wife’s life I would have it. And then I got married.
Well what happened? I discovered how selfish and sinful I was. Sin and selfishness that had not been so obvious in my bachelor days seemed to emerge from recesses I was not aware of. Where was the man who would treat this woman so well? I don’t know where he went. Probably he was a delusion anyway. A delusion of my own high estimation of myself.
You see I am a sinner and sadly I have discovered more of the reality of that through the intimacies of marriage. Here is a woman, fine woman I hasten to add, if I have not made that clear already, who I had made myself vulnerable towards. Here was a person I had given myself to. Sadly, rather than being the man who would give all unconditionally, I so easily degenerated to the man who would give all if I got something in return. So really I never knew myself until I got married. In many ways I still do not know myself. There are still outcroppings of sin that shock me. So where does that leave us?
- The reality of who I am. Paul gives a sample of the frustration articulated above for I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. (Rom. 7:18-19)
- The wonder of what Christ has done. I am reminded that I am a wretched sinner. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that avails for me that matters. He once died for my sins and I rejoice. I deserve nothing of it, but he is a gracious Saviour who has done so much for me. I have eternal life. I look not within for there is only hopelessness I look only to Christ.
- I need God. The words of the Saviour come home to my soul. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5b). And that fruit comes through His Spirit.
Oh Lord I need you.