June 2, 2012
In my attempt to learn more about what God requires of husbands, on Thursday I listened to John Piper’s sermon called “God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace.” In it, Piper claims that I, as a husband, should show you grace since God in Christ showed me grace. In addition, he claimed that if I make gratitude for God’s grace a focal point of my life, it will be easier for me to be gracious to you.
Whenever I sin–whenever I act pridefully, selfishly, in lust, with anger, or whatever–I betray God by denying him his rightful place as king over my life. I essentially tell the king of all things that he cannot be king of my heart. And the penalty for such betrayal is death. Well, Christ took my penalty upon himself and made me right with the king. Given that, I should live in gratitude to God and in recognition of his grace.
When you commit something against me or irk me in some way, how can I not show you grace when I’ve been granted grace abundance? If I’ve been forgiven such a debt, how can I not forgive you your debts?
On Thursday night, you did something to make us late to a dinner party. I was incredibly irked by that and let you know–almost the entire way to the party. Even as I did, though, Piper’s sermon was in the back of my mind. Finally, I was able to calm myself down and ask for your forgiveness for getting so upset.
It’s unbelievable how perturbed I can get by the small things you do against me when God forgave me for the cosmically wretched things I’ve done against him. May I eventually be so grateful for God’s grace that I cannot help but show you grace.
November 3, 2011
Last night I planned on listening to a sermon with you on the Song of Solomon. I thought it would be good for us to reflect on healthy intimacy. You liked the idea, but said you were just too tired. So instead, we watched the pilot of Once Upon a Time while snuggling and holding hands. Instead of listening to a sermon on intimacy, we practiced intimacy.
For my second and third prayer sessions on my day of fast (see day 34), I confessed and repented of my marital failings. Here’s an inkling of those failings. While God never changes, I constantly flip back and forth between putting myself first and putting you first. Lord have mercy on me. While God is wise and his word is truth, I often go against sound judgment and I’ve even lied to you before. Lord have mercy on me. God is full of love, grace, and goodness; I fall prey to selfishness and lust, I keep a record of the wrongs you’ve committed against me, and I’m often just plain evil to you. Lord have mercy on me. I often think of our marriage simply as an end in itself, rather than something that God can use for his glory. What’s worse, I typically seek my own glory (I want praise for what I do!), not God’s; accordingly, I serve myself rather than you. Save me from my heart, O God! I confessed to God these and many of my other sinful acts and dispositions and asked him to pour on me his mercy and grace.
Thank you, God, for loving a wretched man like me! Once upon a time I was lost. You chased me down. You transformed my heart. Now, I am found, having being adopted into your family. In spite of this, I’m inclined to my wretched ways. May you turn my heart more and more toward you. And as a result, may I love her as you love me.