I’m a Great Husband.

groom-cake-topper---afro-american-821544-mIn the world’s eyes, I’m a great husband. I love my wife; I support her and my children. I don’t cheat on her or beat her. I don’t yell at her or put her down. That being said if I’m honest, when it comes down to it, I’m selfish. I always try to justify the way I spend my free time by telling myself things like “at least I’m not out at the bar all night getting drunk”. Often times I choose hobbies and myself over my wife. Even the many great resources out there for a Confessional Lutheran can hinder my vocation as husband. There are times when I choose to read a book or listen to a podcast instead of enjoying time with my wife. Add children into the mix and we have even less time for each other. The list of my failures to my wife is long and grows daily. I sin against my wife more than anyone else in the world. I take her for granted, lust after other women, don’t support the things she cares about, and make light of things that truly bother her. More times than not I put myself before her which has included buying a new iPad without talking to her about it or buying another bottle of Scotch. My God-given helper is taken for granted daily. Lord, Have Mercy. That is hardly the definition of a great husband. My wife is no better. In many ways, my wife and I are a team. It is also a team effort when it comes to sin. My wife and I will continue to sin against each other during this life.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my short eleven plus years of marriage is that I always need to look at marriage through the lens of repentance and forgiveness. We are called by God to repent and to forgive each other. My wife and I understand we are sinners who will fail throughout life. We will continue to fail each other and our children. We must also continue to forgive the many sins we commit against each other. By the worlds standards we are doing great. Therein lies the problem. In the scope of the world, things are rolling along just fine and we have nothing to worry about. As long as we love each other everything will turn out all right. This world will fail us, just as we will fail each other.  Instead we must obey God and not man. The Word of God tells us how we are to live our lives. This life is one of suffering, sin and death. Our life in Christ is one of forgiveness, mercy and life everlasting.

I used to think my wife was responsible for bringing me back to the church. She grew up in what could be called a more “faithful” Lutheran family. Back then, her faith shaped our relationship in more ways than she knows. I understand now that God is entirely responsible for my returning to church. Now some fourteen years later the tables have turned to me being more interested in all things church related. My wife would admit at times that my Lutheranism overflows in our house. Reading Lutheran books, listening to Lutheran podcasts and music; at times it’s too much for her. My wife may not be into reading theology and listening to Lutheran podcasts as much as I am. I may not enjoy the hobbies she has but our love for one another and God’s love for us in Christ has connected us for this life as husband and wife. I thank God every day that my wife and I share the same confession and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I thank God that while we are sinners, our faith is not in each other or the world but in Jesus Christ. That confession and faith will direct our parenting, grow our love for one another, and most importantly save us from our sin. Thanks be to God for our faithful Lutheran wives who love us even while we continue to fail.

 

About Nathan Redman

Nathan Redman was baptized into Christ at Bethel Lutheran Church (ELCA) Wahpeton, North Dakota on June 17th 1979. He and his wife, Bernice and their two children, Elsie and Porter are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church (LCMS) in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Nathan works for a family owned Pepsi distributor in St. Cloud. In his spare time he enjoys watching Doctor Who, listening to Frank Sinatra and drinking single malt Scotch. Nathan considers it a privilege to write for Steadfast Lutherans.

Comments

I’m a Great Husband. — 4 Comments

  1. We do so often convict and sentence ourselves for the sins of mind and heart which we have done, and will likely repeat in the future. It is, as you suggest, a life of joy and peace in the Christian life, with frequent periods of pain, guilt, repentance, distrust, but what about grace? Why did Jesus come? Well, He came to save you and me, and this is where we take our failings and He is the one who will remove them. As for our wives, yes we all should honor them and practice our faith, but sin will still come uninvited into our minds, for lust for other women is everyman’s battle. We are to channel it to sexual union in our monogamous relationship with our wives, and try to guard our hearts.

  2. Even non-Christians can be “great husbands” in the eyes of the
    world. They too may not cheat on their wives or beat them.
    However, what separates the Christian husband from the non-
    Christian husband is that we are to love our wives with the love
    of Christ. This type of love is forgiving, self-sacrificing and
    unconditional. We may not always exhibit this love but the
    love of Christ empowers us to have a Christian marriage.

  3. @Pastor Dave Likeness #2

    nope pastor. with true respect for your office, the ONLY thing that is different between a christian and non-christian, and what, alone, makes him a christian, is alone, faith, alone, in Christ , alone. Love, forgiveness nor any other law keeping separates us from any other sinner christian or not. Christ comes to us in two ways , as Example and as Savior. Anyone really can work as example. Confessions: “concerning morality, nothing can be added to the Ethics of Aristotle.” (Apology, Love and the Law). But… ONLY Christ can can a sinner USE as the ONLY Shield from the Wrath of God over our sin. We don’t really need Christ as Moral Example teaching us how to love etc. We really DO need Christ as Savior.

  4. Kudos for pointing out Nathan that OUR forgiveness and love fail and so are full of sin. Many start to call the forgiveness and love that **we*** have the power to do Gospel or gospelish or sanctification or sanctification-ish. It’s a fruit of our mortifying our Old Adam. it requires hard work. The hard work is proof of the original sin that remains in our Old Adam heart. And out of all sin and death in and out of our persons…. God works in you and your wife his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy for you and your wife, your children and many , many others. Isn’t that amazing?

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