In 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.