I am a Christian man. Married to the same woman for seventeen years, together for over twenty. As I write this, that is ending. I am on my front porch, next to my bags. We are moving me to another house today.
I am a Christian man. Last week, when we decided to split up, I started to become a Godly man. For almost every moment of those twenty years I focused on myself and rarely her. I absolutely loved and still love her- believe me that being stripped down and humbled to my depths, I feel the spiritual reality of my soul having been knit to hers (“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 McGee streaming commentary,)That was always there but I smothered the connection, interfered with my selfishness.
Here I will be posting about my time in my own wilderness with our God, beside my own brook Cherith (“So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.”- 1 Kings 17:5 McGee streaming commentary) Earlier this week I downloaded one of Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s recent Sunday Sermons from Thru The Bible. “When God and Elijah Were a Majority” struck my heart. At one point Dr. McGee points out that Elijah became as empty as the brook did during the drought in Israel and, once empty, God could use him again. I realized God needed to empty me, too. Now He is going to fill me up with His Will rather than my selfishness. I am a simple clay vessel- not fancy, but clean and useful. I feel led to document things here- to take my prayer journal (something I’ve never kept before) and the things I wish I could tell my wife, re-read them and find biblical text that apply to where I failed her and the Lord, where and how to stay on His path, be sustained, and find some healing. Ultimately, I am here to glorify God and I pray that as I follow Him and talk about it I fulfill His Will for me.
I am following a path the old, selfish me avoided despite being called to it (my wife heard the call, as usual, but I resisted) so this is new and how I go about it may change. The Lord is guiding me. I’m probably going to stumble and get in His way at times. Perhaps some things will help some of you in rocky marriages- in particular I hope it helps any of you who may be blindingly selfish, as I have been, recognize these faults in yourselves before you lose what God has given you, your most precious treasure.
Finally, I pray every day that this new person God builds will be seen as worthy in her eyes and he will be given the chance to express how precious he truly, finally knows her to be. (“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” –Mark 10:27 McGee streaming commentary)
This is the first prayer I wrote. Similar ones were prayed in earnest before I was given the idea to write them down:
Give my beautiful wife’s heart back to me. I am so utterly broken and destroyed. Lord, rebuild me into the man and husband she has always deserved. Carve me into the shape that fills her heart; re-purpose me to only exist to fulfill her, to make her safe. Reconstruct me in Truth and then in her eyes. You put us together and I consistently failed to set myself aside and give everything to her. Please help me die to myself now and become an undeniable force for her good and protection, her praise and well-being. Turn her heart again toward me and I will live only for her dreams. (“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” Ephesians 5:22-33 McGee)
In Jesus’ Name,
I have only become “the guy everyone loves” because you were there loving me first, loving me most.
You were always my real superpower- I should have used it for Good.
An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
“Husbands, when you put aside your own likes, desires, opinions, preferences, and welfare to please your wife and meet her needs, then you are truly dying to self to live for your wife. And that is what Christ’s love demands.” – John MacArthur.