Tag Archives: wife

me, responsible?

I try to live a responsible life.  Getting up early, physical exercise, reading a book in the morning, not procrastinating on sermon preparation… I am respectively responsible, I think.  I even just returned from taking my family to Disney World, and I responsibly lost none of my three wanderful children!  (It was the airline that irresponsibly lost our luggage!)

But while running the beaches of New Smyrna, Fl – I listened to and meditated upon a few sermons preached by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  1 Peter 3:1-6 – “Marriage and Women.”  1 Peter 3:7 – “Marriage and Men.”  OK, so maybe Driscoll has a rep of being a theological bully, but I will say… most men, myself included, need to be kicked in the crotch by Word-expositing preachers.  Driscoll did just that in his sermons (GO! Listen to them – http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/trial?page=2).  Take notes, repent…

There were a myriad of bruise-inducing applications for any man or woman, and I could not help but pray for marriages and husbands and wives in our congregation – sometimes in anger at the extent of the “accepted” brokenness in the homes of the sons and daughters of God.  

But what hit me most was the consideration of my not-so-responsible, gospel-shirking self.  Jesus Christ is the perfect husband to his bride the church.  True.  He laid himself down in full, sacrificial, life-giving headship.  True.  He did not take away the weakness of his “weaker vessel” bride, but he did make himself RESPONSIBLE for her security, identity, health and care.  He did not commit any of his bride’s sins – they are hers (mine are mine), but he did lay his life down on the cross as though he were RESPONSIBLE for her condemning sin.  He took RESPONSIBILITY for the beauty and purity and magnanimous freedom of his bride!

Am I that kind responsible – as a husband and father?  Ahem, well… I mow the lawn weekly, wash dishes most nights, read bed-time stories…  BUT AM I THAT KIND OF A GOSPEL-LIVING, WIFE-HOLDING, CHILDREN-SECURING, CHRIST-EMBODYING RESPONSIBLE HUSBAND AND FATHER? 

[silent, repentant, joyous, intentional consideration…]

Likewise, husbands live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.  – 1 Peter 3:7

Responsible me?  No, it is responsible me.  Period.   Responsible to hold and honor and humbly lay down my life for the sin and struggles and specific growth of Kori, Lina, Meggie and Nate.  O Lord, in my weakness I take it.  I want it.  That responsibility will change me as much as it will change them, because its the gospel!!!  Thank you Responsible Jesus for covering the irresponsible me.

O, did I mention I do our banking?  I wrestle with the kids? 

Shut up and quit shirking your responsibility.

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prayerless words – weak fool

I have spoken many prayerless words in the past 24 hours.  Words matter.  Hard reminder when I see the effect of my mouth on my family.  God have mercy.

When I consider that my words can wound as they do… I am suddenly struck by the words of the Ecclesiastes passage I am working through – “What is crooked cannot be made straight.”  Sometimes that’s how I feel about the parts of myself that don’t add up.   When I am angry, why do I speak.  I know not to.  I do anyways.  What a crooked part of this fallen world.  The things I don’t want to do I do…

Crooked words point to a crooked heart in a crooked world that I can’t make straight.  Once again, weakness as the catalyst for a gospel prayer, hope, dependence and love. 

Today I feel like a crooked pastor because I can’t make things straight in my home… and yet, somehow by grace (in spite of all I said last night) there was a familial experience of peace this morning.  Could it be the peace that God, in his time, will straighten what is crooked.  Will bend my words into obedience and blessing for his glory?  Please do O God.

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God, candles and a back-porch breeze

Tonight is nice. 

Outside on the back porch, I sit.  Kori is on my left reading an enjoyable book.  The breeze is cool.  The candles on the table flicker.  She is beautiful, short hair and all.  We have been through so much together, and it is quiet moments like this that cause me to ….   pause in thanks.

Psalm 27 makes it boldly and memorably clear: because God is gracious, we will see his goodness while here in the land of the living.  Tonight, this is goodness.  The gospel has made us guiltless.  The quiet peace sitting beside one another has evidenced the contentedness that (in our marriage) has been oft slow in coming.  Thank you God.

The only thing that makes tonight better is experiencing it subsequent our glorious weekend.  We spent Friday at the pool (two of them to be exact).  Saturday we took the kids on a hike at Hawk Mtn, not far from where the Appalachian trail passes through.  In fact, prior to our landing at the trail head, we picked up a hitch-hiker, Young Blood, who needed a ride to a nearby town to catch a ride home.  It was our duty and honor to pick up such a kind and gentle smell-of a man… and we tried to do uncle Kevin proud.  Thru-hiker that he was… is.  Then our hike was incredible.  That was Saturday.  Then yesterday I was privileged to preach at Cornerstone on the crucifixion (Mk 15).  It was my first sermon at CPC in 4 months.  It was beautiful, as at the end of the service, the entire congregation bowed on our knees in prayer before the King of kings (seeking to offer true worship to Christ.  We bowed to offer true worship – contrary to the false worship that the soldiers offered to Christ when they dropped to their knees in mockery before his cross).  I will remember yesterday’s corporate worship for a long time.

Yea, this is the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

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my life on paper

One week from this Sunday, Kori and I will be flying to Atlanta for the PCA Church Planter Assessment Center.  Our marriage, sense of call, giftedness, and contextual placement (i.e. in the North East) will be assessed and reassessed.  They tell me it is like marriage counseling on steroids. 

Here’s the thing – we’ve already been assessed just to be accepted at the Assessment Center.  I haven’t liked what I’ve learned.  It is actually quite funny: my life and personality don’t translate that well on paper.  We have each filled out questionaires and personality tests (which will be interpreted for us on site).  We received most of the results already, so that we might digest who we are on paper before we show up and discover who we are in person

My wife is incredible… especially on paper.  She received a personality report that sounded like this: “Quiet and discerning.  Not needing to be the center of attention.  Likely to enter a room and recognize people and needs.  Unlikely to talk about herself before inquiring of others.”  It went something like that.  If you know Kori – that is right on.

I am not so incredible, especially on paper.  My personality report sounded like this: “Energetic and strong in personality.  May prefer to be the center of attention.   Likely to enter a room desirous of sharing about himself before inquiring about others.  Willing to persuade people that they might follow.  May unintentionally offend others or step on toes as he engages in conversation.  Prefers to lead independently.”  OK, so maybe it wasn’t that bad – but it is no overstatement that I now have documented proof that I married way over my head.

It is sobering to read an accurate assessment of yourself in ink that cannot be erased.  Maybe the qualities I read are normal/good for a leader, but it’s still sobering. 

To be honest, I am used to reading an accurate self-assessment.  Every time I read God’s Word it happens with acute clarity.  I am a sinner.  I am desperately wicked.  I am gloriously redeemed.  I am weak enough to need a Savior every moment for every breath throughout every day.  Sobering but beautiful. 

So I guess I am saying that I enjoy and presently prefer sober assessments, because in the newfound awareness I find myself thanking God all the more that he would give the grace of salvation and ministry (and a woman with the personality of Kori) to someone like me, even me.

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laying it all out there

I recently met a new friend, a PCA gospel friend, who started out our conversation by saying: “I’ve read your blog and you really lay it all out there.”  Do I?  Or maybe I’m holding back much more, and my heart – like yours – is darker and more corrupt than could ever be shown?  Perhaps I do do lay it all out there. 

Then a church attendee told me last night that if I ever stop sharing the struggles of my own life when I preach that she will stop listening. She said the same: “Thanks for not holding back.”  To which I said, “Well I do hold back some things.  I don’t tell people how often I beat my wife.”  JOKE.

I don’t even know what  it is to lay it all out there.  But I know that this blog is my place to honestly divulge that I am the worst of sinners with the most need for dependence on Christ.  I really do feel that way. 

Last week was horrible.  Scary thing was – I started the week with multiple announcements to my family that it was going to be the best week ever.  Work on Monday.  Then New Year’s Eve.  Bowl games on Tuesday.  Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night (atta boy Papa).  Les Miserables on Broadway on Thursday.  Day off on Friday.  Wedding party on Saturday.  The best week ever.

Not really.  See, I have always known that, even on the good days, I have isolated moments of selfishness.  Just moments so I thought – until last week.  Then last week I realized why my life is often a string of selfish moments (you know, with the good life being the links on the chain)… it is a string of selfish moments because I am as self-absorbed as Satan was before he his Fall.  Maybe an exaggeration.  Could be.

I’ll leave the actual selfish tantrums for you to imagine… but I say this to those who know me.  I am a sinner.  I am a husband who fails to love his wife.  I am a dad who is often interrupted by his kids – not because they do a lot of interruptions – but because I am constantly preoccupied with my life that I don’t want to have interrupted!  I am a wrecking ball of dispassion and myopic vision (I am so nearsided I see only me).  Last week, rather than mending the broken or being broken with the broken – I tended to tell the broken to get over it and quit messing up my good week.  O, and then I would go and preach or lead a Bible study or pray with people at the office… 

I am weak.  I need the gospel.  I hurt.  I hurt others.  I am not even laying it all out there… nor do I care if I have laid out too much.  Praise be to God that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  Praise be to God that when we are weak, he is strong.  Praise be to God that he will finish the work that he has begun in us. 

O, and I’m glad its a new week.  Nothing to hide.  Nothing to fear.  Nothing lie about.  I am the worst of sinners, but he gives more grace. 

O to plant a church where people as unilaterally messed up as me gather to worship and depend on the God of glorious grace for the weak. 

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