It was the strangest thing. My wife was talking, but all I could hear were my words.
I hadn’t brainwashed her. She wasn’t reading aloud something that I had written. She was engaged in a deep theological and practical conversation with her parents. They were trying to figure out what to do with some work situations, irritating coworkers and frustrating bosses. The ideas of abandoning ship, punching someone in the nose, withdrawing from responsibility so others would have to own what was theirs were all thrown out. Some were more serious than others.
Then my wife mentioned something that I had been reading about and sharing with her. She added to the conversation something to the effect of:
“Well, Jesus said that the most important things we can do are to love God and love our neighbours. And that would include our coworkers and bosses.”
Everyone agreed to that idea. She was paraphrasing Matthew 22:37-40.
“So the questions becomes, what is the most loving thing that we can do for these people in this particular circumstance?”
It was weird to hear my words spoken by my wife. On the one hand, I was flattered.
The things that I was learning, the things that I was wrestling through, she was partaking in. She was hearing me. She was taking the information that I was presenting and sharing with her and working it into her own theology and her own language. It was becoming a part of her. It was sharing and changing her, and the world that she lived it. I have always known that my wife respected me, and appreciated my love for theology, but this was somehow different.
It also showed a maturity and growth in her. She was taking the things she believed and putting them into practice. Her willingness to take a real life problem and find a solution built on the teachings of Jesus is something that all Christians should do, but I rarely see happen. Whether she realized it or not, she was taking Jesus at His word and believing that He knew best for her, her life, and for the life of those around her. It was a beautiful thing to witness.
But on the other hand, I was scared.
Hearing my words, my meditations on Scripture came out of her mouth made me realize what tremendous power that I have as a spouse. I shared something and my wife soaked it up. She listened and took in whatever I said. I’m not saying that she is stupid. On the contrary, she is one of the smartest people I know. But because of our relationship, she took in what I had to share.
Imagine if I wasn’t sharing not Jesus’ truth. Imagine if I was sick or crazy, and starting twisting Scripture for my own good. Imagine if I dove into some ancient heresies or Gnosticism. Or if I abandon all truth and start preaching that God was full of anger and wrath, not love. Potentially, I could convince my wife, and have her act out and believe just about anything.
And, let me be clear, my wife is brilliant. She is no one’s fool.
But as a spouse, as someone that is in the deepest, most intimate relationship with my wife, I have this dangerous relationship where I have an overwhelming influence on my wife.
This two realizations made me stop and reflect. And from that reflection, I knew I had to take action, and share it with you.
I know I am not the only one that has ever had this happen to them. I’m sure that there are other men and women that have had their spouse, their best friend, even their children start talking and heard their words come out. So I encourage you, when this happens to you, that you would walk through these steps as I had to, and will continue to do.
Check Your Pride
I was proud when I heard my wife speaking and my words came out. But I knew that it wasn’t about me. Yes, they were my words, some of my phrasing, but truly, it wasn’t about it at all. It was about Jesus. It was about the words that He spoke, the Life that He offered.
Yes, I realize my power and position as a spouse may influence my wife and her thinking, but I am nothing next to Jesus. The forerunner of Christ, John the Baptist, said it best,
“He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30
I may be a husband. But that is nothing compared to the Son of God, to the Way, the Truth, and The Life. As much as I may want my wife to hear me, I need to remember that I am not that important. Jesus is, and always should be.
We all need to check our pride before it takes a hold of us, and destroys everything.
Check Your Theology
I am a smart man. I did graduate and receive my Bachelor of Theology from Bible school. I have read numerous books on various Christian topics quite regularly. It is easy to think that I know everything. Or to think that I know a lot. But just because I have a thought, it doesn’t make it a good one. And it most certainly doesn’t make it a right one.
I have thought that I understood a particular passage of Scripture at times, only to be schooled by a pastor, a theologian, even a lay person in the church. I might be smart, but I’m not always right. And I need to be humble enough to know that, and humble enough to keep pursuing the truth. Even if that means proving myself wrong.
And this isn’t to arrive as a Christian or to beat someone in an argument. I need to check my theology, my understanding of the Bible and what Jesus taught because I am responsible to others.
I have a wife that looks up to me. I have a daughter and a son that are going to need to be raised in a good and godly way. I have a ministry that calls me to biblical excellence. I need to checking and rechecking what I am writing, speaking, and acting out. Not just for my good, but for those that look to me as a spouse, father, teacher, and example.
You may not be a blogger. You may not be a pastor. But I’m sure that there are people that are looking to you for biblical instruction through your words and actions. Do not lead them astray. Take the words that Jesus said to the religious leaders and teachers seriously.
“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6
Check Your Heart
Why do you share things? I’ll admit that there are times when I have shared my biblical knowledge with people to impress them, to show them how smart I am. On other occasions, I have done it to prove that I am right and they are terribly wrong. Both are wrong motives to share anything about Jesus. Whether you are sharing with your spouse, a friend, your children, or a stranger, those cannot be your reasons for telling them something about Jesus.
Jesus told us how we were to be known, the one identifying marker that would show people best what we believed. This action would accompany our words in perfect harmony, glorifying Him alone.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
Jesus calls us to love one another. That is to be our motive, our drive to do anything. When we look to share something we have learned, it shouldn’t be pride or a desire to beat someone down that moves us. It should be love. A desire to see this person’s life enriched by this knowledge. A hunger to see them encouraged and renewed by the words of Christ. This is what needs to be at the center of all our actions; love.
Whether it is your spouse, your children, your coworkers or employer, a stranger or close friend, love needs to be the motivation for why we tell them about Jesus and the wonderful things that we have been blessed to know about Him. To be driven by any other purpose is to invite disaster upon ourselves.
All Scripture references provided by Biblegateway.com
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