Even abusers can find hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He saves the repentant and trusting sinner from hell but that’s not all He died for; He died to save us from the poison of sin’s power–in all its forms. With Jesus, even the abuser can change. His sanctifying power is available to those who will humble themselves enough to admit their sin, and ask the Lord, his wife, and Christian brothers, for help.
Anarchy is what happens in the absence of governance. It’s when no one calls the shots, no one leads, no one rules; or maybe someone tries to but governs too weakly to influence those they lead, are too weak to restrain the violent or the opportunists in their midst.
Yesterday I began preaching a series of sermons on submission called “Can we learn to love the grace of authority?” “Grace” because I think authority is such a good thing that it can fit into the category of “undeserved blessing.” Yet I don’t think people in general like it–not even Christians.
When some Christian parents won’t correct their children in love and strength, I wonder if with some it’s because they themselves have a bad taste in their mouths about authority. Which leaves them few choices except pleading, yelling, pouting, bribing, or effectively turning their God-given authority over to their hapless child. What a tragic and lifelong price children may have to pay for mom and dad’s misunderstanding.
And then there are the husbands who won’t lead their wives. Good riddance to the men who have mistreated, bullied, or led their wives harshly. But as the pendulum arcs back the other direction, can’t we jump off in the middle and be strong men who are willing to assume our calling to lead our wives like tender shepherds instead of the stereotypical tyrants detractors take us for?
What about the government? Many of us evangelicals are politically conservative. Accordingly, we fume and rant over a government we think is too intrusive, too liberal, too quick to spend money. Some justify cheating it because its laws are ridiculous–or just because it’s too confiscatory and they feel entitled to keep what they can get away with. Those of us who wouldn’t go that far pay taxes and vote, but do we realize the institution is God’s? Pray for it and rejoice in it, accordingly?
Teen or not, what do you believe? About God, Christ, yourself, grand purposes, the world, the future? I’m not talking about the things you don’t know, but what you say you do believe.
OK, next question: will you find it in the Bible? You sure? Read the CNN article:
Friday afternoon Tyler and Becky made each other the same promise I’ve had most couples repeat at the marriage altar: “…whether you are healthy, sick, or even bedfast.”
The next morning Sam died. My neighbor was 65 but had been dying for seven years. A welder by trade, he also served as a pastor for 31 years in various places. Then he fell from a roof and suffered major head trauma. The injury and necessary medications left him physically and mentally disabled. He could speak but not hold a conversation; he could shuffle along to the car sometimes, but not get up and walk on his own.
Instead of letting him waste away in a nursing home, Hannah tenderly cared for him at home. By herself. Weak as he was, her husband still towered over her. She fed him, bathed him, dressed him, cared for the house and grounds, took him to the doctor. She did it all.
Without complaint. No pity party.
“…or even bedfast.” A couple of years ago I told her, “You’re one of my heroes, Hannah.” No cape and mask could substitute for the love-in-practice of tenderly caring for a mate who can no longer care for you, no longer love you, no longer protect you, no longer provide for you, no longer keep you warm on cold nights, no longer take care of himself.
You’re still my hero, Hannah. You stayed, you served, you glorified God. Well done.
“Yes,” I replied, handing her a business card. “I’d like to know how the people of our church can help others learn how to read.” Her mouth dropped open, “Oh that’s so wonderful!”