Friday, 30 May 2014

Contagious or Contentious

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 NIV

I want to be very careful that I don’t miscommunicate what I am trying to say.  It would be easy to misread what I intend.  I have had the opportunity to meet with many couples who were struggling in their marriage.  Most often neither the husband nor the wife have much of a vertical connection with the Lord, i.e. they come to church with some regularity, normally for the kids, but God has little impact on how they lead their lives on a day to day basis.  This makes it difficult as a counselor who wants to rely on what the Bible has to say about marriage to help them.

While it is difficult to work with such a couple, at least they are starting at roughly the same spiritual level and they have come to a church for help.

On occasion I have a couple where either the husband or the wife knows as much Scripture as a seminary graduate.  They have a verse for every situation and they are quick to spout it off and hit their partner over the head with it.  They basically beat their spouse into the ground with the Bible.  This is not only not very helpful, it is a total turnoff.  Such an approach of self-righteous indignation would drive me about as far away from Christianity as possible.

If we are living a life that would bring glory to God our demeanor, character and behavior would be contagious.  We would be filled with joy, eager to get up in the morning to see what the Lord has in store, and certainly demonstrate some form of compassion to someone with whom we come in contact.

The person who is so full of themselves because of the amount of Scripture they have memorized and the theological knowledge they have amassed only intimidates others.  There is no humility, no transparency and very little empathy in the lives of such people.  There is little love but a great deal of judgment and condemnation. 

The partner who truly has been born again understands how imperfect they are.  They see the plank in their own eye before commenting on the spec in the eye of another.  They recognize that they are a sinner that needs to change.  They have a growing understanding of how much they have been forgiven.  When both partners come to counseling, when they are both repentant, broken, contrite and humble they can make great strides

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