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“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8)
My husband’s favorite chair is a rocking chair with uneven legs and a missing rocker. Just about every grand baby has flipped over in it so mostly they just keep away from it. However a few are determined to conquer grandpa’s chair. And as children are want to do they stand up in it which results in flipping over. A few days ago this happened to one of the five-year-old granddaughters. She scraped her foot in the fall and it was, of course, extremely upsetting to her.
Being one to really hold a grudge, today she informed grandpa that she did not like his chair because it hurt her, it’s a bad chair. He replied telling her that it was actually his favorite chair and he really liked it. The real problem of course is she has been warned and reprimanded many times but continues in disobedience which has consequences such as falling and hurting yourself. However that is a lesson for another day.
Now, when grandpa told her that he liked his chair, she said well you must like for me to get hurt, that is why you like that chair (yes, this is a precocious child in case you were wondering). So came an opportunity for me to explain to her that what she said is not true. Grandpa does not like for you to get hurt; to say that he likes for you to get hurt is in fact a lie. Also, you know that grandpa loves you and he always tries to prevent you from getting hurt. It is not good to lie about grandpa and accuse him of wishing that harm would come to you; that would mean that grandpa is evil and does not love you.
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9).
I love these opportunities for guidance in truth with the grand babies. I always have hope that it will stick with them and correct their thinking as they hopefully apply it to future thoughts that they have in the same vein. I was feeling rather proud of my wisdom and accomplishment in this…until later today, that is.
Early this evening I was doing a little devotional marriage study, and wouldn’t you know it, as God often does it was as if He said: you, Cheryl, are the man. The study described how ascribing hurtful motives to our husbands when something did not go the way we hoped is wrong. I would actually go so far as to say it is a lie and it is evil, as I had just explained to my granddaughter earlier this very day.
I ran through the list in my mind of things that I have thought my husband did not do, and where I have deduced he does not care for me. Fill in the blank, it could be anything. Perhaps he did not remember what I asked for from the store, take out the trash, or open my car door. It is silly, but it is usually the smallest things. The small thing that does not go the way I hoped or planned and I ruminate on in my mind and conclude that he must like for me to not have what I asked for from the store therefore he does not love me. The truth is I know that he loves me, and anything else is an evil lie. And it is not because he gets me a snack or opens my car door. How petty that my hope would be in those things, or that my marriage would be founded on those things.
My hope is in Christ, who is also the person and hope that my marriage is founded on. He is my only hope in life and death. I’m so thankful for the way that He works through everyday events to show me that the sin that I am talking about does not only need to be rooted out of my granddaughter, it needs to be rooted out of me. I am so thankful that He exposes my heart for the idol factory that it is, so that I may tear down the idols. He does this because He loves His children, which is the same reason that I expose it in my granddaughter.
In Christ we are to constantly tell ourselves and others the gospel. We need the daily reminder that He is our comforter, friend, Saviour, prophet, priest, and king. He does all for us, we exist only by and because of Him. We are not to focus on the trials that he has brought to us and hold them to account and accuse Him of not loving us for the difficulties that we have been given in life. So why do we hold our husband to an impossible to meet standard of always proving his love? If we have a trial that our husband brought to us, do we not credit him as evil or unloving?
We will do well to remember on whom it is that our marriages are founded, to credit to our husbands’ accounts the good that they have done for us, the difficulties of life they have stood by our side in, the protection that they have given us and their provision over us. When Christ is truly the foundation of our marriage we can look to our lives and marriages and actually see the good, we do not have to focus on or seek out the negative. We must put in to practice seeking the good of others starting with our husbands of whom we are one flesh in the Lord.
“Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (2 Corinthians 6:3).