Monday, January 22, 2018


Many regard the commands of God as restrictive, burdensome, and even oppressive. I don’t. In fact, I even love His commands. They have breathed into my life freedom and a joy.

Let me try to explain what might seem paradoxical to you – how restrictions can create a meaningful freedom. Just think about playing chess! A real joy and freedom is only possible within the confines of the rules. If we could move our pieces whenever and however we want, the game would become quite unsatisfying.

I’d like to argue that the same thing is true when we follow the restrictions set forth by our loving God. I tend to be quite negative and critical, at least within my heart, and this tendency is very costly. I have to bear the weight of my critical spirit towards my wife. Meanwhile, I feel quite justified in my criticisms. I sometimes even think, “How could I have gotten stuck with such a person.

Here’s where the Word of God comes in. It resets my program and focus where it needs to be:

·       Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV)

These verses remind me of my task – I shouldn’t be judging my wife but loving her – the very thing that I fail to do when I am judging.

What is the result? I begin to see that it is I who am the spiritual failure – and I need to see this – and not my wife. I begin to see her as she truly is – a real blessing to me. This process actually frees me from myself, enabling me to be the person who God wants me to be. It also humbles me and causes me to be grateful for what I have through my wife and ultimately my Savior.

In contrast, those who reject the Savior are like fish in their fishbowl. They see freedom calling them to leave their confining bowl, and with a massive effort, they propel themselves to the great outside only to flip around helplessly on the waterless ground. They have their “freedom,” but it is a compassionless freedom.

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