At church last Sunday, a couple gave their testimony.
The husband introduced his wife, who would read their testimony. The
husband said that, in the decades before he became born again, he was a
sinner whose sins put Christ on the cross.
The wife then read their story. She said that the husband was a
laid-back man who let her make all the decisions. “Whatever you say,
wife” was his catchphrase. She related that she was a control-freak and
liked making the decisions, and yet part of her wished that her husband
would step forward more often.
She wanted her husband to go to church, but the husband felt
uncomfortable whenever he attended church with her. He was going to
church to please her. As far as his personal beliefs went, he had a
belief in God. But his priorities were his job, then his family.
Her husband worked a lot, and she felt neglected. They were drifting
apart, and she wanted a divorce. Her husband replied that he did not
want a divorce, but that he would go along with what she wanted.
They still lived together, even after they were divorced. At some
point, the husband concluded that he needed Jesus in his life. He
started going to church, not to please her, but because that was what he
wanted to do.
They started dating, and they decided to get back together. Now they serve God together.
It was odd to hear her husband describe himself as such a gross
sinner before he became saved, when, in his pre-conversion state, he
seemed like a nice, laid-back guy. But he was neglecting God and his
marriage, though, and that is probably what he felt bad about.
I had some difficulty identifying with the wife’s desire for a
divorce. Like I said, the husband seemed like a laid-back guy. He was a
non-confontational, “go with the flow,” “keep the peace” kind of
person. He wasn’t chasing women or being abusive. But feelings of
estrangement and loneliness, and a desire for her husband to be more of a
leader, were factors behind her desire for a divorce.
Where this testimony hits home is that I can envision myself being
the sort of husband that he was. Avoiding confrontation. Letting
someone else make the decisions. Using work as an escape. Feeling like
my marriage is successful because I’m going with the flow and not
making waves. If I were married and were to try to learn from his
example, I would probably spend more time with my wife. Would I step
forward and take more initiative in making decisions? That may be a
challenge. If I felt strongly about something, maybe I would.
The part of the testimony about the husband needing Jesus in his life
stood out to me. It is one thing to have a vague belief in God. It is
another thing to have a daily relationship with Jesus, in which Jesus
is part of one’s life.
I don’t know people in the church or their story, so it was
interesting to hear the struggles of one couple who attends the church.
I’m hesitantly leaving the comments open.