The struggle with physical circumstances bringing on anger and resentment and bitterness that I spoke of in P4E.009 many times had to do with my marriage. Let me give you an idea of what can happen when you let go of "fairness" and "justice."
My wife and I were talking to a wife who asked the question: "OK, say my husband starts to understand what you're talking about. What would I see? What would that look like?" Our reply went something like this: "If your husband were a spiritual leader, he would exhibit the fruit of the spirit. If we look at Galations 5, that fruit is described as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If someone came up to you right now and asked you to describe your husband would you use any of these words to describe him?" In answer, she rolled her eyes. This is a typical response that we get when we talk of such things.
If we had answered that wife further, we would have also said, "Right, and he also would not be evidencing the deeds of the flesh which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, diputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness and carousing."
Well, I've had my own bouts with pornography (How about you guys?). I know a pastor who sold his Harley Davidson because he realized he was kneeling down every time he polished the chrome on it. We've ministered to husbands who were struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. My wife will vouch that I was one of the most contentious, angry men she's ever known. We're talking about husbands professing to be Christians, pastors and worship leaders and Bible study leaders. I'm not saying that we have to be saints. (Although I think sometimes our wives would (rightly) like us to be.) But, as my often quoted mentor, Ken Nair says, "It's not about being perfect, it's about the sincerity of the pursuit of Christlikeness."
Let me add something else that we hear from wives and girlfriends. They wish we weren't so self-righteous. They wish we weren't so defensive. They wish we would be more humble and teachable. That would mean acknowledging when we've been offensive (un-Christlike), apologizing for it and promising not to do it again. I believe that's Scriptural.
When we let go of "fairness" and "justice" we also let go of the question: "Well, what about her?" and focus on our own pursuit of Christ.
We like to do our own little survey and ask people how many families they know in which they would identify the husband/father as the spiritual leader. Let me clue you in on our survey. Ask yourself that question right now. The answer you gave is about what we hear. Very few. If you ask the children, they will almost inevitably answer "Mom is."
Would you like to join me in turning the tide, in becoming a spiritual leader, in changing the general perception, in pursuing Christ? Let's roll....
Your Ally in the Pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim