The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.

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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”

One of the odd things that happened when Eva and I started ministering together was that I suddenly found that I was nervous and critical she spoke.  It was definitely not an objective assessment.  Everyone else who heard what Eva remarked that she was excellent.  I meanwhile was biting my tongue to keep myself from jumping in and correcting every sentence.  I am afraid the first time I did jump in.  Eva found this quite disconcerting.  Here I was supposedly the supportive husband usually quite gracious towards other people being completely unsupportive and definitely lacking in grace towards her.  What had got into me?

After a while I began to get used to my emotions when Eva spoke, I would have to remind myself that really it was excellent, it was only me who could see any faults.  It was a bit like the frightened child trying to remember it was only a movie and that it would all be all right in the end.

I realised quite early on that the emotions were based on fear.  Eva might say something that would reflect badly on me.  That fear led to a controlling attitude in which I wanted her to give the talk as I would have given it.  To overcome this fear, I had to trust in Jesus, Lord of all, that he could over rule even what my wife said.  It also helped discussing what we were going to say before hand.  Knowing the whole story from the beginning brought a lot of peace of mind.  It helped the talks a lot as well.  We would need to make changes to sharpen a point or leave things out when one of us had the wrong end of the stick.

Eventually it dawned on me that this fear was also a consequence of the way that God had made us.  “The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” (Ephesians 5:23 NIV)  I was responding because I have an inbuilt sense of responsibility that God had put there.  In fact I was allowing what God had put in to over react,  It was subject to sin just as every other part of us is.  Just because something is natural does not mean that it is good.  My impulse to control what my wife said was not loving, it was simply controlling.

It is interesting to note that this inbuilt need to feel responsible kicks in far more, when I feel that my reputation is on the line through what Eva might say, than when the children need attention, cooking needs to be done and Eva is still doing some house work.  This verse, which is often used as a sort of authority verse for domination goes on “Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the saviour”.  It seems that we much prefer to take the head bit and leave out the saviour.  I have found again and again that saving Eva is a very real option.  If I leave things as they are, Eva will do the work.  Someone needs to do it and so if no one else will, she will.  I on the other hand have a choice.  I have to exercise love and faith in order to save.  It is a love that costs, and so must come with dependence on Jesus in faith that he will in turn rescue me.  I have to set aside the things I was going to do, in order to pick up the things Eva can do, but at a great emotional and physical cost.