I was a jerk to my wife a few nights ago. I was tired, just got back from a trip and blah, blah, blah the flesh took over and I was, in the words of my son, a crabby patty. What made this really unfortunate is that my little mini meltdown happened in front of my little mini kids.
The anger subsided, the Spirit convicted and, like always, I ended up asking my wife for forgiveness and, like always, she granted it. I say “like always” because this is not the first time that this has happened. Everyone has their sin struggles that they battle with as believers and “crabby patty” (aka “a bad attitude when I don’t get my way”) is on my blacklist of personal struggles, especially when I’m tired. When I’m road weary I can easily forget to yield to the Spirit of God and get self-centered pretty quickly. Often this ends up with me verbally lashing out. I thank God for my forgiving bride…and kids! I can think of three different times I have had to ask Jeremy to forgive me for having a bad attitude toward his mommy in front of him.
After my meltdown I was putting Jeremy down for the night and asked him to forgive me for having a bad attitude and saying not so nice things to his mommy. Jeremy took it down a road I was not expecting.
He said, “Hey Dad I have a question for you.”
“When you do something wrong and ask for forgiveness and then do that same thing again and again and again isn’t that kind of like lying to God?”
I was stunned, shot through the heart, not by Bon Jovi, but a seven year old kid. After I recovered from my kid’s punch to my conviction solar plexus. I talked with Jeremy about my own depravity, the power of the cross and the constancy of God’s forgiveness in spite of our sin and then I spanked him like he’s never been spanked before (kidding!)
Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon from any preacher that has ever convicted me as much as Jeremy’s honest question. I talked to Jeremy about how we can always go back and ask for forgiveness even when we sin many times. But I also told him that, on the other had, he was very right. Receiving God’s grace is not a license to keep sinning. As Paul writes in Romans 6:1, “Shall we sin so that grace may abound? May it never be!”
To be honest, sometimes I think I subconsciously allow myself to let the fire of anger burn into an inferno, knowing that, when I feel like it, I’ll be able to go to the well of forgiveness to get a big bucket of mercy from God and my wife to douse it all out with. But Jeremy’s words reminded me how much damage is done with this kind of scorched earth policy of anger management. Although we are forgiven for all of our sins through the blood of Jesus, this forgiveness is no license to sin, but rather a reason to serve!
I asked Jeremy to pray for daddy in this area. He agreed! I ask you to pray for me too. Pray for me to yield to the Spirit in this area (and every area) of my life. I want to be the husband that God has called me to be. I want to show Jeremy and Kailey what it means to love someone and how it looks to lead a Spirit-filled life. My quest is genuine authenticity and the full on pursuit of Christlikeness in every area of my life. I need all the prayers my friends can afford.
I love you Debbie! Thanks for forgiving me again and again throughout the last 18 years of marriage. Through Jesus I will learn to be the husband to you that God has called me to be!
I love you Jeremy! Thanks for being willing to be used by God to convict your old man! God used you in a big way to speak into my soul. Now go and play with your legos or something and leave the preaching to me!