Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Husbands

Few decisions in life are so far reaching as those made by married men. As the leaders of their homes, they have the potential to affect their families in profound ways for good or bad. In light of that I've been reflecting today on the recent decisions of two husbands whose decisions have left large wakes behind them - for good and bad.

First is the decision of my friend Luke to resign from his job for the sake of his wife. And it wasn't just any job. It was a ministry staff position in a good church seemingly custom made for his gifts and personality. Luke was a blessing to many in his position, he made inroads into the community for the Kingdom of God and led a number of people to Christ and was discipling many more. Luke was a cohesive fit on the church staff. Everything looked 'right' about his job - aside from the fact that his wife, finding herself in a very foreign, very challenging context, was dying on the vine at home. So what did Luke do? He said 'no' to the church so he could say 'yes' to his wife. He's now looking at a position in a context more suited to his family's needs. Luke put hands and feet to the biblical reality which recognizes that Christ promised to build His church but commanded us to love our wives sacrificially. Luke is a husband imitating Jesus.


What a contrast Luke's story is to the other husband on my radar today, the famed singer of Christian music Ray Boltz. For twenty years thousands have packed churches and auditoriums to hear Boltz sing songs like 'Thank You', 'Watch the Lamb' and 'I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.' I, myself, have appreciated his music at times. Therefore, what sad news to hear that he's come out of the closet as a homosexual and divorced his wife and devastated the lives of his four children. Boltz proves that when Christian husbands sin against their wives, the waves are profound.

It's a tale of two husbands - one saying 'no' to himself and 'yes' to his wife to the glory of God despite the pain; the other saying 'yes' to his own selfish lusts in disregard for the precious bride God by His grace gave him to serve. It's a tale of two husbands. Which one are you?

3 comments:

thefourwinds said...

It's great to call Ray Boltz on the carpet. No argument with you there.

It's also wonderful to commend your friend Luke for his choice. God will honor him for his decision. I will be very curious to hear in 3-5 years how their marriage is doing.

However, if we as a church are really being serious about men making such Godly choices, then I think we need to be more proactive in preparing them what they may be in for.

Jesus made it clear that He came not to bring peace, but a sword, and that sword sometimes swings right through families. I don't know your friend Luke or his wife, but sometimes women who seem to be (or claim to be) "dying on the vine" are quite simply spiritually dead because they were never grafted into the vine in the first place, no matter how spiritual they seemed. In such cases, their claims are little more than self-absorbed attention-getting.

By all means, exhort men to make hard, Godly choices in their families, and for every marriage that truly becomes more Biblically fruitful, I will be right there to rejoice with you.

But, in what way are you preparing those men who make such Godly choices who then find out that their wives are really wolves in sheep's clothing? In what way will you prepare them for the devastating effect on them and on their children? Will you (and the church as a whole) be prepared to minister to them in that agonizing process?

For every marriage that is helped, I would not be surprised to see another broken up. Are we ready as a church to confront that reality?

Jason Skjervem said...

Hearing about Ray Boltz really saddens me, and scares me at the same time. To put it in terms of election and salvation, was he ever really a true believer, or was he just "playing along" so to speak?

Given, none of us know Ray personally, and only God knows his heart, but I'm always hurt when I see people who have had influence on the Christian world turn such dramatic ways in their lives.

It also helps me to remember that our Christian leaders and people we put in areas of influence, are human and not perfect, and that I am a sinner just like them.

In light of this news, here is another discussion topic. How do you think situations like this work out in God's will? Did God use people who don't know Him, to help further His kingdom, or did Satan just really take down someone who was being used in big ways for Christ?

thefourwinds said...

Jason,

Wow, good question. Given my belief on election, I would say God uses people who don't know Him to help further His kingdom. The Scripture I always think of in that context is Isaiah 55:11 (including v.10 for context) -

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

So God can use people who don't know Him, as long as His word is going forth. I suppose this is a perfect way of looking at Matthew 7:21-23, when the Lord specifically says He never knew many people who did many wonders in His name.