In his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian life, Donald Whitney tells a brief story about a conversation that a man had with his coworker, a recent convert.
Upon finding out that his coworker had recently become a Christian, the man felt elated and said, “That's wonderful! I have been praying for this for years.”
The recent convert responded in disbelief, “You're a Christian? Why didn’t you ever tell me? You are one of the main reasons that I took so long to believe.”
The man was also shocked, “What do you mean? I have always done my very best to live the Christian life around you.”
His new brother in Christ responded, “Yes, but that's the point. You lived such a model life without telling me that it was Christ in you that made the difference. I thought that if you could live the model life without Christ, then I could too.”
As Christians, we have a choice between two paths to take. One path demonstrates humility; it takes the spotlight off of us, points it at Jesus, and says, “Hey I am working at this, and Jesus is at work in me to make me a better person.”
The other path demonstrates pride; it exalts ourselves as the standard and says, “Hey, try to measure up to me. Look at how good I can be.”
The path we choose influences our relationships, including our marriage. Ask yourself: Am I demonstrating the working of Christ in my life to my spouse? Or am I trying to be a model husband or wife?
How can I live in such a way that shows that I am becoming a better spouse and it is Christ that is making the difference?
Being able to explain our faith is important. Peter tells us to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us and to be able to show where our hope comes from (1 Peter 3:15).
I know that this is a keystone verse for the logic and reason that drives apologetics. I love apologetics, understanding all of the historical, rational, and philosophical truth that is represented in the historical person of Jesus. It's also understanding the proofs that we have of a risen savior and the authenticity of scripture.
But I also think that the reason for the hope has to evolve a little bit from historical truth to present truth. The reason for the hope that is in us is also because of the work Christ is doing in us now.
In Luke 7:47 Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven
The reason for the hope that is in you is that you have been forgiven much.
Christ is alive in you, literally hope
Are you living that out in front of your spouse? Do they see that you have a reason for the hope that is in you?
Are you on the humble path, being vulnerable enough to let your spouse in on the good work that God is doing in you? Or are you on the prideful path, trying to look like the model spouse?
Because one path points to Jesus, and the other path is all about pretending that you have already arrived.
I would like to encourage you to try a little vulnerability this week and take 10 minutes to share the good news of what Christ is doing in your life with your spouse. Ask her to pray with you about a struggle you are having and spend a little time together praising God for where he has brought you….and where he is going to take you.