Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Fallacy Of Independance

Many of you likely know the story of the prodigal son.  Some of you may even know it’s from the Bible.  It’s the story of a wealthy man who had two sons. The younger son got bored of life under his father’s roof and demanded that he be given his inheritance.

 The son goes off and proceeds to waste all his money on, as the old King James puts it, “riotous living.”  When he had nothing left and had been reduced to eating pig slop he determined to return home and beg his father’s forgiveness hoping that he may be received back as one of the servants.  Of course when he returns the father is overjoyed and will hear none of the son’s talk of becoming a servant.  Instead the Father throws a huge party to celebrate the return of his son.

In telling this story Jesus illustrates a number of things not the least of which is the grace of God.  (There’s a surprising lesson about the older son but that’s for another day.) One of the illustrations is about the nature of rebellion against God.

In my childhood I had always understood the younger son’s sin was in the wild partying.  But the true nature of his rebellion was in saying to his Father, I don’t need you.  I can be my own authority.

A very wise man (my Dad) has pointed out that all rebellion against God starts not with what we do but in the attitude that I can be my own god.  I don’t need to listen to God; I will set my own course and make my own way, and I will be my own highest authority.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit the temptation wasn’t “eat this and you will be greater than God,” it was “this will give you wisdom and you won’t need God.”

So you see a person can be very moral and upstanding, living an exemplary life even doing much good, but foundationally is still a sinner.  Jesus, by contrast, lived his life in absolute submission to the authority of his Father God.  “I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me…I always do what pleases him.”

Right now in many of you reading this there is a resistance rising up against that thought, “I do nothing on my own.”  That’s the sin nature that we all are born with, and that’s what Jesus died to replace for us.  There can be no friendship with God until you give up control.


God’s Purpose in Gender Roles

You would think that after twenty-six and a half years of marriage I would have gotten this relationship thing down pat and I’d know exactly what to do at exactly the right time and Wendy would respond in exactly the way I expect. The problem with that theory is that we are both growing and changing.  So the adventure continues.

We are, however, getting better and better at working through the changes.  That’s happening, in part, because as I look deeper into scripture I’m coming to a better understanding of the roles God created male and female for. (I think Wendy has always innately had a better grasp of that.)  I see two foundational roles in God’s design and I’ve put these roles in the form of questions.

Before I list those, let me say that the ways in which these roles are expressed are innumerable and will differ from person to person.  These roles do not pigeon hole a man or a woman to say you have to be this or you can’t be that.  By foundational I mean the prime purpose of human beings, relating to God and relating to each other as male and female.  This purpose is true in all of relating, but it’s most clearly expressed in the husband wife relationship.

When our boys tell us about a girl they’ve begun to develop an interest in the question I’ve come to ask is “Does she inspire you to follow and love Jesus more or does she distract you from him?”  In other words does her lifestyle, her conversation, the way in which she expresses interest in you inspire in you a greater passion for Jesus?

If we’d had girls I would ask them this: “Does the way this guy treats you heighten your awareness of how much God loves you, or does it mostly focus on the guy?”  In other words does he draw your attention to God in what he says, his integrity, in how he puts your best interests ahead of his own?

God’s beautiful design is that as each relationship is deepened, male to God and male to female and female to God and female to male, it deepens and strengthens the other.  The better my relationship with God the better I’ll relate to my wife, and the better my relationship with my wife the better I’ll know God.

I would not be the man I am without Wendy daily inspiring me to pursue God more passionately.  Thank you my dear, let the adventure continue…