Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Man Up" for Christ

I consider my marriage a good one. She makes all the little decisions; I make all the big ones. She decides things like what's for supper, where we go on vacation, how to discipline the kids, when we clean the house -- you know -- the small stuff. I, on the other hand, get to make the big decisions: how can we fix the economy, are we or are we not in favor of the euro, is terrace farming the best choice for agriculture in Southeast Asia. You see the kinds of issues I have to grapple with? Okay, so I exaggerate, but the point is this: together my wife and I make all kinds of decisions every day. Some she makes; some I make; some we make.

When it comes to our faith life -- how we show the world Christ -- I try to make the decisions. The rule is if we are together at home, I will start the prayers -- both at meal time and in the evening. If we are apart, we pray individually for meals. She, however, starts prayers when we're on the phone. After I pray, she adds her special heart concerns. After she prays, I add mine. By listening to each other's heartfelt prayers, we learn more about each other and grow in our understanding and love for one another.

We attend worship services together whenever possible. We sit and listen as God's Word is conveyed to us through the liturgy, hymns, and sermon. We sometimes hear God's Word shared through praise songs -- some of which cause conversation as we discuss the meaning of the words. All of this brings us closer to each other as we discuss, debate, and decide how best to live out God's Word by being His children on earth.

I also decide on how our offerings are given -- to whom, for what, and for how much. She has veto power, but she has never used it. I try to get us involved with service projects, impact events, or mission trips as much as possible, but alas, not often enough. I insisted we have a mission statement for our marriage. It is this: to see us is to see Christ.

Men, I have taken the lead on this. I can say it is an awesome responsibility. It is not to be taken lightly, nor should it be taken too gravely either. The emphasis is always on Christ, not me, not her. In respect to all of this, let me state the obvious: Men, it is a good thing to step up and take the leadership in your household, especially if you have children. Men, be the person you can and should be and give your children a clear and unmistakable example of how Christians embrace their faith, stand up for their beliefs, and witness to the truth of the Gospel.

Think for a moment on a person (child or adult) close to you. How can you go beyond your routine of service and care and leave a lasting impression with him or her of Christ working in your life?

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