31-Day Marriage Devotion
HUSBAND’S DILEMMA: I LEAD YOU – I SIN AGAINST YOU
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Biff does not want to lead his wife. He said that he felt like a hypocrite trying to lead his wife while sporadically sinning against her. Biff asked, “How can I lead her and sin against her at the same time?” Admittedly, Marge does not make it any easier on Biff as she reminds him of his sin when he tries to lead her. Biff took the position that it is better not to lead Marge at all if he’s going to sin against her.
- Do not lead your wife until you reach a state of sinless perfection.
- Do not lead your wife, but continue your sinning against her.
- Lead your wife while recognizing you’re an imperfect leader. Acknowledge that you are a sinner called to lead your wife.
Currently, neither Biff or Marge have a clear understanding of the gospel–at least as it applies to this situation. The Bible informs us that we are sinners in need of a Savior. God’s Word reveals how there will never be a day in your life when you will not be tempted to sin while on some days, you will succumb to those temptations.
Because your spouse is the closest individual to you, it stands to reason that you will sin against your spouse more than anyone else. Both partners must humbly understand and apply these two practical truths: a husband is called to lead his wife, and he will sin against his wife.
Marge believes Biff is getting off the hook too easily by genuinely confessing his sin and asking for forgiveness. What she does not perceive is the expensiveness of the gospel. The death of Christ on the cross and His eventual resurrection from the grave was an infinite payment for an infinite crime against an infinite Being. To suggest that Biff should pay more than an “infinite” price for his sin is untenable, plus a mockery of the gospel.
Biff is also mocking the gospel by refusing to lead his wife, justifying his passivity by acknowledging he is a sinner. He must accept that he is a saint and sinner, and sinning is what sinners do. He needs to get over himself while simultaneously flinging himself on the only Person who can clean up his sporadic messes. He needs to appropriate the grace of God in his life each time he sins and then live in the good of that gospel experience.
Ironically, he is confessing the sin against his wife while picking up a host of other sins like self-pity, regret, shame, guilt—all clear indicators that the gospel is not enough for Biff. His gospel is anemic.
Marge is living out her own form of gospel dysfunction by not letting Biff off the hook. She agrees with Biff: he must pay for his sin, and though the cross of Christ is a good start, there must be more.
While not minimizing any sin against anyone, Marge is missing a vital point of the gospel: Christ died for sins. She has unwittingly put herself in the role of God. She is the sole determiner and executioner of the fair judgment of her husband’s sins. Ironically, she does not hold others to this anti-gospel standard: Christ’s death is sufficient for her friends, and even her enemies, but she has a Christ plus “penalty box” when it comes to Biff’s sins.
Time to Reflect
I want you to think about these two statements:
- Does your theology say, “God’s Judgment of His Son + Your Judgment of Your Spouse = Satisfied Debt.”
- Or, “God’s Judgment of His Son + Nothing = Satisfied Debt.”
How do you need to change to bring your life and marriage in line with the gospel? Start changing with a prayer to your Father now.
Also published on Medium.