The other day I was having a conversation with a woman who was having difficulty in her marriage. Her husband was consistently struggling to bring his home into order. The problem was two-fold.
First, he was allowing a certain sin to set up camp in his heart. It’s not as though he was overjoyed at the struggle he was having, but he was not exactly kicking the scoundrel out with a swift kick to the backside either. This tolerance of sin is what created the bigger problem in his home. When a man is truly taking his duty of godly dominion seriously, the result will be beauty and order. His home will be slowly and steadily growing in these areas. When a man allows sin to get all comfy in his garden, then chaos and ugliness will result. It will follow him in whatever his hand touches. His wife will be infected by it, his children will be infected by it, his work will be infected by it. Everything will start to whither and fall apart. Something has to die. Either sin and self has to die or the things around him will die. Death is evitable, which leads me to the second problem.
Her second problem was the struggle to allow sin to have its natural consequences in his life in order that he might wake up to the seriousness of the situation. She was concerned that if she stopped bailing him out then others would suffer. The children would suffer if she didn’t pick up the slack and provide for the family. Others within the extended family and the church would have to sacrifice to take care of her and the kids if the consequences of his sin were allowed to come to the surface. This is true. The man is called to lay down his life for his family. He is to die to himself that he might give life to those under his care. If a man will not do this because of a love for his sin and a love of self, then someone else has to do it. Life only comes through death. Abundant fruit only comes from dying seeds. If a man will not die to himself that his family might be blessed, then someone else will have to do it in his place. Others will have to sacrifice, others will have to serve. No amount of enabling or pretending can prevent this.
And a man can only do this if he has first looked to the One who suffered and died in his place. Christ was crucified and buried that all us sorry men enslaved to our lusts might be raised as servant-kings. And the women who live under the care of such sorry men can only endure with grace and hope if they also have looked to the One who endured undeserved hardship for the joy of redeeming and restoring an undeserving people to glory and honor.