I use the word “deserve” often, and I’ve gotten used to being hammered for it. I sometimes get something along the lines of “What we all deserve is to burn in hell for eternity.” I have two problems with that:
- It sounds like trying to justify not treating your spouse well, or excusing being treated badly by your spouse. No one has ever actually said, “My wife deserves to burn in hell, so what I’m doing to her is nothing” but I get the feeling some are making that point. I mean why else do your respond to “Your spouse deserves your love” with a rant about what our sins have earned us?
- There is a big theological problem with the statement.
I will get back to the first point, but first the second. Before anyone starts in with calling me a hairy tick (heretic) please know I am not arguing about the existence of hell or that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Without Jesus, we are all lost, all doomed, and certainly do deserve the fires of hell. However, I said WITHOUT Jesus. If we have Jesus, our condition is different.
If I owe a huge sum of money, and I can’t pay it, I “deserve” to be taken to court, to lose all I have, to have my wages garnished, and even to be thrown into jail. HOWEVER, if someone pays the debt for me, the debt is gone and I no longer deserve to be taken to court, to lose anything, or to be jailed. I would certainly owe a debt of gratitude to the person who paid what I could not pay, but I would no longer owe the money and no longer deserve what I did when my debt still existed.
My point here is I am more than a sinner saved by grace; I am a new creation. There is now no condemnation for me because I am in Christ Jesus, and I can boldly approach the throne of grace. I no longer deserve the fires of hell! It is not by my actions I no longer deserve that fate, but the fact Jesus secured it for me does not change the fact I now deserve something different. Either I can agree with God about who I am, or I can be stuck in who I was. I choose to agree with God.
Now back to our spouses – if they are in Jesus, they do not deserve hell. If her deserving hell crosses my mind when I am trying to justify my actions, I have a problem. God says I am to love all men, so clearly my spouse deserves my love. I am told to go the extra mile for an enemy, and to give my shirt to anyone who takes my coat; how much more does my spouse deserve me to go way beyond what seems right? If I am to prefer other Christians, to honour and serve and sacrifice for them, does not my spouse deserve at least as much?
Jesus chose to submit to many things He did not deserve, and He said those who truly follow Him will do the same.
Image Credit: © Diman Oshchepkov | Dreamstime.com
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
All my reading time this last two weeks went into trying to keep up with those doing the CMBA half marathon challenge. So tonight I’m catching up on other blogs, an thus I am only listing those here today.
Hidden Influences on Your Marriage ◄ A very well done article on something that most of us fail to account for.
Let Go of the How to Find the Why ◄ A very powerful way to find solutions.
Endearing You ◄ What makes you endearing to your bride?
Socks on the Floor ◄ Talk about perspective!
3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Marriage ◄ Yes, yes, and YES!
Black and Married with Kids
Do You Ever Have Days Where You’re Not Feeling Your Spouse? ◄ Can you deal with them in the mature way Tiya suggests?
Why You Should Treat Your Spouse Like a Stranger ◄ Yes and amen to this!
Why You Should Know Which Marriage Season You Are In ◄ Very true.
Lay Hands on Your Spouse: It Says “I Got You!” ◄ I love how she put this.
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage
Don’t Go Sexless—Part One ◄ Right on!
Religious Practice is Relevant to Divorce Rate ◄ What people say they believe means little, but those who act on Christian beliefs have a very low divorce rate.
Sexual Satisfaction Survey Results Part 1 – What Our Wives Wish They Could Tell Us ◄ It will take time to read all this. It’s interesting, inspiring, heart breaking and entirely educating.
Guest Post: Do Your Friends Support Your Sex Life? ◄ This is a perfect link for my #12 point yesterday.
Why Most Guys Succeed at Work But Not At Home ◄ Think you are not selfish? Read this.
What Every Husband Needs from His Wife (That He Usually Gets at Work) ◄ The other shoe!
One Year After The Affair ◄ If your marriage has suffered from adultery, be part of the 20%.