"I know what I'm getting into, Mother!"

“I know what I’m getting into, Mother!”


It was our anniversary last week. Mike and I have been laughing and smiling through memories, all of them bathed in deep gratitude to the One who has kept us faithful to our covenant.  Holy Spirit super glue comes highly recommended.

There was that 20th anniversary cruise to which months earlier we had blithely invited MY dad, our boys Graham & Wes and Graham’s classmate & good  friend Rob. By the time we set sail in April of 2000, deep fissures in our marriage had surfaced. Walled-up tight, we barely talking to one another.  We slept in separate bunks in our cabin, keeping up the charade of a happy anniversary celebratory cruise.  It was awful.

But thanks be to the God who can heal marriages and who preserves the best for the 2nd half! (Here’s to 33 more years!)

While cleaning yesterday, I gained a deeper insight into marriage and the church.  Following my routine for manual labor, my ears were glued to a podcast.  Two Christians were ironing out the actual significance of Christ’s work on the cross.  Between dusting and scrubbing,   I caught a new understanding of something called ‘penal substitutionary attonement’.  That’s the doctrine that holds to Christ dying in our place, submitting to the legal punishment due us and absorbing God’s justifiable wrath toward sin.

The Christian opposed to ‘PSA’ advocated ‘Christus Victor’ as the label for what Jesus accomplished.  This view holds that Christ defeated the evil powers of darkness arrayed against God, but that no punishment was meted out.  He explained further that far from holy justice, actual INJUSTICE would be done were an innocent man punished for something he didn’t do.

The orthodox Christian explained that it was FITTING and APPROPRIATE for Christ as both head & husband of the Church (the called-out believers are the bride of Christ) to die and pay the penalty for her sins.  We are one with Christ if we are IN CHRIST.  No innocent 3rd party was pulled in off the street and made to suffer this sentence.

All of a sudden I SAW why Christian marriage is such a big deal.  It is the down-to-earth illustration of Christ’s relationship to us as Church. I had always known Paul to say that explicitly, but never understood it.

          Eph 5:31-33 – “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

New realizations flooded me as I saw more clearly what Mike does for me as my husband. HE actually is responsible for me.  If I err in any way, in one sense, he takes the blame.  We are one; what I do affects him and vice versa.  Only God holds HIM accountable.

What woman wouldn’t want to tuck herself safely under that kind of God-appointed covering?  If God describes that as submission, I happily submit and will pray all the more for my dear husband.

Jeff, our pastor, preached on the role of husbands today, taken from 1 Peter 3:1-7.  I love his quote attributed to Matthew Henry:

          Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.

Since husbands are called to serve & die for their wives as Paul explains, it seems a little thing to respect and honor them in return. Thank you, Father, for your planned protection.  I DO plan & carry out silly, stupid things occasionally.