honor where honor is due (or, why i love my wife)

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

If any woman has a husband for an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife. For how do your know, wife, whether you will save your husband?

1 Corinthians 7:13-14, 16

As I’m sure that everyone who reads this blog knows, I walked away from God seven years ago. I was regularly abusing alcohol; I was engaged in all manners of blasphemous, reckless, and sinful behavior; and I was angry, bitter, and condescending. I made being at home with me a chore on a good day, and a hell-on-earth on a bad day. And yet, my wife stayed. She had every right and reason to leave me, and yet she stayed.

When you take your wedding vows before God, you assume that both you and your spouse will be standing together as Christians, enduring the good and the bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, until death do you part stuff as a team. But no one imagines the bad times being when your spouse walks away from God, and is addicted to porn, and is drunk all the time and getting high all the time. No one imagines that sickness includes depression and thoughts of suicide. No one dreams that for poorer is because your spouse lost yet another job and won’t stop drinking. But that was what Heidi faced. She stood by herself and upheld our wedding vows, even when I wouldn’t. I don’t understand why. But she stood for that. And she stayed.

She consented to stay married to me, even though I didn’t deserve it. Every Sunday for years, she woke up and got first one child, then both kids, ready for Sunday School, and I kissed them all goodbye and she went and stood between God and me and prayed and cried and pleaded for Him to work on my heart, to turn me around, and to bring me back to church. She said, “I don’t know who that is, but he’s not the man I married.” For five years, she prayed. For five years, she asked God to help.

In that time, none of the things I was propping up was working right in my life. Everything I tried to do fell apart through my own pride and ego. Job after job came crashing down. The drinking got worse, I got angrier and more combative. And then everything finally came crashing down. My lies and sins and drunkenness all came together to leave me a broken, defeated wreck of a man, and Heidi was faced again with a choice - “Do I stay with my husband, or do I leave now to protect myself and my children?"

She stayed. In my desperation and brokenness, I finally returned to church. I resented it and didn’t want to be there, but slowly, my heart began to turn. In my brokenness, in my humiliation, I found repentance. And then I found joy. I found peace in the Holy Ghost. And my marriage began to heal. And all the ancillary things in my life, the things in my life that had been falling apart and slipping through my fingers, began to come together and work again. I stopped drinking. I’m not angry or lonely or hopeless or depressed anymore. I’ve built friendships again. And all because she stayed.

She prayed for me. She loved me. She didn’t give up on me. I’m alive today, and serving God today, because my wife wouldn’t leave.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.

Thank you, Heidi Beth, for being the most amazing wife. And happy birthday, today. You’re my queen, and I love you. Thank you for not giving up on me.

I Just Want You To Know, It’s Gonna Be OK. | john pavlovitz

It’s alright to admit it to yourself, and to say it to someone else. In fact, doing so isn’t admitting defeat at all. It isn’t giving-up. It’s simply consenting, to fully feeling the reality of the despair and the pain of the moment.

As you do, just remember that you won’t feel like that forever.

John has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. I won't lie, I got choked up reading this. 

What's New

Life is busy; I'm working, going school, and staying busy at church. My friend and I recently launched Authentic Faith, a blog and forum that we hope to use as a way to help lead people back to real, authentic, Biblical Christianity. We've made a presence on Facebook and MySpace, and we are getting strong participation so far. That's busy, as I am not just a writer, but also the copy editor for the group, so everyone who writes has to go through me for posting. Additionally, school is starting to ramp up and things are getting busier and busier as the semester goes on. Nevermind that the new financial meltdown that we're facing is making me very nervous about my job as an expendable part-time grunt at a local bank.

Church is great; we have a Young Adult service tonight, and I'm leading worship. The piano player was over last night, and we practiced for tonight. It's unfortunate, really, that in a church the size of Calvary, someone who sings as poorly as me is the best they could do for worship leader. I love to sing, but I don't like to be the song leader; I'm not a great singer, and it isn't my strength.

Married life is amazing; I love waking up every morning next to the most beautiful woman in the world. Heidi and I are so happy, and life is just so much fun. We're having a dinner party this weekend with some other couples, something we've not done much of since we've been married. I'm making my homemade Italian Chicken, green beans, and tomatoe sauce with rigatoni. It will be wonderful.