Dear Christian Brother,
Just a short note to thank you for your hospitality and for accepting our “drop-in” this week-end. Thanks too, for the cool Dilbert book.
Sometimes, friends who have been friends a long time can do things like that and it hardly breaks the routine of the other person. As you are aware, you guys are always welcome in our home as good friends.
The last time you were at our place it appeared that at last God had answered our prayers, that God would give you victory over your violent temper, so we were anxious to spend some more quality time with you. Alas, it was not to be, for we had to endure more of your verbal abuse toward your wife.
My heart aches for you, Bro, because you have such potential as a man of God. You have a knowledge of the scriptures that is hard to match. You have a talent for debate and a memory like an elephant. But, I keep asking myself, “What value is all that if it does not lead others to the Prince of Peace?”
Think again about I Cor. 13
Paraphrased by Strawn it could read:
I could give arguments for the Gospel, and what is “right” until I’m blue in the face, but if I cannot emotionally “lift up” my life’s partner, and reflect God’s love to her, my life is just so much noise pollution, and it rings as true to God’s purpose for me as a hollow shell.
Even if I sacrificed my life for the betterment of humanity, but could not live a day without belittling my wife, how could God forgive me?
The love God gives us makes us patient and kind. We will not be rude, proud, or irritable. We will not demand our own way. That kind of love never gives up, but lifts up others to God in prayer. It never rejoices in the faults of others, but drives us to our knees in prayer.
Brother and Friend, I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life to hurt my wife and the Spirit has lead me to repentance and my life is changing. I’ve also wronged you two, and for that you say you have forgiven me, why can you not forgive your wife? Is it because she is a constant “thorn in your flesh?” If so, be a “Paul,” suck up your gut, accept it and get on with your life, and have the faith that God will fix the problem in his own time. Until then you should consider Paul’s admonition to “be content in whatever circumstances you find yourselves.”
If you find this impossible, separate yourselves to find your own peace. But for heavens sake, don’t spend the rest of your life being a bitter, complaining, old man with a chip on your shoulder so big that you can’t see what your “Christianity” is doing to your wife.
We, individually, make up the body of Christ. Somehow, I can’t picture Christ talking your way to the Samaritan woman, let alone Mary or Martha.
For a good many years your “admonitions” have done nothing but make her despise your God (and probably you). Have they really helped the situation? If they haven’t, why not try a different tact? Let the love of God flow through you with the same passion that the Devil has been able to use you!
She seldom says anything about how your actions make her feel, but I can see it in her face and body language. It couldn’t hurt me any worse if you were slapping the crap out of my own sister.
I want to believe that you are my brother in Christ, and I would like to believe that you want to reflect Christ, so please brother, let it begin at home.
Your friend and brother,