May 2007

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On our recent Men’s Retreat, two different ideas merged in my mind into a third, which was, for me, a new concept.

In one message, we were urged to evaluate our inner spiritual life and relationship to God by the external and visible measures of our lives – the way we actually spend our money, use our time, etc.

In another message, we were directed to consider 1 Corinthians 11:3, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” The topic was headship, and we were urged to lead our wives as Christ leads us.

All this led to a flavorful “chocolate runs into peanut butter” moment when the two thoughts collided in my brain. The result is a new observable indicator which makes faith visible: the way that I believe Jesus leads me can be clearly observed in the way I lead my wife. That is, the way that I lead my wife, Micki, expresses my concept of headship. It therefore expresses for all to see (especially me) my own notion – right or wrong – of how Jesus Christ functions as my Lord.

While my words, my confession, express what I think I ought to believe about Jesus’ headship, or Lordship, the way I treat my wife expresses what I actually believe about headship. Therefore, the way I think about her, speak to her and physically treat her captures the way I actually believe Jesus thinks about me and treats me. Do I believe Jesus ponders my welfare every day, or takes me for granted? Do I believe Jesus secretly harbors negative thoughts behind smooth words? Do I believe Jesus treasures who I am (warts and all), or only wishes to “use” me for his purposes?

Indicators (gauges, readouts, etc.) are useful to help us understand what is going on in a system, so we can monitor it and make changes when necessary. As I see deficiencies in the way I think of, or treat Micki, I see deficiencies in my faith. As I see devotion, joy, thoughtfulness and sacrifice in my relationship to my beloved, I observe the confidence I have in Jesus’ Lordship over me. Here is another gauge to monitor my soul and encourage a more biblical faith.