September 08, 2015
I have seen him far too often. He is the man who rarely takes the lead in his home. He is the man who almost never calls the family together for devotions. He is the man who feels dumb when asking his wife if he can pray for her, or when asking if she would like to sit and read the Bible with him. He is the one who seems almost afraid of being godly.
Why is he like this? In many cases it is because his wife is godlier—godlier than he is. She may have been a Christian for longer. She may have a deeper knowledge of the Bible. She may have read more books and listened to more sermons. She may be the one who loves to study the Bible and whose heart goes pitter-pat when she adds a new term to her theological lexicon. And when he compares himself to her, he feels inadequate. He feels like a poser. He feels embarrassed to do those things he knows he should do. He finds it easier to do nothing.
Do you see what he has done? Somewhere along the way he has made his wife’s spiritual maturity a problem. He has entered into a kind of competition with her that has made her love for the Lord a liability. He has come to see her godliness as a curse rather than a blessing, as if he has been cursed with a godly wife.
My friend, if this is you, you need to know that you’ve got it all wrong. No husband or father leads because he is worthy of it. No one is adequate to the task. Each one of us falls short in a million ways. Each one of us goes beyond the edge of our abilities every single day. We can’t do it. But we must do it anyway.
The solution is not to give up. The solution is not to do nothing. The solution is to do—to do what God calls you to do despite your fears and despite your misgivings. The solution is always simple obedience.
Rejoice in your wife’s godliness, and thank God for such a precious gift. Celebrate it by pursuing godliness of your own. You don’t need to be a brilliant theologian or a renowned Bible scholar. You don’t need to read The Institutes. You don’t need to be godlier than your wife. You just need to own your sin and inadequacy, and to do those things God calls you to do. And it all begins with admitting your complete inability to do even the least of it apart from his strength.
Tim Challies blogs at INFORMING THE REFORMING.