"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Last Leaf

I took this picture this morning in my front yard.  We have an 18-foot river birch tree that has lost all it's leaves except one stubborn paper thin piece of summer that remains at the tip-top of the tree. 

Long after all the other leaves have given in to the inevitability of autumn, this leaf is the last single holdout, choosing to hold on to a futile idea until the day when it finally lets go.

In many ways I am that leaf.  I hold on stubbornly to senseless ideas that cause me to waste precious time and resources, exhausting me and causing me pain, suffering, fear, and loneliness.

As a husband, I am charged with loving my wife as Christ loved the church, giving His life for it (Ephesians 5:25). 

Did Christ hold on obstinately to his own ideas?  Did He let everyone else fall while He held on for dear life?

No.  He obeyed His Father, and let go of all earthly things, surrendering Himself for the sake of His bride, the church.

I've been reminding myself of this fact recently, as I feel a pigheaded attraction to ideas that I should release once and for all.  I just love to dig in my heels for the sake of being right. That is the time to ask some difficult questions.

  • Is being right a good thing when it disrupts the peace in my household?  
  • Is winning an argument really a victory when people are hurt in the process?  Have I truly won?
  • How important is it to answer a zing with another zing?
  • Where is the line between peacemaker and warrior?  Doormat and leader? 
  • When is it time to stand my ground? 
  • Is a husband's entire existence based on sacrifice?  Is it ever okay to want something?

Will I ever receive answers to these questions?  Perhaps, but maybe not in this world.  As I continue to cling to my willfulness, I pray that God will catch me as I dig in my heels, and that He will turn me around.  I pray that I will find patience, love, and forgiveness, and that I will learn to let go and live in a more understanding way.