As I type this my home looks like a box farm. In between the evenly spaced rows of boxes are bag weeds and toys weeds sprouting across the floor. It is a chaos that I do not enjoy. But as I have faced it, I have been surprised at how little (relative to previous transitions) it has affected me.
In all honesty, I do not believe this is because of some spiritual growth spurt. Instead, I think it has more to do with the level of trust I have in my wife. She is amazing. I think she is the prototype Solomon used to test pilot Proverbs 31 (if he was the smartest guy ever, he could have built a time machine).
As I look at my messy home, I know my wife has a plan. I don’t pretend to fully understand all that is going on. There is an order to when things are packed and where collections of boxes are stacked. We have several stages to the move ahead of us – home to apartment to home. Some things will have to go into storage while we wait. We may pass through several seasons during that time – winter, spring, summer (we pray not fall – sell home sell!). Each season has its own needs.
Yet even as I type those things, I am not hyperventilating because I have seen my wife work through many complex domestic dilemmas during the course of our marriage. I am struck by how much stronger my faith can be in my wife than in my God.
Everything that I wrote about my home could have been said about my life. Each description of my wife could also be said of my God (and more). But with one I rest in delight and awe and the other I fret and get antsy. I trust my wife more to orchestrate the moving of our home than I do my God to orchestrate the sell of our home (for one example).
I admit that if there is a relationship I have that borders on (and sometimes crosses) the line of idolatry it is my wife (followed closely by my children). When that line is crossed I should repent of that sin as much as any other.
But that is not the first place my thoughts have gone as I have examined myself in the midst of the moving process. I see in this the blessing of having a “godly” spouse. When my spouse reflects the character of God and I share the closest of personal relationships with her, I learn what it is to trust God.
In this regard, I am discipled by relating to her character as much by living in interaction with her godly characteristics as I am by having a scripturally-informed, theologically-consistent conversation with her. I get a taste, a glimpse, a sense of what it means to follow God in the midst of uncertainty as I walk with my wife through a messy house.
I pray there are ways she could say the same of me. That there are ways in which I emulate God’s character well enough that her daily interactions with me create a living case study of what it means to have a close, daily relationship with God.
Two final thoughts on this post: first, do not let the thoughts expressed here be an excuse not to study Scripture in your pursuit of following God. A spouse is never a replacement for God (that is the essence of idolatry). Second, do look for characteristics of God in your spouse and reflect on how the traits enrich your life. Then trace them back to God and allow the blessings of marriage to enrich your walk with God.