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  • Dustin Ellis


Updated: Dec 10, 2020

In his book spiritual disciplines for the Christian life Donald Whitney tells the brief story of the conversation that a recent convert had with a co-worker. Upon finding out that his coworker had recently become a Christian he became elated and said, “Thats wonderful. I have been praying for this for years.” The recent convert responded in disbelief, “You are a Christian? Why didn’t you ever tell me? You are one of the main reasons that I took so long to believe.” His coworker was also shocked, “What do you mean he said. I have always done my very best to live the Christian life around you.” His new brother in Christ responded, “Yes but that is the point. You lived such a model life without telling me that it was Christ that made the difference. I thought that if you could live the model life without Christ then I could too.”

As Christians, we have a choice of two paths to take. One path demonstrates humility; it takes the spotlight off of us, points it at Jesus and says, “Hey I am working at this, and Jesus is at work in me to make me a better spouse.” The other path exalts ourselves as the standard and says, “Hey, try to measure up to me. Look at how good I can be.”

Ask yourself: Am I demonstrating the working of Christ in my life to my spouse? Or am I trying to be a model husband or wife? How can I live in such a way that shows that I am becoming a better spouse and it is Christ that is making the difference?

Being able to explain our faith is important. Peter tells us to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us and to be able to show where our hope comes from. I know that this is a keystone verse for the logic and reason that drives apologetics. I love apologetics, understanding the all of the historical, rational and philosophical truth that is represented in the historical person of Jesus, and the proofs that we have of a risen savior and the authenticity of scripture. But I also think that the reason for the hope that is in us has to evolve a little bit from historical truth to present truth. The reason for the hope that is in us is also because of the work Christ is doing in us now. In Luke 7:47 Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

The reason for the hope that is in you is that you have been forgiven much. And that Christ is alive in you, literally hope living in you, working on you. Working to turn your cowardice into courage. Working in you to heal you from addiction, from greed, from a hardened heart. Are you living that out in front of your spouse? Does she see that that you have a reason for the hope that is in you? Are you vulnerable enough to let him in on the good work that God is doing in you? Or are you trying to look like the model spouse? Because one points to Jesus, and the other is all about pretending that you have already arrived. I would like to encourage you to try a little vulnerability this week and take 10 minutes to share the good news of what Christ is doing in your life with your spouse. Ask her to pray with you about a struggle you are having and spend a little time together praising God for where he has brought you….and where he is going to take you.

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