Apologetic Wednesay: God, My Wife, and the Mafia.
My wife and I met in college. Nothing breeds love like listening to lectures on Psychopharmacology. Class usually ended around 10:00 P.M. One night after class I was walking to my car and she was standing in my path in a dark alley between two buildings. She said through clenched teeth, “You will take me on a date, or it’s gonna be curtains.” (For those of you who don’t know, “curtains” is gangster talk for “I will murder you.” So, me being a guy that enjoys life, I agreed. This intimidation carried on for months. I am almost certain she has connections with the Mafia.
In the middle of all of her intimidating ways, she also forced me to do her school work, and keep her car washed and vacuumed. She had a really sweet deal going. Then one night, she demanded that we get married. You guessed it. It was another ultimatum of “We get married or I make your mug looked like chipped beef.”
I was drug kicking and screaming to the altar, and we got married. As they say, the rest is history. She makes me come home by 7:30 in the evenings. I never get to talk to my friends. She demands that I cook breakfast and keep an immaculate house. Ain’t love grand?
Alright, as you have probably guessed, that was a complete fabrication. Well, not a complete fabrication. We did meet in college in Psychopharmacology, but that is where the facts end. I do wish my wife threw out words like “mug” and “curtains” though.
As silly as that story is, I feel like some people view God this way. They see God as this brute ruffian who domineers people into having a relationship with Him. They view Christianity as God waiting for us to step out of line so he can “give us the works, see.” Many have an understanding that Christianity is a set of rules, and God making us feel perpetually guilt riddled. Some feel that God is a ball and chain that must be reluctantly dragged throughout life in order to escape the flames of hell.
In my opinion, this in no way relates to what God is like. You see, I fell in love with my wife because she was loving, kind, enjoyable to be around, smart, good at listening, trustworthy, truthful, and about 600 other adjectives. She wooed me and still does. I hope, and think, she would say the same about me.
I fell in love with God for the same reason. I realized how twisted my heart was and how He loved me in spite of myself. God wooed me, sought me, and loved me in a way that words cannot express. As Romans 2:4 reminds us, it was God’s kindness that led me to repentance.
My relationship with my wife becomes more endearing with the passing of each day. Not because if I don’t love her “I’ll be sleeping with the fishes”, but because she genuinely cares for me and has my best interest at heart. It’s the same with God. The more life I experience the greater I understand the breadth of His love for me.
I do things for my wife because I genuinely love her, not due to fear of consequences. I serve her because I want to please her and see her happy. It can be no different with God. I serve Him because I love Him. It makes me happy to know He is pleased by what I do. I try to live in a way that keeps us close relationally.
Milliard Erickson writes, “The difference between a repentant and unrepentant heart? Some people enjoy being separated from God and others do not.” When I understood who God is and what He is about, I could no longer desire to be removed from His presence. God loves us to unfathomable depths, regardless of what our past looks like. This is the reason for my hope and the source of my joy.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. -I Peter 3:15
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
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