Thursday, March 27, 2008

Forgiveness or Permission

I'm sure your children have never done this, but mine have. You discover a child doing something or wearing something he isn't supposed to and his response is, "I did it (or wore it) before and you didn't say anything." The translation is, "I didn't get caught last time so it must be okay to do it again."

Ecclesiastes 8:11 "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

We all know people who think that their actions are okay because God doesn't whack them right away.

But now, let me take this a step further. There is a little seed thought trying to take root in my brain, so this idea isn't fully developed so bear with me.

I'm going to preface this story by saying that I have a wonderful marriage, but I'm always looking for ways to make it better. My husband and I were sitting in a service and the preacher said some things about submission. I looked at Mark and whispered, "I'm submissive, aren't I?" Of course, I expected him to say "Sure, Honey."

But that's not what he said. He said, "Let me think about it and get back to you." I was stunned. I searched my own heart for an honest answer.

I do everything my husband asks me to do. If he tells me not to do something, I don't do it. But . . . sometimes . . . it's easier to get forgiveness than permission. Sometimes I don't do what I know he would rather I do, but I do what he will let me do. I'm not always submissive to his desires. I'm not always submissive to his preferences.

Now, before you get angry or puff up, let me tell you another story. On December 13, 2006, I was wheeled into an operating room with less than a 10% chance of surviving my condition. My body was failing but my brain was just fine. As I lay on the operating table considering the fact that my odds of waking up in heaven were better than my odds of waking up here, several things went through my mind. First, I wondered why my life wasn't flashing in front of my eyes. Isn't that whats supposed to happen when you have a near death experience? Then I pondered standing before Jesus in a matter of minutes. Was there anything I needed to clear with Him? (I feel like those things you confess at that moment aren't very sincere — it's kinda like catching a kid with her hand in the cookie jar and she immediately begins to apologize.) After deciding that my heart was a clear before the Lord as it could be, I realized that I might not be here to take care of Mark. That was the one thought that gripped me. I needed to be here to take care of Mark.

Later, I realized that when it had come right down to it, that was the one thing that had mattered. God gave me a wonderful man to be a helpmeet to. Besides my relationship with my Savior, Mark was what mattered. I want to be the absolute best wife to him that I can be.

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