The last post hurt to write.
The reason is simple, it is written in hindsight. When I grew up, Mom was Catholic and Dad was Lutheran. Church was a non-issue, although we did attend Mass until I was in 4th grade. That was the year of my confirmation. It was also the year my grandmother died. She was planning to come from Germany for the confirmation in May. She had a stroke in January of that year, so neither happened.
In 7th grade I got involved in a typical evangelical church. I was baptized probably as a sophomore. I went to youth group and on youth trips. A year out of high school, I attended Bible College. My intention was to go for a year and then get a real job. I ended up going 4 years, getting married, and going into youth ministry.
Church life was tough. Bible College does little to prepare you for the realities of ministry. A strong personal faith is assumed. I poured myself into what I thought I should be doing. Everyone always had different opinions. So I worked harder. We both were going with the flow of life. I was doing what I was taught. I was using the right techniques. Our group was growing. Life was good.
Things started to change. My wife was unhappy. She started pulling away. I was too busy to deal with it. Too many God things to do. She was a preacher's kid, so I figured she knew what she got herself into. I think she did, but in our evangelical, God wants me to be happy way of thinking, she had had enough. She filed for divorce. I was stunned. Not much you can do about it these days. No fault divorce doesn't mean no one is at fault. It just means the state doesn't care and will let the divorce go through as long as one party wants out.
In hindsight, I now see that I didn't really know that much at all. I knew facts and programs and methods. And perhaps God used that as I went along the way. But I thank HIm that He also cared for me as a person, and was willing to take all of that away from me so I could see Him.
I wish I could say that was the turning point in my life. I was, I just didn't make a 180 degree turn all at once.
So I look at passages like Ephesians 5:22-33 differently now. It is not a formula or a plan. It is a way of doing things for those who are sold out to God. My current wife and I have been married over 10 years now. It is not always smooth sailing because we are both human. But we both know where we stand in Christ. Our commitment to Him is what enables us to go to bed each night with a kiss and "I love you" because nothing is stronger than our bond of 3 cords.
So it hurts to write things like the last post, because in it I see my failures. But in it I also see the grace of God. Giving me a change to experience His love in new ways. Seeing His forgiveness. Growing.
It is all part of my journey. One I would never have imagined, but one that I am more thankful for each day.