I love this photo of me and my man. However, this picture most certainly could not have been captured today.
I did much harm to our marriage today as a result of my pride so these words by Puritan Thomas Manton are especially painful tonight:
"Holiness is required, that we may not be a disgrace to God and a dishonor to Him. This sin of God's people stains his honour and profanes His name...Men judge by what is visible, and so they think of God by His servants...Men are apt to think of God by His worshippers, and by the people that profess themselves near and dear to Him; therefore it concerns us to walk so that our lives may honor him...we seem to exalt God much in our talk and profession; yea, but we throw Him down when we pollute him and deny Him in our conduct. Our lives are the scandal of religion, and a pollution and blot to the name of God. So with respect to ourselves, you see that we need to go to God, that He will give us grace that we may please Him and glorify His name." Quoted in Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, January 9, edited by Richard Rushing (one of my favorite books).Voddie Baucham so often says in his sermons as He makes a point, "If you can't say, 'Amen.', say, "Ouch!" Tonight, I have to say a resounding, "OUCH!" I sinned much today. I have much about which to be repentant. I pray for God's grace to clearly see my sin that I might own it and contribute to the healing of our marriage.
What is yet another sadness tonight in addition to profaning God's name? Our children were well aware of what was going on behind our bedroom door which was closed most of the day. I am reminded of a powerful quote I read years ago in a book called, Gospel Powered Parenting by William Farley. He notes:
"To whom do our marriages preach? Of course the first audience is God and His angels. They watch and rejoice, or if our marriage is a war zone, they grieve.
"Who is the second audience? Most of us think about our non Christian neighbors. Maybe they will see our attempts to model Christian marriage and want the gospel? They might, and we hope they will, but actually they are the third audience.
"The second audience, usually overlooked by most Christians is our children. What is our marriage telling them about Christ and His bride? They see it all. They hear our fights. They absorb our attitudes. They know who or what really sits on the throne of our lives. They watch how we handle resentment. They hear the way we talk to each other. They know when we hear the Sunday sermon and apply it. They also know when we ignore it. The message our marriage preaches either repels or attracts them [to Christ]" pgs. 110,111I finish the night sad. I finish the night begging God to convict me of my sin and grant me a broken and contrite heart that will encourage the healing of our marriage. I finish the night grateful that God's mercies are new each morning, and that He is a God who heals.