Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My heart was heavy, and I felt somewhat sick to my stomach. I had to confront someone about sin; but it wasn't just anyone, it was my Beloved. This is something that I have gone over and over in my mind about, and I'm still not sure where I stand, or if I know how to do it right.

I often feel that as a wife who longs to reverence her husband and walk in submission to him, that I am feeling my way in the dark. The previous generation, who would be our older ladies, have not walked this path themselves for the most part. While this does not leave them bereft of wisdom or advice, it makes it difficult, because they cannot speak from experience and we have not *seen* it lived out in the lives of those around us. While some aspects of submission and reverence are fairly easily lived out, others would appear to be significantly "sticky", for lack of a better term. I find confrontation of sin to be one of the latter.

While scripture does not lack in instruction for going to a brother who has sinned against you, I often wonder if the covenant relationship between a man and wife brings another facet to it, that isn't so clearly covered in scripture. Perhaps I overthink things, but when I read the scriptures about the marriage relationship, then I wonder what it's supposed to look like when the husband is in sin, and the wife is the only one in a position to call him on it.

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." Ephesians 5:22-24

A familiar passage, to be sure. But what bearing does it have on confronting sin? Does it have any? Does/should the church ever come to her Lord and confront him? Ah, but does the church's Lord ever *need* confronting? There is the fundamental difference between our Lord, and our lord. My Beloved is a sinner saved by grace, but yet a sinner. He has a high and holy standard that he is to live up to ~ through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit; and yet, he stumbles.

So, for this time anyway, the conclusion I have come to is that not only as his wife (who truely has a vested interest in his life), but also as his sister-in-Christ, I must be willing to confront him when necessary. I have to be ever so careful that I am not allowing hurt or anger to drive me confronting him, and so, I must pray, pray, and pray some more. I prayed for wisdom, for the right words to say, to know what *not* to say, for grace and mercy. I was very careful to talk to him about his sin, but not to engage him by attacking him. I spent time reaffirming to him my love for him, and exhorting him to lean on the Lord and rely on His strength. We talked about accountability and responsibility, we talked about many things. I am not sure I did it *just right*, but I did it in the best and most godly way I could.

I do not believe that wives are to turn a blind eye to their husband's sin. Love does not ignore that which will hurt the object of that love ~ and sin hurts everyone it touches. However, I do believe that a wife *must* be very careful about how she approaches her husband about his sin, because it is so easy for us to work off of emotions, and to let our tongues get the best of us. It is too easy for us to wound them and drive them further away from us. But the whole reason for confronting sin and exhorting toward godliness is to bring reconciliation. We must do everything we can to facilitate that.

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