Mark 10:18 ►
New International Version
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.”
I always thought I understood this verse until tonight.
In the midst of my eagerness to control events in my life, I arganised a D.I.Y marriage counseling session for my husband and I based on a discussion about a video called Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Half way through the broadcast, I asked him about his own definition of love. This question triggered an unexpected reaction that led me to come to some conclusions. My husband threw a fit and start blaspheming the name of God, insulting the bible and saying all sorts of horrible things about Christian leaders!
A gentle and genuine question about love shouldn’t stir anyone to get in this state. For a while, I couldn’t see the connection between my question about love and my husband sudden rise of hostility against my faith. Besides, this sudden response was at odds with his general attitude, in that he was often polite showing respect to everyone around him and generally minding his own business.
I understood later on that it was my persistent question that led him to snap. But is this enough reason for a polite gentleman to let his emotions loose or to even experience such volatile emotions?
When this happened, I asked my husband to leave as politely as I could. I knew at that moment that I could end up becoming a single mum and that all our dreams might come to an end that night. Yet, a knowledge rose inside me and strengthened me.
First, I knew that I have sinned. Next, I knew that my sin has led to this situation. Last, I knew that God had allowed this situation to happen.
God confronted me with my sin in trying to take over his job and my lack of trust in his plans. He showed me once more that my eagerness to control the future and make sure that my marriage is growing positively is in fact not a wise thing to do and can work to my disadvantage.
My eagerness to control the future is a response to a deeper, anxious state of being, but also shows my lack of faith. If I trusted God enough I wouldn’t be worrying if my marriage was to last forever or not. I would just content myself with the fact that it’s working for the time being. I should have let things flow naturally rather than trying desperately to force a particular outcome knowing that the situation is entirely in God’s hands.
Moreover, God made me realize that I was making my spouse my idol. Usually, when we’re getting on well together, I think too highly of him, and tend to cling, craving a deeper emotional intimacy between us. These feelings should never be felt except for God. Worst still, I also behave in a similar way towards my friends and even towards the church. I usually like people a lot and could even mistake a good friend for a spiritual director. I perceive people’s good manners as being part of who they are in essence rather than a social skill they have mastered to survive and thrive in this society. Many of my relationships failed when I discovered those people were Jekyll and Hide, but this experience never taught me anything about human nature. Somehow, I wanted to believe this to be the exception, in spite of the fact that I’m not perfect either.
At last, God showed me He is the source and sustainer of the good within people, including my husband and me. God, who is this complete ‘I AM’ within us, this perfect entity that we’re desperately trying to become, compels us to act and speak in a kindness we don’t truly own (yet) in our sinful hearts. He gives us wisdom and kindness to use for various reasons; to bless whoever He wants us to bless. But when God wants the blessing to stop as part of a higher plan, He hides his face from us.
That night, my husband didn’t act on his own accord. God cut short his supply of patience and endurance to let me face the consequences of my controlling tendencies, to show me that no matter how deeply I wanted my marriage to thrive and lasts, I can do nothing on my own, without his protection. After my husband left, I knelt before my God, repented and surrendered my life to his will. I asked him to protect me and be my shield in the times to come. Nothing mattered anymore when I felt his presence overwhelmingly real.
God uses evil in this life as a prototype. He allows it to demonstrate to human kind the devastating nature of evil should they choose not to follow Jesus path.