Let’s continue on our discussion of tough love. How do we deal with serious sin in our home? Last week, we left off with the promise to dig deeper into this passage from Jesus.
Matthew 18:15-20 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Last week we established that we wait far, far too long to act. In fact, we don’t seriously act until the house has already been burning beyond control, if even then. We must listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Of course, it is hard to hear him when our own sin is in the way.
Let’s continue on with the example of the drunken husband. If you want change, then act. If you want more of the same or worse, do nothing. Sure, he may clean up his act on his own, but what if he doesn’t? Alcoholism is prevalent and extremely costly. Are you willing to take your chances, all things considered, and hope for the best? Or, do you follow Jesus’ instruction?
The first step is to go and tell your husband his fault. This may take some serious homework on your part. What is his family history? Is alcohol a problem? Are there other serious family history problems? Does your husband have other compulsive behavior? Study the whole topic of alcoholism so you are prepared. You may be wise to seek the advice of an expert or two. Wouldn’t it be worth it, early on, if all this trouble nipped a huge problem in the bud? Trust me, the experts will be called when the problem is out of control. Don’t think you can call too soon.
Then what? If he listens and changes in his heart and action, how wonderful is that? If he continues to drink, that’s a problem. If change isn’t accompanied by true repentance, then you still have a problem. Resentment will one day come out in terrible ways. What you are looking for is genuine repentance. What does that look like?
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.
What does the new creation do? He sings praises of Jesus, that’s what he does. Just like the demon-possessed man.
Luke 8:39 [Jesus said to him] “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
That’s what that looks like. Your drunken husband should become an instrument of change in a lost, drunken, and dying world.
And, if he doesn’t? Stay tuned.
Father keep preparing the soil. Someone needs this. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers