Tomorrow is the first day of fall. It sure feels like it!
Last night I saw the movie “Unbroken: Path to Redemption,” the story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini. I highly recommend it. It is also quite fitting for our discussion. Louie was an Olympic track champion and WWII vet. His story is one of trying, and failing, to run away from the demons that haunted him following his horrible internment in a Japanese POW camp. Like so many, he turned to alcohol. Not surprisingly, that solution was a disaster.
The movie did a very good job showing the struggles of his wife, Cynthia. As a new mother, she was torn between her wedding vows and protecting their infant daughter from the behavior of Louie. While it wasn’t clear in the movie, there is a scene late in which she had a big shift in her spirituality. I’m not sure if that was her born-again moment, but it did show a significant shift from her wanting a divorce to a re-commitment of her love for her husband.
It also showed significant cooperation between Cynthia and Louie’s brother who had several very difficult confrontations about Louie’s drinking. There also was a female friend/mentor of Cynthia who brought her to a Billy Graham tent revival. That’s where her big shift happened. It was also where Louie had his mountaintop conversion that reminded me of my very own.
Folks, there is no cut-and-dried formula to carrying out Jesus’ command to live a holy life and keep our home safe from the evil of sin; however, it is a command that must be obeyed. How do we know the will of God? We have it in our scriptures. In our discussion, the sin is the drunkenness of the husband. We also know that drunkenness is sin far sooner that our society recognizes. Without a doubt, we are required to impose firm, decisive action very, very early on. If fact, I would say that means it needs to be nipped in the bud at the very first offense.
That takes a lot of courage. The young wife will face considerable resistance when she draws a hard line. She may not get any support from either side of the family. In fact, they may try dissuading her from doing anything at all. This demonstrates the need for solid Christian relationships to guide and encourage her. She’s not meant to take a journey like this alone. She needs support. A LOT of support, especially so as the confrontation escalates from herself alone, to two or three others, then finally to that of the church as a whole.
At the same time, if she has inadequate, or no, support at all, she still must act for her benefit and the benefit of the entire family, including that of her drunkard husband.
Can you see how important God is in this? Can you see how difficult (if not impossible) it would be alone? These are the extreme trials that we find refuge and comfort in Jesus. He will carry us through this entire process. Perhaps he will even save the drunkard, like he did with Louie. Like he did with me. There are no guarantees, but there is hope.
Through this process, the wife will need to hang on to every promise of God. Financial difficulty is almost certain. You know what God says about that?
Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
The young wife needs to make a leap of faith on this one. Right? We all do.
Next time, we’ll examine the role of the church.
Father, thank you for wonderful, Christian movies like “Unbroken.” How refreshing it is to see the gospel proclaimed on screen. Motivate your church through them. Save sinners with its message. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers