Grace is supposed to be the foundation of our lives. So when I think about how I’ve been living as a husband and a father, I want to repent. I really don’t know if I’ve been living in grace. But God said, “Jeremy, let’s make grace your foundation. It’s essential for your family to thrive.” And then He said, “You have to give up control.”
I really didn’t realize I was causing bondage in my family by being such a controlled person, until I saw the freedom brought by grace. I think I was worried about what people thought about us. I’m this Christian guy and so I thought that meant we had to be a certain way. Now I’ve given that up, and I’ve learned to be full of grace. Letting go has brought me freedom, but more than that, it has freed my family. It has liberated my wife and my sons, and it has allowed all of us to grow.
The Bible says that I’m to love my wife, and by extension my family, as Christ loved the church. I don’t think we really understand that, as men and as husbands. So I asked, well, how is that done? How does He love the church? And God has completely changed my view on the subject. I’m starting to understand that He has loved us as we are, not as He thinks we should be.
I think that believers, people that try to understand God, get caught up in rules. We think we have to act a certain way, and we think we have to do certain things. We bury ourselves in rules, trying so hard to make sure we do this and we don’t do that. This is a prominent subject in Paul’s letters to the Romans and the Galatians. For some reason, I didn’t see this until just the past few months. I don’t know why I didn’t see it, because it’s right there. Paul emphatically says there is no law anymore.
That is the whole point of living with faith and understanding in Jesus Christ. Our faith in Jesus asks us to give up the law. It asks us to give up the Ten Commandments, and to give up our tendency to legalism. Jesus said, “I have not come to break the law, I have come to fulfill it.” He said, “When I die, I am dying to that law. And when I rise again, I am raising up a new ideal, which is grace. It’s a new life. It’s life full of grace. And you don’t have to live by anything.”
People hear this and they say, “Yeah, but wait a minute! If we don’t have any boundaries, then we’ll have chaos!” Paul writes in Romans that grace abounds over sin. There is no condemnation. And when you read between the lines in Romans, you can hear the questions. People are clearly telling Paul, “So you’re saying that we can just live in sin then.” And Paul says, “Of course not! I am saying that if you live by the Spirit, then you’re going to act like the Spirit.” In other words, if you live in grace, you’ll naturally live a righteous life.
More on this next time. See you Monday.