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About Eric’s Wife

Some may say I am a "Stay at home Mom," but that is not even close. I am Eric's Wife. I have exhilarating strokes of genius, followed almost immediately by paralyzing pangs of self doubt and, for whatever reason, here is where I blog about it - warts and all. I serve a merciful God with a clumsy hand and at the end of each day I go to sleep thankful to be His servant and Eric's wife.

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June 4, 2020

“Christianity is not about behavior modification.”

Someone told me that years ago and I filed it away. It spoke to me in my early 20s because I was trying to come to terms with a childhood church experience that had, in a lot of ways, stressed the importance of good and appropriate behavior. At that time “good behavior” meant not drinking, not having premarital sex, and not wearing bikinis. Nobody said it, but it felt like there was a clear checklist that could be the litmus test of a “real Christian.”

In my 30s, the church as I knew it was desperately sorry for any hints at legalism and spoke only of heart. How’s your heart? Where’s your heart? Drink alcohol, as long as your heart is in a good place. Wear a bikini, as long your heart is in a good place. Sex before marriage had taken a back seat (pun not intended, but, there it is) to our new and tender approach to divorced people. We modified our behavior because we believed that “real Christians” don’t judge.

And now, here we are. It is 2020 and we have a whole new checklist of appropriate behavior for a real Christian. “Real Christians” wear masks, speak up about racism, apologize on behalf of gender/race/creed, use their platforms for social justice and change. Failing any point on that checklist calls into question the truth of a person’s Christian virtue.

What if the litmus test of modified behavior is wrong? What if we have Americanized the responsibilities and obligations of Christianity and missed the point altogether?

Like some people, I found myself frustrated with the hypocrisy of some celebrities who publicly decried climate change, but flew in private jets to pick up cheese in France. If you believe climate change is real, shouldn’t your behavior look like you believe it?

And, like most people, I tend to have an eagle eye for flaws in others that resemble my own flaws.

If I really am a Christian, if I really believe the truth of Christ revealed in God’s Word, through the active and sustaining work of the Holy Spirit, why do I preach or attempt behavior modification? Shouldn’t I see all societal problems as a place that needs Gospel and that Gospel alone would suffice?

Christians have only ever had one job: make disciples. A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ and Jesus said people would know we follow him because of our love. It should be our goal to become a mature disciple and to make mature disciples. If we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to mold a heart and modify behavior, than we believe that this work is the only real effective answer to social justice.

I think it is more important now than ever for Christians to step aside from the problem that is America. It is not our problem to solve.

The American economy has collapsed. There will be no financial recovery from this collapse. While we riot in the streets, stare suspiciously at each other over our masked mouths, Rome is burning. I am willing to be wrong in my predictions, I hope I am, but all signs seem to point to the end of the road. It is the end of America as we know it, or possibly, the end of the world. Either way, every little thing that we place as a marker of what a “good Christian” is by American standards will be turned upside down.

I don’t want to paint myself as the prophet in rags, yelling in the streets that it is the end of the world. As I said, I could totally be wrong. But, if I am right, then I would be an absolute hypocrite to not mention it that I think I see the problem coming and I know I know the solution.

It may not be the end of the world, but I have to tell you that I think that there is a very big end of some kind coming. Get right with God.

Yeah, But Then What?

June 3, 2020

I’m not giving you a new commandment, but one that has been with us since the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

Yeah, but then what?

Love. They will know you are a Christian when they see your love for one another.

Yes, but some Christians hate people who are different than them. I don’t do that. I love everybody. People who hate people are awful. They deserve all the hate they get. Once I get myself all buckled up to love everyone, can I kick them to the curb?

All people are made in the image and likeness of God. If you bless God and curse people, you do not know God.

Yes, yes, all people are made in the image and likeness of God. Anyone who doesn’t see that is an idiot. What do I do about the people who hate, though? Isn’t there some key phrase I can use? Some statement? Some absolute display that makes them see how wrong they are to hate? How do we end the hate?

Love.

Yeah, but then what?

It’s Been a Long Time Coming

June 1, 2020

It happened in a 7-11. I stopped in to grab a soda. The sign on the door said “Please Wear a Mask”. I did not have one. I hesitated, but then figured I’d risk skirting the rule. I was the only customer there and could see what appeared to be an employee in the far back, restocking.

I got my drink and was at the register for just a moment before a woman in a 7-11 uniform appeared. She was preparing to pull her mask up from her chin to over her nose, when she looked up and saw I was maskless and the only person there. She smiled big at me and dropped her hands from the mask, still at her chin.

It had been a dark day in our corner of the world, and a dark week in our country. Protests and riots were happening 20 miles from where we stood, and a mall 5 miles away was rumored to being looted. The moment in that store felt important and I made a point to have a conversation with that clerk.

I am not going to exploit the story by offering much detail. It just happened that I had a talk with a black woman my age about the state of affairs. We both ended the talk with tears brimmed in our eyes.

I cannot tell you her story because I do not know it. My story, is that I left that store, determined to talk to people face to face, and take a real break from social media. My voice mattered in that 7-11. My voice is a clanging gong on social media.

It has been easy to convince myself that I am doing some sort of good on social media. I am supposed to be hyping up support for a clothing/textile drive to support the work of North Austin Christian Church using my presence on Facebook. It is easy to fall into a trap of thinking that I am more important than I am and that my absence will cause a hole that can’t be filled.

Social media is a vapor, a mist. Its viral rages and demands are pressing, but still, a vapor.

What would happen if I turned it off and got deliberate about the people in front of me? It might be a train wreck. It might be incredible. Whatever happens, I don’t think I’ll tell Facebook about it.