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What My Wife Needs from Me

What My Wife Needs from Me

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11

Like most couples, when my wife and I got married we made our vows, promising to love and cherish each other. I said the words and I believed them, but I really didn’t understand what it meant to live with someone else’s interests in mind. I simply always thought of me first and my decisions reflected that. In my addiction, this me-centeredness was magnified a thousand times. As my addiction grew, I sacrificed everything for it – even my marriage. Yes, I’d made a vow to love my wife, and even in the throes of my addiction, I’d have said that I still meant it, but she could see that my words were empty promises. What she needed at that point was not more vows, but rather for my actions to become consistent with my promises. Recovery then, has meant learning to do just that – to act according to my words.

In my marriage, I said things that I didn’t truly live. I see something very similar in my worship. As a Christian, I understand that I must worship God (Matthew 4:10). If you’ve attended church for any length of time, you’ve likely participated in worship, usually in the form of singing. In such songs, I often promise to seek and follow God’s will forever. Music evokes an emotional response in me, which isn’t wrong, but emotions fade and by the time I leave the church, I’ve often forgotten the promises I sang just a few minutes earlier. My fear is that I’ve become accustomed to worship as an emotional experience, making vows to God that I don’t really mean. I tell him he’s lord of my life, but I don’t live it. It’s as if I think he just likes hearing my praise but doesn’t really care if my behavior aligns with my promises.

Today’s passage helps me understand what worship truly is. In it we’re told how those around the throne of heaven bow before God, proclaiming the reality that he created everything. As creator, everything is subject to him and his will. For me, this is worship – realizing my place in the universe. I’m not the creator and I don’t sit on the throne. God created me to seek him and follow his will and I only find true joy in doing so. When I worship God, promising to follow him forever, I must not just say it. Rather, I must actually live it. True worship isn’t just empty words, but rather, recognizing God as creator and daily following his will for my life.

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