Make Mine a Double

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning is another article on the position the Missouri Baptist Convention takes on alcohol. I could have let it go like most of the articles that get printed on this with just a shake of the head, but this quote by Rev. David Tolliver deserves more than that. The quote:

“I understand that the Bible does not say, never says, ‘Thou shalt not drink,'” said Tolliver. “It is also true to say that the Bible does not specifically refer to drinking as a sin. However…the only Christian position in this 21st century Show-Me state environment that we live in is total abstinence!”

This is biblical how? My disillusionment with the Southern Baptist Church started when I began to understand just how much legalism passed for actual theology. I know there is no perfect denomination, but to actually say, “Yes we know the Bible doesn’t say it’s wrong, but we’ve decided it is anyway,” seems awfully Pharisaical (and I’m pretty sure the Bible does have something to say about that).

I didn’t come to make trouble, but as long as I am, make mine a double.

Double-Dose of Reality

I took my wedding rings off earlier today when I was making bread. I don’t normally do this (in fact, I can’t remember ever having done it before), but the dough was really sticky today and I know what really sticky dough can do to a princess cut, so I took them off and placed them on the window ledge. The girls had picture day at their school this morning, so in the rush of life, we moved out and about the day and I forgot to put the rings back on.

Several hours later, I was typing, glanced down, and noticed the rings were gone. Suddenly my hand felt lighter, as though I would be unable to type, “s,” “w,” or “x” without the added weight on my fourth finger. My breath caught as I temporarily flashed through what life would be like without the rings, without the symbol they represent, without the commitment I’ve made to the man with whom I share life. I dashed downstairs to put myself back together again.

Later on, Craig sent me an email containing a sad announcement: a ministry leader and his wife we know are beginning divorce proceedings. My breath caught again as my first thought was, “Oh no. It really can happen to anyone.”

Indeed it can: three hours later, we found out another couple involved in ministry who we knew in Colorado are currently separated, with little clarity as to how things will end up. On the heels of the former notice, the latter was almost too much to take.

I don’t need to know what happened to understand that there is great pain, brokenness, sin, the need for repentance, and the need for forgiveness from someone to someone for something. In my own marriage, there is sometimes pain, brokenness, sin, the need for repentance, and the need for forgiveness from someone to someone for something.

None of us are immune to the effects of sin in our marriages – not our pastors, not our seminary professors, not our best friends, not us. The burden to get serious about praying for my marriage has suddenly become much stronger, because if we’re not intentional about this, it really could be us one day.

As I’m staring down at my wedding rings (properly placed on my left hand), I’m thankful they are there. As I stare across the room at Craig lying on the couch, I’m thankful he is here.

O God, may it always be so.