By Christy Pearce

kiss

Twenty-one years ago I met a young man who took my breath away.

I fell head over heels for this guy. The sun rose and set with him. Jimmy was the love of my life. And he introduced me to the Savior of my life.

Though I came to faith in Christ, I had a lot to learn about God and the Bible. Before I met Jimmy, my spiritual awareness was nothing more than a sterile religious experience. Jimmy helped flesh out my faith—so much so that he became the object of my faith early on in our relationship, and that continued in the first few years of our marriage.

After All, He’s Just a Man

I stood by my man and looked to him for guidance. As Jimmy’s wife, I saw an example of servanthood in him that I claimed as my own. Jimmy went into full-time service as a ministry leader (Assistant Pastor to start). I was slapped into an unwritten role of “Pastor’s Wife,” yet I was still a baby Christian in many ways.

As the wife of a ministry leader, I was expected to warm a pew in church, get involved in women’s ministries, and work with children.

We invited people over for games or dinner. Sundays, Wednesdays, and other days we attended events faithfully. During this time in my life, I often felt like I didn’t really want to be at church all the time. I went because he wanted me there—“he” meaning my husband, not God.

I wasn’t really following my husband in obedience to God as the scriptures states. I was following Jimmy because it was the “right thing” to do. If my husband wanted it, then I should do it.

Somehow my faith rested entirely with my husband, though at the time I had no awareness of it.

Trust in the Perfect One, Not One Who Was Perfected

One thing that became clear to me was that neither one of us was perfect—no matter how many righteous deeds we had to stack up next to our names.

We went through a super-tough season in our marriage. We saw the worst each other could dish out. That’s when I began to lose faith and hope. When my husband failed, I often went through spells when I thought faith was worthless.

Then a thought hit me—or God hit me with a thought. . .

Tying my faith in Christ directly to my husband’s performance in ministry or his failings was the reason I was so wishy-washy spiritually. And ultimately, my faith was resting in the wrong son.

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Psalm 146:3-4 (ESV)

I understood the gospel, but I fixed my eyes on my man rather than the Son of man. No matter how much my husband loved the Lord, it would never be good enough to sustain my salvation. No work of human flesh can accomplish that.

And a day will come when Jimmy’s breath will depart. But the Lord Jesus abides forever.

It was no wonder I crumbled so easily.

I had to break the pattern of making my husband the object of my faith. I had to shift my trust to Christ and Christ alone. And then I had to spread my own wings and serve Jesus out of a heart of love for Him.

From that moment forward, I found my life breath solely in the gospel. The truth that Christ lived perfectly among men, was an atonement for my sins through His death, and was risen to life everlasting, is the reason for EVERYTHING I do.

And on that day when my own breath departs and my “plans perish,” I know God Himself will breathe life into the promise offered to me in Christ.

My everlasting God safely will secure my soul for all eternity.

Think It Over. . .

Is your faith resting squarely in Christ and Christ alone? Or is someone you look up to the “object” of your faith?

Do people around you cause your faith to waiver?

What verses can help you to stay strong in your faith when tough times come? Please share with us in the comments.

Photo Credit: Cathy L. Benton Photography

 

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About Brenda McGraw

Brenda McGraw is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where a team of writers share hope and truth with others. She has a God-given dream to reach the masses with the gospel of Christ. Brenda is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller,“Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She has two new books released. Finished, Top Ten Steps to Finish Writing a Book and Living Uncluttered, An Abundant Life Bible Study. Brenda lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and one of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
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