And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. Mark 5:18-20
I write so many posts in which I mention my wife and I know this gives my avowed detractors no small amount of pleasure. At last they have something to pound me with: “Oh, he is obsessed with his wife!”
“Yeah, seems the fellow cannot do without her!”
And there are the dyed-in-the-wool tribal hardliners who must be holding council after council to determine whether my wife is not controlling me, which to them is an unforgivable sin.
May I assure my tribesmen, right here in this blog, that I am still king in my house and that there is therefore no need for them to raise their hackles. But for those who are gloating in their cubicles about me being obsessed with my wife I say, “Sure, I am obsessed with my wife.” As a matter of fact, I am madly so. That is the truth. My avowed aim in life is to please God and it is inconceivable that I could claim to be making any headway there without first making sure that things are in order in my house.
Not that it is that simple. It is a spiritual thing…
The Decapolians must have been pleasantly surprised to see the change in the man whom they all knew had been possessed with demons. These people’s joy resulted largely from the fact that this man had been set free from demonic possession. That was as it should be because Jesus was still operating under the old covenant.
For we people of the New Testament, though, it is not so much such a change as might have occurred in this man – the miracle of being set free from demonic powers – that is desirable; rather, it is the inner change of character. This is what matters in a person who professes to be a born-again Christian. Miracles and the supernatural works of Christ are important, of course, but for a born-again child of God they cannot compare to that inner working of the Spirit in a person’s heart.
And nowhere is this change more desirable or effective than with those whom we live with or those who have always known us. With me, it is my wife first, my children second; thirdly, the Church; and lastly, the world. I can firmly admit that the working needed to bring about this change is probably the most difficult thing for me to come to terms with. Here I am required to die to the flesh, to crucify the flesh on a consistent basis, every day. It is not an easy thing to do.
If I were to draw a pie-chart of my life to illustrate the seriousness of this situation, my wife would take about 75% of the pie! That single person – my wife – is so important in my relationship with God. It is like God gave me a wife as an ‘assignment’, saying, “Work on that!” I therefore have to have a right, spiritual relationship with my wife at any cost.