America Is Sitting On a Powder Keg. What Saved Our Marriage Can Save the Country
by: Al Robertson
I get it — everything is out of control right now. The bad news is that a lot of people are emotionally charged and ready for a conflict of some kind. Mask-wearers are hating on those who don’t wear them. The non-mask crowd thinks the mask-wearing crowd has been duped by a vast left-wing conspiracy that is testing the waters for a greater tyrannical one-world takeover. Then we have the people who are demonstrating (some peacefully — some not) telling the rest of America that they are un-woke (whatever that means). Then the un-woke crowd is ready to fire a few rounds into the throngs of protesters.
To be sure, we are sitting on a powder keg, it would seem. That’s the bad news.
But the good news is that there is good news. And this good news has the power to completely transform our culture. Lisa and I spend a lot of our time writing and speaking about marriage. That’s because Satan almost destroyed ours. What jerked us back from the brink of failure and disaster is exactly the same thing that will bring about transformation in our society. That’s because societies aren’t really transformed until individuals are transformed. When enough people are changed, cultures change.
In our case, we both came to a place in our hearts where we realized that we were broken. Individually, we realized that each of us had abandoned the knowledge of God to the point where our thinking had become futile. What we expected from one another and our marriage was irrational. It was not rooted in reality. I realized that I couldn’t expect Lisa to meet my needs and that if we were going to find wholeness, I would have to accept the fact that she was incapable of meeting my deepest needs. And she had to admit that about me — that I was too flawed to fill the deep hole in her heart that had been dug by sin’s impact on her heart and mind. In other words, I wasn’t god enough for her. I am just a man, and we can’t meet needs like God does.
So individually, we both went to the cross of Christ. We admitted that we had been trying to pull our marriage up by its bootstraps and that we had failed — miserably. We confessed that only a transcendent God could fix what was wrong with us. And when we did that, and not before we did that, God began an amazing work of healing in our relationship.
Miraculously, we began to naturally bear different fruit in our marriage. We saw love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. And no wonder — these are the natural fruit of God’s spirit dwelling in us (Galatians 5:22-24). Instead of looking out for our own individual needs, we began to consider how to meet the other person’s needs (Philippians 2:1-4). This occurred naturally because we had begun to walk with the one who put his Spirit in us. We forgave one another as we had been forgiven by Christ.
So guess what, America … what transformed us will transform all of us. Our marriage was healed because Lisa and I were healed. And America will be healed when we are healed. God doesn’t fix marriages — he fixes husbands and wives. He doesn’t fix cultures, he fixes people.
Let’s get very practical here. If you are the victim of systemic racism, what do you think would be in your own self-interest? Would you be made whole by resentment and anger, or would you be healed by submitting to Christ and learning to love and forgive your enemies? If you are angry at the protesters who have turned violent and destroyed property and inflicted bodily injuries on police officers, would you be healed by striking out at them with your own threats of violence? Or do you think that you would be made whole again by loving and forgiving?
Another way to ask the question is, how do you think Christ would respond to injustice? What do you think he would say about conspiracy theories? We can ask that question because we already have the answer – you can find it in the four gospels. Try and find an example of Jesus frothing at the mouth about injustice and conspiracies. Of course you won’t find one. In fact, he himself was the victim of systemic injustice. He was murdered by those who had conspired against him. Yet when he was on trial, he didn’t even offer up a defense. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that he didn’t expect anything less from the world.
So here’s what I recommend: Read your Bible (especially the gospels). Admit that you are a failure. Fall down before the crucified Lord Jesus. Then imitate him. Ask God to lead you to become Christ-like no matter what the cost. You may not change the world, but you will be in step with the God who raises the dead, and you can’t find an identity any more substantial than that.
This is exactly what Lisa and I did, and we don’t have a single regret. We gave all that baggage to Jesus many years ago, and I’m glad we did. We both are. And you won’t regret it either.