Last night my wife came home from a shopping trip having bought things that she and I had talked about. She spent more money than I thought she was going to. I wasn’t angry. I was anxious. I was worried about extra expenditures and whether we would have the funds to pay for them. I was sinning. I was not trusting God to meet our needs. I was not bringing my cares to the Lord and asking him to sustain us.
My wife could have responded with grace to help me see my anxiety and then to point me towards the truth that God meets all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (see Philippians 4:19). Instead she responded in anger, rightly pointing out that I had not communicated to her my concerns about our finances. She sinned too. This highlighted more sin on my part because it showed how I was failing to lead my family by not communicating to my wife about my financial concerns.
Then I compounded my sin through more sin by feeling all kinds of self pity and self-righteousness as I dwelt on how my wife was treating me.
During this time our 4 year old daughter disobeyed in various ways and had a complaining heart. She was sinning too. At one point I despaired thinking, “This house is full of sin!” It seemed as thought only our 11 month old son was not walking in sin. Then it occurred to me how this sin had sucked out all the peace in our home. There was tension between my wife and I. There was annoyance from us regarding our daughter. There was no peace between us.
It was a vivid illustration to me of how sin destroys peace. It wrecks relationships. If my wife or I had chosen to hold on to our sin there would not be reconciliation and there would not be peace. I knew I needed God to humble my heart so that I would repent from my sin. I needed a Savior who would not only forgive my sin, but also cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I knew that I needed Jesus Christ.
After I put our daughter to bed I spent just a few moments thinking about what I would say when I went downstairs to talk to my wife. When we got married we promised each other that we would never go to bed angry. We have kept that promise for over 11 years now. As I reflected on that I thought, “When we go to sleep tonight we will not be angry with each other. We will be reconciled to one another before the night is over.” Then I thought, “Why not live in that future reality now? Why not put away my self-righteousness, self-pity, and anger (God had already mercifully set me free from the anxiety I had been feeling)?” So that was the attitude I took with me as I walked down the stairs to work through all that had happened with my wife.
As we talked I was able to confess my sin to her. She was able to confess her sin to me. We repented and we forgave each other. And praise the Lord, we had peace again.