A long, long time ago…

My father-in-law was a Baptist pastor for 30 years and I heard him say a lot of things.

One of the stories he told has always stuck with me.

A woman came to him for counselling - not for her, but on "behalf" of her husband.  It went something like:

My husband is not a Christian.  He smokes and drinks.  It makes it hard for me to have friends over because of the things that he does.  I wish that he would be a Christian and stop doing these things - it would make my life so much easier!

My father-in-law's answer:

Get your priorities straight.  You're not concerned about your husband's salvation because of his eternal soul.  You're concerned about it because of the way it's affecting you and that is self-focused on you.  You cannot effectively witness to this man until he feels and knows that you want him to change for HIS sake, not yours.

I'm not sure I ever got that quite right in my marriage - it's hard to be concerned for the other person, when you feel that he(or she) is not concerned about you.

In the end, my husband turned to God.  It wasn't because of me.  God-willing, God was able to use me, but it was a work of God - no question.

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