I’d always wondered what had happened.
After all, he seemed such a good man and so it was a mystery to me. But whatever it was, he didn’t say much now. He merely deferred to her. He explained that his wife was the “spiritual” one in the relationship.
Baffled me, really. Her husband seemed solid, wise, with a lot to offer. He sure kept it to himself though.
One night we were gathered together with this same couple when our conversation came to center around a book his wife had recently read. An interesting and challenging book by a popular Christian author. As the pastor of one of those amazing mega-churches, he had many brilliant things to say.
I was curious what her husband thought and asked for his opinion too. But he only smiled. And without missing a beat, she eagerly carried on without him. She raved and extolled. Clearly, she looooved this author.
And that’s when it felt funny to me.
I wondered if it was right to elevate another person quite so highly. I also wondered what her husband thought as his wife sang the praises of another man. And I wondered if he had long ago stopped sharing his own insights because he couldn’t compare. Not with that skillful author. That extraordinary pastor. That gifted speaker. Or that famous television star.
Yes, I couldn’t help but question if he had long ago pulled out of the conversation because he knew he never stood a chance.
He’s just an ordinary guy.
Now in case you’re curious, this story isn’t about one particular couple. We often encounter this sort of situation as star-gazing has become increasingly prevalent in our Christian culture.
We’ve somehow adopted this Hollywood attitude and many believers admire the big stars: Christian authors who have written best-sellers, popular pastors of humongous churches, and gifted speakers who can knock your socks off. Spiffy television celebrities.
How can your spouse – a mere mortal – compare to them?
But let’s not be so taken up with the Christian stars that we lose sight of the one we’ve been called to love. The down-to-earth person we married. The ordinary one.
A Careful Look at Christian Celebrities:
Celebrities are actually real people. Flesh and blood. No superpowers. They have their own troubles, trials, and take-out pizza just like you and me. So why put them up on a pedestal when we’re only seeing flashes of their best moments?
If these celebrities are godly people, they wouldn’t want to be adored. They’d want the glory to go to God and not themselves. They’d cry out – and many do – “Don’t look to me or my ministry. Look to the Savior we’re serving.”
Sometimes celebrities fall. We have to take into account this sad fact. It happens all the time and even occurred quite recently. A leader whom so many held in such high esteem let them down. Damaging and destructive. Don’t put your trust in people, but in God (Ps. 146:3).
Scripture cautions us about attaching ourselves to a specific person. If you’re going to follow someone, follow Christ. Not that we don’t learn from and appreciate the teachings of our brothers and sisters, but keep in mind they’re only servants of the true Master.
For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. (I Cor. 3:4-5)
Misplaced adoration can unintentionally harm our marriage. Let’s face it, it’s easier to admire that man – or woman – out there than it is to focus on the plain, good qualities of the person who lives with us. And whether we intend to or not, we can discourage our spouse with impossible expectations.
While there can be a variety of reasons why your spouse isn’t the “spiritual” one in the relationship, let it not be because they believe they could never measure up (More Here: How to Truly Encourage the Spiritual Life of Your Spouse).
Let’s not look to the stars. Let’s look to the One who made the stars.
Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power not one is missing (Isa. 40:26).
In His grace,