Today I had the privilege of hearing a sermon delivered by my husband. One of the greatest things about being married to a man who has devoted his life to ministry is listening to him preach.*
When I first met Nathan, he was actually unsure if he could be used by God. He felt too imperfect. He questioned his calling. I finally had to verbally kick him in the hiney. Below is a paraphrased version of my rant:
"If you keep wondering whether or not God can use you, you're going to get in his way! He's called you to serve him, he's given you opportunities to serve, and you do it, but then wonder if you did any good! Are you kidding me?! Moses said he couldn't talk well enough. Paul thought his past was too sinful. Yet those men stepped up and served God. Are you any different? This is NOT about what you can or cannot do. This is ALL about what God CAN do! He created the world! He hung the stars in the sky! He created YOU! He sent his son to die for you, raised him from the dead, and opened heaven FOR YOU! Do you think he thinks you're not worth it? When you question yourself like this, it's like saying all that sacrifice wasn't good enough for you. And I know you don't believe that. So shut up, step up, and let God use you. Quit standing in his way."
OK, so I wasn't really that brutal. But the gist is the same--he needed to get out of God's way.
Nathan was afraid of becoming too prideful if he was successful in ministry, so he looked for every flaw, every mistake, every mis-spoken word (and, as is true of most fledgling youth ministers, there were plenty). But pride has never been Nathan's issue. Once he accepted that it wasn't about him, he got out of the way, and God really started moving.
Since he was that skinny, unsure, barely-out-of-adolescance guy, he's grown into a man of God I truly admire. He loves God, the Church, and the lost. I'm grateful he loves me too. And I am so thankful for the opportunity to sit in a service on a Sunday morning and listen as my husband leads me, and others, closer toward the God we love.
My husband would be uncomfortable with this post. Remember his fear of pride? Yep, still there. He's practically addicted to humility. But HE gives all the glory to God. If he speaks well, it is because of God in him. If his message cuts to the heart, it's because of God in him. If he stumbles, messes up, mis-speaks, that's all him :) But Nathan will give all the credit and praise to God.
But I'm his wife. I get to praise my husband. I get to be proud of him. I get to admire him. I get to love him. And all because of God working through him. That's a true privilege.
So while my husband is right to give all the glory to God and keep his own spirit humble, this wife is right to admire the man who has learned to step out of the way and let God move.
Nathan, I'm proud of you.
*If you want to listen to the sermon yourself, you can find it here: http://www.garrettfirstchurch.org/media/mp3s/2011/2011-06-26_service.mp3 . The link contains the praise service as well.