This morning, as my wife and I sat down to breakfast we had to make a decision. We always have juice with our breakfast and, since we often switch back and forth between orange juice and grapefruit juice, today we had a situation where there was one glass of orange juice and one of grapefruit juice. So who was to get which one?
As we discussed this in a lighthearted way the idea of letting the decision be theology-driven came up. We did a quick overview and came up with the following:
– If we are complementarians then I get to, or have to, decide. My wife can only hope that I decide in a Christ-centered way with her best interest at heart.
– If we are egalitarians then we decide on an alternating basis. We also probably have to keep records to be sure we have the score right.
– If our marriage is one of those that Russell Moore calls “Complementarian in name only” then I will decide to let my wife decide.
– If we are Calvinists then we can say that, whatever we decide, it was predestined by God.
– Those pesky Arminians are no help at all, they simply say we are to use our free will to choose whatever we want.
– If we are Charismatic we need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in making the choice.
The annoying fact however is that, no matter what system we follow, on this trivial matter as well as more critical ones, we are both fallen creatures and neither one of us has what it takes to drive me-centered thinking from our decision processes. We do our best, we extend each other grace knowing that we are weak, but we can never be comfortable that we are truly humble and Christlike.
I can never be sure my complementarian choice was free of self-serving desires. We can never be confident our egalitarian decision was not the result of subtle manipulation or pressure from one of us. I can never be 100% sure that my choice of juice was the leading of the Holy Spirit or my own deceitful heart. It is possible that the predestination argument is simply a cover for self-centeredness.
I keep having this nagging thought in the back of my mind that disturbs me. It is a thought that many of the followers of the theological camps listed above might even find offensive. What if God doesn’t care who has the orange juice? Worse yet, what if He doesn’t care how we decide as long as we both reflect attitudes of love and self-sacrifice in the process; each putting the other’s desires first? What if applying the black-and-white litmus tests of theological positions to the mundane muddle of hundreds of everyday decisions was never something God intended us to do? What if, whatever and however we decide, we sit down to breakfast and it pleases God that we enjoy one another’s company and are simply getting ready for a new day in which we desire to please Him?
From → Christianity