Two brothers met for coffee one afternoon and the younger brother announced that he no longer loved his wife of seven years and was planning to leave her. The older brother, dressed in righteous indignation adorned with Bible verses, rebuked his younger brother’s foolishness. But, as Solomon said, “crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle yet his folly will not depart from him.” Neither listened to the other and both brothers left.
The older brother didn’t go straight home. His wife had asked him to pick up some groceries for dinner. Heading to the dairy section against the back wall he lingered in the magazine aisle. The local supermarket didn’t sell pornography so he figured he was safe to look at the pictures; certainly nothing was too bad. When he pulled into his driveway, a neighbor was working in his yard and they chatted for a few minutes. The conversation was superficial enough, so it didn’t seem like a big deal when the older brother laughed off his wife’s laziness since she never pruned her flowers as she promised and left him to do the work.
Once inside and after greeting his wife and daughters, he asked if his wife had finished a task he asked her to do earlier in the day. She said she got busy and forgot. He gave her a lecture about all he did for her, showing off the bag of groceries as Exhibit A, and wondered why she couldn’t do this one thing for him. He huffed off to the living room, turned on the game, and left her to finish dinner, clean up the kitchen, and tuck the kids into bed all by herself.
Which brother loved his wife? One said he didn’t, both showed they didn’t. Many in the church have the same problem with their professions of love for God. Some deny Him up front, others deny Him out back. Talk and walk are siblings with similar consequences and we ought to pay attention to both.