Friday, October 5, 2012

When Husbands Go Wrong: Sapphire

I am blessed to have a husband who is a Christian and the spiritual leader of our house.  I thank God for him every day.  But I know that not all of you women out there have what I have.  Some of you are married to men who are not Christians.  Some of you have to take up the mantle of spiritual leader because your husbands have not. I've seen both sides over and over in my life.  Sometimes husbands and fathers go wrong.  Sometimes non-Christian husbands makes the choice to lead their wives in sin.  Sometimes believing men can make bad decisions which may harm their families.  How are we, as Christian women, supposed to handle it when a husband goes wrong?  In the next few weeks, we'll be looking at some examples of what women in the Bible did. 

This week, we'll look at a woman who followed her husband down a deadly path.  In Acts 5, we read that Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property and kept some of the money to themselves. They then gave the rest of the money to the apostles, pretending they were giving the whole amount.  The Bible seems to indicate that Ananias was the instigator of this plot, but his wife knew all about it.  She had "full knowledge" that he had kept some of the money back (Acts 5:2).

I wonder why she would follow her husband in sin this way.  Was she trying to be supportive of his every decision, even the bad ones?  Did they plot together?  Regardless of their reasons, Ananias and Sapphira's sin turned out to have deadly consequences.  Sapphira was not punished for her husband's sin, but for her own.  She was given the opportunity to tell the truth about the money, but she chose to lie, so she was struck dead.

Today, sin doesn't usually have such immediate deadly consequences, but even the "small" sins add up.  What about the husband who convinces his wife to stay home from church week after week because he doesn't want to go?  How long can she thrive when she isn't connected to the rest of the body?  I know third hand of a couple who watched pornographic material together.  He lost his job because he used his work computer to view it alone.  What if his wife had not followed him in that sin?  What if she had instead worked with him to break the addiction? If Sapphira had not joined her husband in his lies, perhaps she could have helped to save him from death.  She certainly would have saved herself.

When it comes down to it, we are each responsible for our own choices and our own sin.  Ananias may have been persuasive in convincing Sapphira to lie, but she walked into the sin on her own.  We always have a choice.  If someone is trying to lead you into sin, even if it is your husband, you can walk away.  I'm not saying walk away from your husband.  Walk away from the behaviors that can only lead to disaster for both of you.  In the next few weeks, we'll be looking at some women who did just that.


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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