Dave Dravecky is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Running Into the Gospel in a New and Fresh Way
Over the last five years, I’ve come to a place in my faith where I understand God’s grace more than I ever have before. Because of that, I am now able to see people differently; I have less judgment and criticism but more empathy and compassion for others, just as Christ does for me. Grace has shown me that it’s for everyone, and love has become a much more powerful word in my story. It’s not a word anymore; it’s how I live.
The Jesus way for me now is very different from how I was living as a Jesus-follower five years ago, and for almost 30 years of my life. Five years ago I found myself running into the Good News of the Gospel in a very fresh way through a book that I read called “The Cure” by authors: John Lynch, Bruce McNichol and Bill Thrall. The Gospel message is over 2,000 years old, but these authors actually reintroduced me to the Good News in a new and exciting way. It helped me to see where I was missing the Message, the things that I was embracing that were wrong about the Gospel, and it pointed me to the truth. As a result, I’ve experienced more freedom in my life over the past five years than I ever have before. This is not a freedom to do whatever I want to do but freedom to live a life that is free with Jesus, under His perfect will. There is no greater freedom in the universe than this; it really leads to a life of joy.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” —Romans 6:6-7
Celebrate Your Wife
This transformation that I’ve experienced has also had a huge impact on my marriage. There was a time in my life when I worked really hard to change Jan into something I thought she should be; she just wasn’t “good enough” for me. She used to always tell me, “I know you love me but you don’t like me.” To which I would tell her, “You’re crazy, I like you.” But you know what? I was lying. Five years ago when I ran into the Gospel again in a fresh way, I had to look at her and say, “You know what honey? You were right; I loved you but I didn’t like you. But I’m getting to know you all over again and I’m so sorry for what I did.” I went on to tell her, “Second Corinthians 5:17 talks about becoming a new creation. That’s the same for you as it is for me, so what I need to be doing is celebrating the new creation that is Jan Dravecky with Christ in her. I haven’t been celebrating that for the last 30 years of our marriage and it’s time that I do.” This has had a huge impact on our marriage because I now see my wife for who she really is.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” —2 Corinthians 5:17
This is the truth that I want all married men to see—your world is not all about you! There’s somebody else in it, a wonderful gift that God’s given you as your wife. Celebrate her for who she is; appreciate the gift that God has given you in your spouse. What ends up happening when you do this is that you begin to live out the beautiful Scripture in Ephesians where Christ calls us to love our wives as He loves the Church.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” —Ephesians 5:25
What did Christ do for us, His Church? He gave Himself up for us. How many of us husbands give ourselves up for our wives? Christ calls us to live a life of sacrificial love—let us live out that love.
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