Ok, read this blog post about one lady's experience in a Bible study where the wives were complaining about their husbands. This raises an interesting question. Given that all husbands are bad--whether it's a small bad like leaving dirty laundry on the floor or a big bad like beating them when drunk--does a bad husband make a wife sin? Of course this works equally well the other way around--does a bad wife make a husband sin? In fact, we can ask this of any relationship. Does a bad parent make a child sin? Does a bad boss make an employee sin? Does a bad neighbor make a neighbor sin?
Do you want the Bible's answer? Here it is: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." (2 Pe 1:2-3, NASB95) In Christ we have everything we need for godliness. A godly wife is a great asset to my godliness, but she's not required. Godly children are a great asset to my godliness, but they are not required. A godly boss and godly neighbors and so on are all wonderful, but they are not required. No one around me can make me sin. The Bible forbids this type of blame-shifting that permeates our culture (even our Christian culture). So where does the blame for my sin reside?
Here's the Bible answer: "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." (Mt 15:18-19, NASB95) My sin is the result of my own wicked heart. And this is why I need the gospel. And so we find that Christine's conclusion is absolutely correct: "Being conformed into the likeness and image of Christ, living the gospel daily, and removing selfish pride from your life is essentially the ulitmate preparation to living with and respecting and loving a husband."