“Well now, has everyone opened all their presents?”
“Yes. Honey, it has been a great morning,” I naively replied.
The next thing my wife of sixteen years said brought my world crashing down around me.
“Merry Christmas, I’m out of here. I rented an apartment and I am moving into it today.”
Christmas 1978, my life was irrevocably changed. The things I thought I did in the darkness were revealed in the light. My wife had had enough and she was walking out the door taking our young son with her.
For years afterwards I tried to blame her for leaving me. Why, after all, I had just turned my life over to the Lord and everything was going to be all right. Why would she leave me right when I was getting my act together?
Years later, after growing and maturing in the Lord, I finally got my answer. When the chains of selfishness gave way to a servant’s heart, God showed me the truths of my past. At last, I came face to face with the person I used to be and I was sickened and repulsed by this creature.
I was raised in an Archie Bunker world where the man of the house was the king and the little woman was an Edith Bunker running around behind the king doing his bidding. Though I choose a career as a public servant, it stopped when I entered my castle, and I became the lord of my domain.
I looked back at my selfishness and all my “indiscretions” and I realized why my wife left me. Though I had joined a church and confessed the Lord, all my wife could see was the zealot who had been into all kinds of self-serving activities like motorcycle racing, building dune buggies, Friday night poker games, running the bars with my cronies at will, and on and on ad nauseam. Why should this new adventure be any different? King of my world…destroyer of my family; I made Archie Bunker look like a saint.
I have asked my former wife to forgive me for my past and the hurt I brought her, but I’m not sure if she has been able to do so, even to this day. Every Christmas brings the memory of who I used to be and the destruction that came from trying to be king.
I can’t go back and fix the wrongs I have done. I can’t take away the pain I caused in the lives of my wife and children. I can’t right any wrongs I have done. I am no king! All I can do now is live a life that shows I have changed and learn from my sinful mistakes.
I thank God that Christmas has now taken on a new realization to me. It has brought healing and restoration to my life because I came to know “The King,” Jesus, the King that forgave me and saved me from my own self-serving ways. The King of my life, the King who brought healing to my former wife, the King of Christmas…Jesus, the King of all there is, was, and ever will be.
The self-serving activities of the past have given way to a life of servitude and have stood the test of time. Don’t look for any Archie Bunker reruns in my life. The King is in control, now.