When You Feel Like a Hypocrite on Sunday Morning

By Ashley Haupt

My husband and I had a truly awful weekend together. I wish I could blame it on some unfortunate circumstances, but the misfortune was inside us.

We have seen the enemy and it is us. -Walt Kelly

We were raw with one another. Not in a raging, angry sort of way, but more rubbed-down-to-the-nub raw. We definitely could not rescue one another because we were two men down. Doubly wounded.

Sometimes you clap along with the absurdity of life and sometimes you get bowled over by it.

As Tim prepared to leave early for church, he came to give me a hug. Leaning down close so our kids couldn’t hear, he rested his forehead on my shoulder. I feel like such a hypocrite to go and preach on faith this morning. I don’t feel it. I wanted to remind him of what I knew that he knew: it’s not about him, but about preaching the enduring Word of God which has a power all its own. But time was short and faith was shorter, so I just said, I know.

So we put on our church clothes and our fake smiles, wrestled our four little ones into the cars and we went. Between the hugs and the smiles and the greeting and the singing, something happened inside me. My heavy spirit began to rise like a hot-air balloon. I watched my husband go up in front of our church, open the Word and preach it faithfully, knowing what I knew about how he felt inside. The fog of noxious pollution inside my heart cleared away and I could see.

I could see how much Satan had to gain from ruining our marriage. I could see how my husband is doing the very thing God has created him to do and how his ministry could be discredited if we allowed the struggles of life to come between us.

I could see how my husband and I needed to pull together and put the problems on the other side of the table, team up against them.

I could see how God’s word can heal the broken places within us, even when we don’t get specific answers to everything we want. The answer is still Christ.

God's Word can heal the broken places

I could see how faith believes in what is not yet seen. I don’t see the power of God all over my life right now, the presence of God all over my Bible reading, but faith is believing what I do not see. Faith is hoping for what has not yet come.

I could see that faith embraces the mystery, and boy, did I ever need some of that kind of faith. I needed to grasp the invisible God and pull Him into the present, just as my husband was exhorting me to do.

More than anything, I began to see that everything really is going to be alright.

In the end, we in the ministry don’t always bring full hearts to church and pour out on everyone we meet. Often we bring our empty hearts and broken lives and let His light shine through our cracked places.

What has God taught you through difficult Sunday mornings?

Published June 17, 2015

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Ashley Haupt

Ashley is a messy, creative seeker of grace in Christ. She is usually surrounded by a gaggle of children, but she loves long talks over coffee with a friend, photography, poetry, art, books, and being outside. Writer, pastor’s wife, speaker, mother of four, and returning to teach high school English after eight years at home with her kids.