I know that Lincoln is all the rage right now. Personally I’m on the fence, admittedly because I haven’t taken much time to study him beyond the government version of history. Either way, he opened the door to big government (yuck), but was, whether he intended to be or not,used by the Lord to end slavery in the South (praise God). Why do I bother to write about him at all? I’m growing weary of Christians trying to set him up as one of our heroes of the faith.
I happened on this article Learning from Lincoln’s Flawed Marriage . Read it… Done? Ok, do you feel like “Yes! I’m so glad he put up with his wife for the sake of America!” It seems to be a blind spot that some would compromise Ephesians 5 for his sake, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” So Lincoln abdicates his responsibilities to his wife (there’s more to being a husband than not getting divorced), and to keep up his hero status, we’re asked to spin that into his great strength?!
Perhaps she might not have been so tempestuous had her husband made her lovely with his love. Or perhaps she was the kind of woman that made him want to live on the corner of his roof. I don’t know. You could analyze from the outside all you like and never really know if in his heart he was resolutely committed to her sanctification or if he had given up and shut down in every way but legally. The Judge alone will know.
I just cannot understand the current need to carte blanche promote Abraham Lincoln. There are better dead friends to have: William Wilberforce, Augustine, Athanasius, King David, John Calvin, Paul, John Newton, J.C. Ryle, just to name a few. All these men are sinners, but their weakness can show us the grace of God and do not need to be twisted into their strength.
If it’s a hero you’re looking for, there is one who is both King and Husband, who died and now lives, who will not just learn from the pain that his adulterous bride causes him, but will sacrifice everything for her. He laid down his crown, honor, and life. He will see to it that she is without blemish. She will not end in an immodest rage while he is off seeking his honor elsewhere, but will shine holy and radiant through his work. He will be the one to bestow all glory and honor upon.