I have come to the conclusion that I can NOT manage my problems. This is why I so boldly proclaim the centrality of the gospel. I had a friend once that was having some issues and, in my opinion, was trying to manage his wife as they dealt with their issues. I have also tried to manage my problems and my sin. Its a lost cause that will have varying degrees of effectivity. The gospel message tells us:
The Gospel of Jesus Christ and Jesus’ purpose on the cross tell us …
We are more sinful and weak than we ever cared to admit and (why Jesus had to die for me) …
We are more loved and accepted than we ever dared to hope (why Jesus was glad to die for me).
In the odd economy of the cross there is no room for pride to exist. We are ALL sinners and fall short of the glory of God. This knowledge allows men and husbands and wives to quit “managing” their problems and to lay down their issues in front of each other (and in front of the cross) and start talking turkey. To start learning the skills of real intimacy and being transparent in a real way to each other if we deeply understand the complete and total depravity of man.
Also, if your wife or a group of men can also share this vulnerable intimacy this has a doubling effect as we share our sins and concerns in an open way.
A deep understanding of the gospel allows you to “feel the real” without being crushed by your own sin because Jesus said “It is finished”. A healthy person has learned to feel the real and to see the pain and suffering in his/her life and he/she can still live in the bold freedom of the cross.