For the last few weeks something has been weighing really heavy on my heart. Something I have been wanting to write about but couldn’t quite figure out where to begin. I actually wrote out an entire blog and saved it to drafts because it just wasn’t ready to be posted. I think I may have a series brewing. My first blog was all about time, how we spend it, and how it defines us. But there is so much more on that subject that I really wanted to go deeper and challenge myself.
You see, I write out of my own convictions, I write things that the Holy Spirit is gently whispering to me. I write it because 1.) I really enjoy writing and 2.) This blog does hold a certain amount of accountability for me. If I’m sharing these things with you then I hope you’ll be able to see growth and change in the future.
I’m calling the serious No excuses, make an effort. And each blog will have a more specific topic. The reason I feel this title is appropriate is because I believe we live in a culture that is addicted to making excuses, one right after the other. We can justify and excuse just about every thing we do, good and bad. I am just as guilty as the next person. I constantly have conversations with myself (usually in my head) about why I’m going to do something and why it’s okay for me to do it. Example: “Today I’m going to lay around and watch hours of TV because I am exhausted. I’m growing a child and taking care of 2 more who woke me up at least 3 times in the middle of the night every night this week. Plus, I have been keeping up with the house, dinner, and laundry all week and I really DESERVE (a word I will touch on later) a break.” And there ya have it, a perfectly wonderful excuse to not spend 5 minutes doing anything productive.
I’m going to talk about Valentines Day though, because well it’s tomorrow. I know I am not the only woman who deep down believes Valentines Day REALLY is all about her. 😉 Let’s be honest, most men don’t care about getting chocolate, jewelry, flowers, cards, GIFTS for that matter. Even the commercials make it about the females. So, every year, I secretly hope that Jason will do something amazing for me because well I deserve it. After all, I’m his faithful, loving wife, mother of his children, what more reason, to shower me with gifts and adoration, does he need? Sometimes he comes through, sometimes he doesn’t. And when he doesn’t…. guess who gets ugly? This year I have decided is going to be different.
We recently watched the movie Courageous. It was a really great movie with a great message. And it’d be easy for me to jump on the “Where are you men of courage?” bandwagon, but it also got me thinking, where are we women of courage? I know from experience how easy it is to fall into satans trap of thinking that for the most part I’m doing my part and Jason is the one that needs to shape up. But you know what I keep being reminded of? I’m broken. No matter what I do here, I’ll always be broken, because we live in a fallen world. Guess what? We are all broken. So instead of pointing my finger at someone else I need to take a GOOD HARD look at myself and ask “Are you truly loving in this moment? Are you glorifying God with your actions and choices?” And my dissatisfaction with Jason at points….. well I’m not supposed to GET my satisfaction from him. My satisfaction should come from seeking the Lord.
Psalm 145:16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. (NKJV)
Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 7 The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other,….” (The Message)
I looked up serve at blue letter bible. You can view the entry as a whole if you like here. What I’ll highlight is.
1.) to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon
a.) to minister to one
1.) to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests
Am I viewing my marriage as a ministry? Am I ministering to Jason? Am I making choices that include what is in Jason’s best interest, as well as my children and NOT just thinking about myself? Not always….. not even MOST of the time. In all seriousness I’m one selfish human being. I tend to think that he needs to meet my needs, and do for me, before I even begin to think about “serving” him. The fact is, if your honest with yourself, we all think this way, IN GENERAL. Let’s get out of denial and get real with ourselves. “I am selfish and most of the time, it’s all about me.” You have to admit that before you will ever be able to change.
In the book “not a fan.” Kyle quotes a satirical magazine The Door and their hilarious vows they wrote for the unmarried couple living together. I personally think this sounds like what a lot of married people commit to instead of the vows they actually repeat to each other.
I, John, take you, Mary, to be my cohabitant, to have sex with and share bills with. I’ll be around when things are good but probably wont be when things get tough. If you should get a cold, I’ll run to the drugstore for some medicine. If you get sick to the point where you can no longer meet my needs, then I’ll have to move on. Forsaking many others I will be more or less faithful to you for as long as it feels good to me. If we should break up, it doesn’t mean this wasn’t special for me. I commit to live with you as long as this works out.
Scary, sad, and a lot of times true.
So back to Valentines Day. This year I am not going to expect anything from Jason. (Just don’t tell him, haha 😉 ) For one thing, the poor guy has been sick all weekend long. But for the most important reason, I think it’s a good day to begin (again) my service to him. I’m not going to make any excuses. Sure we don’t have a babysitter, can’t really spend a whole lot of money, can’t have a romantic dinner out with kids, and yeah I’ll be babysitting all day, house will be a wreck blah blah blah. It’s time to get creative and make an effort. It’s time to put my selfish desires aside, it’s time for a little sacrifice and place my husband in the position of being loved, adored, and served for a change. No pats on the back this should be a no brainer.
Typically, we’ll do anything to accomplish something that is SELF serving but when it comes to others well that’s another story. Because of course we think we deserve “it” whatever “it” is. Bottom line, we don’t deserve much of anything. What we deserve is death and hell. But by grace we have been saved, thank you Jesus. I can recognize that I’m self-seeking, indulgent, rude, impatient, I could go on forever, all these things I am, apart from Christ. With Him I’m a new creation. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Good things, like truly loving my husband, whether or not I think he deserves it. And yes this is quite possibly the single most difficult thing I may ever have to do. But it will reap so much joy and pleasure in the end. The point is it’s not up to me to decide who deserves what. It’s up to me to love God and love others. (Matthew 22:37-39)
So, to wrap up the first blog of this series, No excuses, make an effort. I say, Happy Valentines day to the MEN, and shower him with all you got. Break out the candles, pop the bubbly, stick your kids in bed or in front of a movie and enjoy 80 minutes (typical length of a good Disney showing) with your hunky man you fell in love with. Let’s thank our men for being providers, for coming home to US, for not abandoning their families, for doing their best in this fallen world. Let’s put aside what we wish they’d be and love them for who they are, right where they are at.
After all, Jesus does this with us……