Monday, June 14, 2010

Same Hats, New Heart

I didn't want to wear a hat this past Sunday. In fact, I didn't even want to go to church. I simply didn't feel like it. We've been attending a home church on Saturday nights and then going to a more traditional church service on Sunday mornings, so I had every justifiable reason to stay home. I had already gone to church last night. It was raining. I was tired. I was completely hormonally justified to stay in bed for the day. I didn't like going to the more traditional service. I wondered if God was finally telling me I didn't need to wear the hats anymore.

I never spoke a word of any of this to David. Never allowed a sigh to escape or an attitude to slip. I prayed for strength, for wisdom and discernment. I got up. I got dressed. I donned my covering. I sat at my husband's side and humbly thanked God for the lessons and blessings He keeps pouring forth over me as I continue to learn what submission to my man and to my Maker looks like.

I have spent the last few months being shown, graciously but bitterly, how horridly I have always fought against the lordship of my husband and the kingship of my God. And even as I have cried out, "Lord, have mercy on your daughter!" He has proven Faithful and True and Loving and Kind. I am in awe. I am so unworthy.

I am just beginning to see what submission looks like. Here are some glimpses I have been granted:
  • Keeping silent when my husband complains about something.
  • Removing his complaint by addressing his need.
  • Refusing to point out I have done just that.
  • Allowing him to decide, even if I don't like the decision.
  • Keeping silent when he corrects or disciplines the children.
  • When he isn't present, speaking as his representative to the children in moments of correction and discipline.
  • Refusing to speak ill of him. Ever.
  • Seeing what matters to him and making sure it gets done (a nice dinner, a clean house, a well-groomed wife, etc.)
  • Never, ever raising my voice at him.
  • Allowing God to direct him in the ways of our family, instead of suggesting we should do things my way (i.e. which church we should attend, how educating our children should look, what we should do on the weekend, etc.)
  • Noticing what troubles him and making darn well sure it ain't me.
  • Noticing what troubles him and doing something to help solve the problem (i.e. finances, work around the house, relationships with others, etc.)
  • Loving him and serving him, even when I don't feel like it and doing my darnedest not to let him know I don't feel like it.

Ladies. If you don't know me, you don't understand the miracle of this list. If you do know me - you BETTER see it. You better know, and I mean KNOW - deep in your gut - how uncharacteristic of me any. single. one. of those actions is. The Lord is changing me. The Lord is reshaping me. The Lord is breaking me.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13.

I suppose this is what I am ultimately coming to. That I would lay down my life, my pride, my desires, my way, my control, my opinion, my independence, my selfishness, my power, my all for not just "a friend." My best friend. My husband.

There are blessings. There are unimaginable outpourings of God's grace and God's spirit and God's power to those who will humbly submit themselves to Him. Perhaps sometime I will write about a few God has given to me. But I think these are so specific, so tailor-made just for me, that perhaps you would fail to see them for the miraculous gifts they are. So don't wait for my version. Go experience it for yourself.

I remain (faithfully continuing to wear the hats) -
Wife of David, Child of God

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Heart is...Desperately Wicked. Jer. 17:9

 The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation.    ~Charles Spurgeon
It's only recently I've seen the full evidence of just how unrighteous I am.  As Christians we know and have been taught "there is none righteous, no not one"* however like so many innumerable truths God personally reveals to us in life, having the head knowledge is nothing compared to having the heart knowledge.  I have to admit being a stay-at-home-mom with not much chance to actively break the ten commandments on a daily basis, it's very easy to get fooled into thinking one is a pretty good person.  Mind you, I haven't recently committed any mortal sin to prove how wicked I am - I just simply am.  It's how I was built.  God shed light on this one day by challenging me to "act nice" to my husband and family.  In the midst of actually trying to be "good" while speaking to my husband, words slipped out which I didn't mean to speak.  No, nothing crazy - no curse words, nothing one would even typically notice as being disrespectful; my point being that the words that came out of my mouth didn't come from my well-intentioned brain - they came straight from my black heart.  It pulled me up short and taught me no matter how good my intentions are, no matter how much I try, I cannot and never will be righteous. Every thought, word and deed of mine is tainted with my own sin.  At the end of the day, I have probably broken every one of the ten commandments is some way, shape or form and not realized it.  It is for this reason I must invite the Holy Spirit to dwell within me and control my thoughts, my words and my actions every single day.  It is why I must wake up every morning and commit to die to self.  It is the only hope I have for ever behaving righteously and being Christ to others.

I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. And so, if I don't do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them. The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right. With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do.      ~Romans 7:18-23 (CEV)

* From Romans 3:10
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