As my wife and I are working diligently after we put the kids to bed, after we worked on Christmas gift-wrapping and catching up on filing and the whole lot, I decided to ask my wife some questions: What do you think women struggle must with. The answer(s) surprised me, well, not really. But what it did give me was some deeper insight into the everyday lives of our wives and mothers of our children. Here it goes:
- You can never get it done
- You can never have the time to give your all to everything
- You can never do enough
- True friendships can be difficult
- Feeling adequate enough
- Never have time for yourself
- Constant worry about not screwing up with our kids
- Comparison - (we live in a Pinterest generation)
I want to start this post out on the last one - the Pinterest Generation. When we think about it, this does not just apply to our wives (the mothers of our children) this really applies to all of us - we, even in our best intentions, still find ourselves comparing each other. The Pinterest generation finds us comparing each other in how we do everything and some doing it better and better and more and more and faster and faster. Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with Pinterest, Facebook, Social Media in general and Media in general. As long as we keep our priorities straight and do these things in moderation - meaning, we don't make them our gods. That being said, how do we survive in a world that continues to do it better and better and more and more and faster and faster - how can we keep up? How can we cope? Oh my goodness, I am getting stressed and worked up just thinking about all these things.
First of all, if you are a spouse and a parent like me, then you realize that about 9 out of 10 times you are exhausted. You are, to say the least, fatigued. So how do we get our priorities straight? How can we even remotely find biblical contentment? How can we let go and let God drive our lives daily:
- Let's start with prayer - "not my will be done, Lord, YOUR WILL BE DONE....
- Have a safe, non-judge-mental (guys - this doesn't mean we try and fix it during the talk) conversation with our spouse. This means raw honesty, success and failures, short-comings and where are we going with this tomorrow, next week, 1 year, 5 years...
- Pray some more
- Have an honest talk with our accountability partners (for me, this is with my men of faith (men's group), my accountability partners (Bob, Charlie, Dave, Bob and Jim) - be honest with our short-comings and what we need to be accountable with (things we need to work on...). For women, this means your ladies, women's group, small group (ladies)...etc.,
- If we don't have those relationships - pray for them
- Read Scripture daily - meditate, prayer time, quiet time to listen for God's voice in our daily lives
- Pray some more
- Stop comparing - God made us! We are fearfully and wonderfully made - he didn't make any mistakes when he created us
- Make healthy choices - sleep, diet, exercise, mental exercise (read), less media inputs (less idols) and more God-time
The hardest part about life is trying to be someone or something that you aren't. Simply said, we have to learn our strengths and our weaknesses and to be real with them. For instance, when you look at community (church, social clubs, events and so on) you see a few people doing so much that they are effectively becoming ineffective. I don't want you to take that wrong - God looks at our heart. I love when people serve! That is a call to being a disciple of Christ. What I mean is this: What if, instead of trying to do everything and just being okay or above average on all the things we try to do, we try to learn our gift set (spiritual gifts) and use those in the best and most efficient way to give to God out of the thankfulness of our heart for all he has done for us...
- With God, we can do all things
- Without God, these things are all fruitless
- With God, we can take his paths that He will make straight
- Without God's direction we can face ruin and calamity
- With God, we can let him love, protect and care and raise our children
- Without God, we will see the fruit of our labor in our children (will they take our faith seriously without God
- With God, we can rest in Him because his yoke is easy
- Without God we can count on burning out
In all things, seek His Will and His way through his Word (Jesus Christ). I like it said like this:
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
More to say, more to do, and more to lean on God and not my own understanding.