Saturday, January 2, 2010

submit and rest, putting on love because our God is good

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Colossians 3:12-18)

Recently, Chuck and I were able to pull over from our busy schedules and stop to enjoy a week's vacation between the Christmas and New Year holidays. In that time, we have enjoyed relaxing together, sleeping in, and visiting with many family and friends. We have cooked together, played games together, enjoyed several movies, engaged in long discussions and snuggle sessions, and have even managed to go a few days without leaving the comfort of our pajamas. It has been a lovely time of calmness and replenishment while enjoying time away from our regular day-to-day work and travel schedules.

However, during this much-needed down time, I found it interesting that in the beginning of our week off together, whenever I truly started to relax and take a breath, Satan made every attempt to try and convince me that my husband was a disappointment. He began to point out little things that had not yet been addressed in the house... a window shade that needed re-hanging in our bedroom, a doorway transition strip that needed repair, a shelf that needed re-enforcing, etc. etc. etc. He stirred up trouble within me by pointing the finger of blame at my honey, Chuck... who was (in the enemy's estimation) clearly relaxing TOO MUCH. Satan argued that my hubby should pick up the slack and do more chores over our vacation. Of course, the idea that Chuck should be deprived of his time off by a discontent, nagging wife was ridiculous, but still the enemy tried to persuade me otherwise.

Please know that my husband is a very, very devoted man and hard worker. He always steps in to help me (sometimes when I don't even ask) and in truth, I am grateful that he is soooo attentive to meet my needs. There have actually been days where he was unable to move forward because my heart was troubled and his first priority was to make sure I was ok. He is so great.

On an average work day, Chuck is usually awake at a very early hour conducting business over the phone with our day job's overseas sales partners and engineers. He is both technically and socially savvy and uses his gifts to provide electronic testing solutions to companies throughout North America all the while earning enough money to put food on our table, clothe us, and even spoil our family with a few luxuries from time-to-time. The thought that Chuck does not contribute, or the idea that he is uninterested in advancing our family's well-being, is really absurd... but still the enemy came a'knocking and tried to invade my heart - subtly whispering his list of complaints and pointing out things in our home in need of repair or attention.

Fortunately, before we started our vacation, the Lord had reminded me of the verses above from Colossians and had also given me this verse to meditate on: Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. (Psalm 116:7)

And it is true... the Lord has been good to me. He has given me salvation! He has granted me access into His kingdom! What do I need to complain about?

Thankfully, God exposed the enemy's intention to redirect my attention toward worthless issues, and I was able to identify Satan's scheme and pray through any discontentment. The end result: instead of ripping my husband to shreds and ruining his well-deserved time off, I was able to look at him in love while throwing a blanket over his cold feet as he reclined in his chair and watched football (snoozing between plays and unconsciously scratching our beagle's tummy). I was grateful to let go and enjoy a peace-filled time with my family and friends without sweating the small stuff. I chose to keep my focus on my marriage and the health of the man I love... a relationship way more important to me than any possession. Thank you, Lord, for you have been good to me!

Sometimes I loose sight of what is truly important. I hate to admit it, but sometimes my attention is incorrectly directed toward property over people. Sometimes I forget to let peace rule in my heart and fail to submit to the needs of those I should be loving. I'm grateful that the Lord gave me such a reminder this past week. I'm equally thankful that the enemy did not win such a stupid battle... that I was a conqueror because I had God's word in my heart and followed the wisdom of my Master. Because of this, our marriage was strengthened and unified over vacation. In fact, last night Chuck and I enjoyed time sitting together in our living room just being thankful for one another and the lovely, peaceful week God had blessed us with. How thankful I am that I did not sour this time with meaningless issues, discontentment and complaining. Thank you, Lord, for allowing your word to dwell richly in me and teach me to submit to my husband's needs. Thank you for once again clothing my heart with your compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Without You, I would be an ugly, awful wretch. Jesus you are beautiful. I love reflecting your beauty to others.

Ladies, whether single or married, let's not give into Satan and expect the world to revolve around us. Let us lay aside all forms of selfishness and unrealistic expectations over trivial things and worldly trinkets. For all we have... all we enjoy on this earth has been given to us by God and is a gift from our Redeemer. Let us give up our preconceived timetables and expectancies and simply love one another as Christ has loved us. For God has granted us eternal life through Jesus and continues to provide for all our needs. He is always good to us. He is always faithful. Let's strive to enjoy life together and completely relax in the perfect presence of our King. Let's not receive Satan's ridiculous lies that are intended to turn us against each other... for that evil snake is really our true enemy. Instead, let's cover our hearts in Jesus' warm words of love - reclining in His presence and savoring His promise that He is always enough. Vacate with me into the arms of our wonderful Master. Let's allow Him to restore our souls for His Name's sake! Amen, dear Jesus! AMEN!

Blessings!

~Victoria

4 comments:

  1. I love this---thank you. It is quite hard sometimes to look over the small things...but if we take time to put things in perspective and God's word is instilled in our hearts, then we can overlook the small, trivial things.

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  2. GoD IS JUST SO GOOD!

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  3. boy did I need to hear this today. It wasn't just frosty outside. Time to defrost my heart and let God help get things back to normal

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  4. Thank you for the reminder to love me for me and to love my hubby of 37+ yrs for who God made him to be......we are more the oppsite of you- he is the one who works hard, thinking and planning and I usually end up feeling like I can't keep up! I needed Psalm 166:1 today....to be at rest....I will always be pruned, changed and shaped by HIs word!!!

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